Cape May began as Cape May Island, where families journeyed to enjoy wide white beaches and gentle surf during the early nineteenth century. With the advent of steamships and railroads, the quiet village soon became America’s first seaside resort town. Despite its charm and elegance, visitors slowed in the 1880s, as a series of mysterious fires claimed some of its most beloved structures. As the twentieth century dawned, Cape May’s failure to modernize ultimately became its salvation. By the 1960’s, visitors were once again flocking to this seaside destination to enjoy its quaint Victorian charm. Experience the elegant Chalfonte Hotel, stately Congress Hall and the classic Cape May Boardwalk with local historian Emil Salvini.