There’s nothing like a cold beer and delicious steamed crabs on a hot summer day!
Summer with its sunny days and high temperatures is a wonderful season to enjoy exciting festivals like the Annual Craft Beer and Crab Festival, held in Cape May, New Jersey.
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as an ice-cold craft beer to quench your thirst on a hot day. And if you’ve never picked a crab shell apart to enjoy the sweet sumptuous crabmeat inside, you’re in for a treat.
It’s a great way to spend a Saturday — eating steamed crabs, pulled pork, crab cakes, shrimp and hot dogs along with other regional foods provided by local vendors.
Where and When the Annual Craft Beer and Crab Festival Takes Place
Come to the Annual Craft Beer and Crab Festival at Cape May1 held by the Emlen Physick Estate, located at 1048 Washington Street. The festival takes place on Saturday, August 4th, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and lasting until 6:00 p.m.
What’s in Store at the Festival?
The festival has only been getting better every year and this is the seventh festival.
Music at the festival begins at 11:00 a.m.
- Festival entertainment includes:
- Music all day on an outdoor stage
- Jugglers and acrobats from an old-fashioned Victorian circus
- A crafts and collectibles show (More than 50 vendors participating)
- Craft beers and other alcoholic beverages
- The Calamity Janes
- Mackie the Stilt Walker
- Give & Take Jugglers Little Circus
- Empanada Mama
- Gaiss’ Market
- Matt’s BBQ
- Executive Catering
- (More vendors are being added)
Regional Craft Beers & Spirits
- Cape May Brewery
- 7 Mile Brewery
- Ludlam Island Brewery
- Slack Tide Brewery
- Bucket Brigade Brewery
- And more (the list of vendors is still growing.)
Tackling Crab Shells
Steamed crab shells turn a bright red color and crab meat is a New England favorite. Picking apart the shell is an adventure and tradition in itself. To learn some tips and techniques for shelling crabs, watch the Mid-Atlantic Center (MAC) video called How to pick the shell off a crab2.
Admission to the estate grounds is free. Some activities charge fees and visitors must also pay for food and beverages. Commemorative t-shirts are available. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) is sponsoring the event, and the festival proceeds will benefit MAC’s free educational outreach programs.
MAC for the Arts and Humanities
The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities4 provides a wide range of free education programs for teachers that span different eras and topics, teaching students about cultural differences and developments. For example, there is a class taught by a character dressed as John Phillip Sousa, and he shares interesting details about Sousa’s past, so children get a feel for the time. The full-length Victorian dresses that women wore during the 1800’s were very different than what women wear today and they changed into different dresses about five times a day. An educator will wear an outfit typical of the period so students feel like they’re stepping back in time and really immerse themselves in the earlier period culture. MAC has a wide range of educational programs that span different topics and eras (Victorian, WWII and more). These are wonderful programs that children enjoy and are provided by MAC, at no charge, for schools.
Attractions to Visit While in Cape May
Take advantage of your time in Cape May and enjoy not just the Craft Beer and Crab Festival but also the other attractions. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) in Cape May3 provides a variety of historic sites you won’t want to miss. Here are a few of the highlights:
Emlen Physick Estate. The Emlen Physick Estate was built in 1879 in Cape May, NJ. It is the only Victorian house museum in the state. Going through the house is a window into a different time period with its traditions and culture from nearly 150 years ago. You can take a guided tour, which lasts 45 minutes, taking you through 15 beautiful restored rooms and ending at the 1876 Carriage House. Or you can go on your own self-guided tour, which allows you to spend as much time as you want, taking in the details of what you’re viewing.
As a historical note, Emlen Physick’s grandfather, Dr. Phillip Syng Physick invented many medical instruments and procedures that are still used to today. He was considered the “father of American surgery.”
Cape May Lighthouse. The Cape May Lighthouse was built in 1859 and is located at the southern tip of New Jersey. For years it has guided mariners. The lighthouse became open to the public in 1988, and more than 2.5 million visitors have climbed inside the lighthouse while visiting it.
World War II Lookout Tower. During World War II, there were lookout towers that aided in the country’s coastal defense. Fire Control Tower No.23 in Cape May is New Jersey’s last restorable WWII tower. It was one of 15 towers built in 1942 and its purpose was to assist in aiming batteries of coastal artillery. In 2008-2009 the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities restored the tower. Restorations included a spiral staircase to allow public to climb to the top and also installed a walkway, deck, lighting and safety alarms to make the structure safer.
The Carroll Gallery. The Carroll Gallery, located in the Carriage House of the Physick Estate contains changing exhibits throughout the year. The current exhibit, which lasts from April through October, displays pen and ink drawings of historical structures of Cape May. Cape May became known as the “best preserved 19th century resort in America.” The drawings were instrumental in making Cape May a National Historic Landmark and tourist destination for people all over the nation.
Cape May’s Designer Show House. Also called the Forsythe in 1911, the Designer Show House is a three-floor mansion containing a kitchen, living room, parlor, office, spa, exercise room, a spiral staircase, dry sauna, three porches, eight bedrooms and six full and two half baths. Located on Beach Avenue, the Designer Show House had the purpose of making the avenue the most elegant street in Cape May. The multi-million dollar restoration, done by current owners has brought that purpose for the mansion to life again.
Carriage House Cafe and Tearoom. The Carriage House has been converted into outdoor and indoor dining where people can come for luncheons, afternoon teas or enjoy wines from the Cape May Winery.
Reasons to Charter a Bus for the Festival
When you go on an outing, you want to enjoy yourselves. Congested traffic or getting lost in an area you’re not familiar with can certainly put a damper on your fun. Aside from the fact that group travel is way more exciting than going alone or with just a few people, here are some other practical reasons for chartering a bus.
- Affordable travel. You won’t find a more affordable way to travel. Everyone in your group splits the costs, which brings expenses way down.
- Safe, drunk-free driving. You can enjoy the craft beers and spirits all you want and not have to worry about designating a driver. Who wants to be left out of the party because they’re the designated driver? Usually, no one does. Everyone in your group can put themselves in the hands of a profession driver who is well trained, takes your welfare seriously…and who is sober! Charter buses are considered the safest form of ground transportation in the country.
- Comfort and relaxation. In a charter bus, you have plenty of legroom and can even walk around and visit with other passengers. The larger charter buses have restrooms, which are a convenient way to travel, especially when you have kids.
- Eco-friendly transport. You won’t find a more eco-friendly way to travel than charter buses. Statistics show they even beat hybrid cars when calculating the carbon footprint. You can do your part to save the environment and make your getaway part of the green movement.
- Flexibility. How many times have you traveled in a group and ended up waiting for other cars to arrive because someone got stuck in traffic, or got lost or were late leaving? You really can’t beat a charter bus for keeping your group together. You have the flexibility to create your own itinerary, set the dates and make the trip happen. There’s plenty of space and no extra fees for baggage, and no one will pat you down, make you remove your shoes or x-ray your bags. Many buses have free WiFi, so you can even go online during the ride.
Charter Your Vehicle Today
US Coachways provides charter services for travel all over the country. We look forward to helping you plan the details of your special getaway. For customized service, call our toll-free number at 1-855-287-2427 and speak with one of our representatives.
- Craft Beer and Crab Festival at Cape May
- How to pick the shell off a crab
- Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) in Cape May
- Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities