At night, Cape May illustrates why it’s among 25 ‘most festive towns’ in U.S.

When the sun goes down on these short December days, the lights go on in Cape May’s parks, bed-and-breakfast inns, private homes and the pedestrian mall on Washington Street. They’re all decked out for the holidays.

Best known as a beach resort, the quaint New Jersey town keeps things going through the winter. And the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, a community group, offers trolley tours of the town to view its illuminated buildings and inns. Restaurants are open, and numerous events are planned through the month.

Cape May was recently listed as one of the 25 most festive towns in the United States by, which cited the Candy Cane Lane light displays at the historic Congress Hall Hotel and the self-guided walking tours that include the decorated inns and homes.

On Cape May Harbor, homes, restaurants and boats also seem to get into the spirit as their lights reflect on the water.

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Stand-out scenes include a huge tree on the front lawn of the Congress Hall Hotel; the extensive displays along the Washington Street Mall; and the historic Emlen Physick estate on Lafayette Street, operated by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts. Decorated bed-and-breakfast inns stand out in the area of Ocean Street and Columbia Avenue, but almost any neighborhood in the small town will include some elaborate decorations.

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