The Southern Mansion

The Southern Mansion—another Cape May B&B—offers guests the royal treatment in terms of stately accommodations and modern accouterments.

Courtesy of

The Southern Mansion
Cape May
720 Washington Street
Number of Rooms: 25

Barbara Bray-Wildes, formerly of Philadelphia, was vacationing in Cape May in 1994 when she came across an abandoned property that was once a private estate and later a boarding house in the heart of town’s historic district. “It was actually dilapidated,” Bray-Wildes recalls. “But the place was huge, and it had a good chunk of land.” After noticing a “For Sale” sign, she purchased it and began a restoration project that took two and a half years to complete.

Inspired by Samuel Sloan’s original lithograph of the house titled “The Southern Mansion,” Bray-Wildes re-opened the historic home with that name in the spring of 1996, hoping to bring southern hospitality to Cape May.

Every morning, guests are served a full gourmet breakfast at private tables. Popular entrees include create-your-own omelets, blueberry hotcakes topped with fresh berries, and pouched eggs atop a grilled baguette with sun-dried-tomato rosa sauce.

The royal treatment doesn’t stop there. Each of the B&B’s 25 rooms offers a private bathroom with a hand-painted tile shower (some have claw-foot tubs), illuminated makeup/shaving mirrors, cable TV, full-maid and evening-turndown service, king-size beds (in most rooms), and original antique furniture. “I want guests to feel like it’s their own private mansion,” Bray-Wildes says.

But if you decide to leave your estate, the beach, shops and restaurants are only a five-minute walk. Also, Cape May is the top North American birding spot, and spring is the best time to cast an eye as more than a million shorebirds pass through the area during May.

May and June weekend rates range from $240 to $395, for two people per night. Weekday rates are discounted, ranging from $195 to $310.

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