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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Christmas Candlelight House Tour

The Christmas House Tour in Cape May is a self-guided  evening tour to festively decorated residential homes, hotels, inns and even churches. Most decorated homes and centers are open to the public as people will enjoy the twinkling holiday lights and Victorian-style decors for a visit. This is one of Cape May's main attraction during the holiday season. It is filled not only with decorations but also with some caroling, strolling musicians and good old fashioned cheer.

Some participating homes, inns and hospitality centers offer warm beverages and traditional treats for visitors too!

When you sign up for the tour, you will be given a map as a guide. On the map are lists of participating homes and their addresses along with the street map on which these houses are numbered. Trolley stops are also indicated on the map, so if you plan to go for a faster pace, and you want to see all of the participating houses, boarding the trolley saves you time.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a good experience with this tour when I visited in December 2014. Well, every experience is different so don't get discouraged! There are some tips I want to share though for those who are planning to do this tour.
Since this is an evening tour, it gets cold at night, so don't forget to bundle up. Every home or inn you'll be visiting is heated though, so that would be a bonus. But remember that this involves a lot of walking. There are some houses that are a block away from one house to the other and the closer the distances, trolley stops are NOT in the area.

Next thing to consider: - as early as 6PM would already be peak hours, which means ALL trolleys are full and would NOT stop at the trolley stop if they are full! You can still probably make it to your next stop since it's a walking tour NOT unless when you are with a tour bus group and when your time is limited. Normally, trolley comes every 15 minutes in every trolley stop, but peak hours can last until around 9:30PM or even later. I experienced waiting for a trolley for almost an hour, - and ending up walking back later to where our bus was which was a 30-35 minutes walk! It so happened I was at the farthest area from where our bus was :((. So, instead of spending time seeing more houses, it was all spent walking back to the bus because I had to catch the time departure.

Unless you are living in the area for an overnight, or staying for a few nights, you are safe just to skip the trolley because there is no time to beat up.

So, there you have the idea to keep in mind. We all deserve to enjoy the holiday festivities no matter what. The more you know what to expect, the more you would enjoy it.

Enjoy Christmas in Cape May!