The Search For Stars Hollow: Cape May, New Jersey

At the Emlen Physick Estate and Museum
The entire run of Gilmore Girls recently became available on Netflix, and re-watching it has renewed a longtime obsession of mine: finding a real-world community like Stars Hollow, the charming but fictional Connecticut town in which Lorelei and Rory Gilmore wittily banter.

Before I became obsessed with Stars Hollow, I was in love with Cicely, Alaska, the equally fictional, equally charming setting of Northern Exposure.

Towns like these--cozy, quirky, lively, and artsy--do exist in real life.  Before our careers brought us to the Philly suburbs, my family lived in just such a small town--Yellow Springs, Ohio.  We've missed it ever since we moved away.  And Andre and I have turned our obsession into a hobby, taking day trips in search of the little town of our dreams.

This weekend our search brought us to Cape May on the southmost tip of New Jersey.  With its colorfully painted Victorian homes and its pretty beaches, Cape May is a popular summer shore destination for Philadelphians. 

Last weekend, most of the town's restaurants and hotels were preparing to shut down for the season.  The streets were quiet, and we found ourselves surrounded by mostly locals, battening down the hatches for the long sleepy winter.

Homey and picturesque, with plenty of great places to eat and shop, Cape May is a little gem of a town.

Too bad it's not quite in commuting distance!


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