The Gingerbread House
Table Of Contents
The Gingerbread House Bed and Breakfast is located in the heart of Victorian Cape May's historic district, the Gingerbread House is less than a block from the beach and promenade and merely two blocks from the Cape May Victorian Mall. Cape May's attractions and finest restaurants are also within walking distance.
As you enter the long foyer of the Gingerbread House, you'll notice the chestnut and walnut staircase. You'll love the light and airy feeling that surrounds you. The peaceful sounds of the classical music playing in the background will warm your soul. Authentic Victorian antiques adorn all of the rooms. The large stain glass window in the dining room is a real eye-catcher. The delightful breezes and the sounds of the sea create a romantic setting at the Gingerbread House.
Built in 1869, The Gingerbread House is one of the original Stockton Row Cottages. This carpenter gothic style house was designed by the famous architect, Stephen Decatur Button. Originally, The Gingerbread House was a summer retreat for wealthy families who, together with their servants and nannies, would travel from Philadelphia and Virginia to summer in Cape May. Since 1979, The Gingerbread House has been among the finest bed and breakfast inns.
2010 "Fine Homebuilding" Magazine - 1st Place Exterior Trim Contest
- Air conditioned guest rooms
- Ceiling fan in guest rooms
- Flat panel LCD TV's
- Wireless high speed connection
- Beach towel in rooms
- Beach Chairs
- Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and hairdryers
- 500 TC Sateen Sheets
- Fireplace in Parlor
- Classical and easy listening music plays in the Parlor and Dining Room
- Board games available
- Bicycle storage (bring your own lock)
- Guest refrigerator and telephone (free local telephone calls)
- Enclosed outside shower with changing area and shower amenities. Available on day of departure until 2pm.
- Breakfast and coffe/tea & refreshments available throughout the day
The Gingerbread House offers six charming guest rooms, several with private baths. The master bedroom boasts a spacious private porch.
All of our lovely guest rooms are embellished in beautiful lace curtains. The walls are adorned with original watercolor paintings by Jane Echevarria. The large share bath on the 3rd floor is decorated in corian and handcrafted teak wood cabinetry.
A delicious home-baked breakfast is served every morning buffet style in the elegant dining room between 8:30am. - 10am. Guests can enjoy their breakfast in either the dining room or on the front porch. Our healthy style breakfast consists of coffee, teas, juice, homemade granola cereal, assorted yogurts, fresh seasonal sliced fruit or fruit compote, home-baked coffee cakes, muffins or cinnamon buns, and a hot special breakfast casserole of the day.
Coffee/Tea and refreshments
Coffee, tea and refreshments (homemade brownies, cookies, pretzels and mints) are available throughout the day.
Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Joan and Fred Echevarria for sharing their own secrets with BBOnline.com! Why do most travelers stay at your inn?
Centrally located and close to beach. Great reviews on Trip Advisor. Restored Inn with modern comforts.
What are you best known for? What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?
Known for being quaint and very friendly. 2010 "Fine Homebuilding" magazine 1st place exterior trim contest winner. It's a Woodworkers Masterpiece! What we love the most about our inn are the returning guests!
If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?
Charming historical oldest seaside beach town
What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?
AFter 33 years in business, the best compliment are our loyal returning guests/friends.
What’s the best kept secret about the area?
Our towns uniqueness and cultural activities
If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?
It depends on the season - beach, biking, birding, hiking, shopping, eating at fabulous restaurants, lighthouses, tours, wineries and theater.
Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?
What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?
We have many fine restaurants and many varieties.
Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference? How many rooms does your inn have?
We have 6 rooms.
Do you accept pets?
We don't accept pets.
Picturesque Cape May holds the distinction of being the oldest seashore resort in the United States and one of the most unique. Stretching 20 miles out to sea, this oasis of ambiance is a refuge from the hectic 20th century American lifestyle. It is a place to relax, to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean, the city's charming Mall, and most of all, to view the largest collection of authentic Victorian structures in the nation. An important milestone was reached in the Bicentennial Year of 1976 when Cape May was officially designated a National Historic Landmark City, only one of five in the nation.
- Cape May Zoo
- Dr. Henry Hunt House
- The Colonial House
- Historic Cold Spring Village
- George F. Boyer Historical Museum
- Stone Harbor Museum
- Dennis Township School Museum
- Ocean City Historical Museum
- Cape May Firemen's Museum
- Baldt House
- Pink House
- Annie Knight & Joseph Evans Houses
- Cape May County Historical Museum
- Leamings Run
- The Abbey
- Southern Mansion
- The Winship
- Chalfonte Hotel
- Congress Hall
- Emlen Physick House & Estate
- Higbee Beach
- Whale Watching
- Cape May Bird Observatory
- Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge
- Stone Harbor Point
- Nummy Island
- Belleplain State Forest
- New Jersey Audubon's Nature Center
- Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
- Avalon Seawatch
- Cape May Point State Park
- Cape May Point Lighthouse
- Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
- East Point Lighthouse
- Absecon Lighthouse
- Delaware Bay Lighthouses
Joan and Fred Echevarria bought the Gingerbread House in 1979. Fred gave up his position as a clinical psychologist to move to Cape May and to restore the Gingerbread House. Gingerbread House - Bed and Breakfast - Cape May New JerseyJoan continued to commute on a daily basis to Philadelphia to work at an investment firm. This trek to Philadelphia lasted for 13 long years. She now works at the Gingerbread House full-time.
The house has been meticulously and impeccably restored with tender loving care. The first part of the restoration took place by replacing or repairing all the major utilities - electrical, roofing, plumbing, foundation, installing a heating system, and a lot of painting and scraping. Fred and Joan's families gave them a lot of support by helping with the painting and other fun projects. After a few years of running the Gingerbread House , all the rooms were redone for a second time. Some of the modifications include adding and restoring bathrooms, knocking down walls to modify guest rooms, scraping and removing all the paint from the walls and woodwork, and wallpapering the entire house. Fred works tremendously hard at maintaining the Gingerbread House to perfection. Outside and inside painting, building fences, additions added to the rear of the house, tearing down chimneys, retrofitting and making windows and designing and planning for the Gingerbread House have kept this couple very busy.
Fred has become a self-taught master craftsman. He has restored all the bathrooms by fabricating Corian counter tops Gingerbread House - Bed and Breakfast - Cape May New Jerseyand sink combinations along with Corian showers, backsplashes and windowsills. Gingerbread House - Bed and Breakfast - Cape May New JerseyHe has made the woodwork and the cabinetry in the bathrooms out of Teak wood. The shower doors have been made out of Teak wood and glass. Many guests say it reminds them of a ship. Fred has also designed and made the two double exterior front doors out of Teak wood and beveled glass. The transom glass above the double doors is also of Teak wood and ornate design of beveled glass panels. Fred has recently become interested in metal work. Also self-taught, he has designed the front door handles and assorted hardware out of titanium - a lightweight and very durable metal. The inlaid carnelian stones add a special touch to the glamour of the door handles. Throughout the house Fred's wonderful woodwork is evident. His designs are evident in the dining room Teak wood weather station, the rosewood barometer cabinet and the walnut shadow box coffee table. The coffee table is used as a display cabinet for Joan's seashell collection for the guests to enjoy. A three-panel large stain glass window (which blends with the wallpaper colors perfectly) was placed in the dining room in a Teak wood frame when Fred removed the clear glass window. Although off premise to their guests, Fred has refinished the kitchen with Corian countertops and such.
Fred's handiwork is seen throughout the house. Fred has handcrafted the two front porches, arches surrounding the porches and the railings. Bob Villa actually signed one of the porch arches on his tour through Cape May. In order for Fred to make all of his goodies he had to build a workshop in the rear of the property so he'd have a place for his creative juices to flow.
Joan has chosen to decorate the interior of the house with light and bright colors instead of the typical darker colors of the Victorian era. The wallpapers have been tastefully chosen to coordinate with the upholstery and pillow fabrics. She has made all the lace curtains throughout the house. One can see the art glass collection, the jack in the pulpit vase collection, animal teapot collection, cranberry glass and the paperweight collection throughout the house. The garden in the front yard, however small, is very mighty with some unusual flowers. The garden is one of Joan's hobbies and passions. The garden is adorned with blue thistles, phlox, balloon flowers, daisies, coreopsis, vinca and an assortment of other flowers to coordinate with the exterior colors of the house. When Joan isn't busy gardening, managing the Gingerbread House and taking reservations, she's hard at work in the kitchen preparing a wide assortment of baked goodies for breakfast and afternoon tea.
Classical music is played in the parlor for the guests to enjoy. The wood-burning fireplace is an enjoyment in the wintertime as guests drink wine or have afternoon tea. The wicker filled front porch is a favorite gathering spot in the summer for breakfast, afternoon tea or just plain chatting with other guests, while listening to the sounds of the sea and enjoying the light ocean breezes.
Original artwork fills the walls at the Gingerbread House. Jane, Fred's mother, painted many watercolor paintings of Cape May homes and interior scenes, and then published a book. All of her pictures are on display at the Gingerbread House. Prior to buying and restoring the Gingerbread House, Fred was involved with photography. Many of his pictures are framed in handmade teak and cherry wood. Other artwork by a notable painter, Mary Whyte from Charleston, S.C. formerly of the Philadelphia area, fills the many walls. The artwork is bright and cheery to keep with the taste of the colors and feeling created in this house.
Authentic Victorian antiques fill each room with flair. The woods are either rosewood or walnut and much of the furniture has been hand refinished and restored. The marble tops range in color from white, taupe, peach and rose. Joan and Fred searched for the antiques from Newport, R.I. down to Charleston, S.C. and had many eventful experiences in their antiquing jaunts. The very beautiful secretaries, armoires, sofa sets, bed sets, chairs, tables, dining room servers are a few examples of the antique jewels throughout the house.
Fred's talent in craftsmanship and Joan's personality and eye for decorating have made the Gingerbread House a success.
Our inn best suits well-behaved children over 5 years of age.
. . .Thank you for your hospitality...We will definitely return. . .
. . .Sincere appreciation for your many courtesies during our stay at your beautiful home. .
. . . We hope to get back to visit again real soon. Everything was just great. Your home is beautiful and both of your personalities are great for your business. Your warm hospitality and friendship during our stay was so very much appreciated! We felt like we were at home.
. . .We had the most wonderful time at the Gingerbread House. You are very special folks and we enjoyed the comraderie we had with you very much. Thank you for making our vacation so special. It was difficult to leave. Joan, all of your suggestions were super! Your breakfasts were so delicious.
From New York and North Jersey:
Follow Garden State Parkway to mile zero. Follow route 109 and cross the bridge (boat marina will be on the left). At the next traffic light (Madison Ave), turn left. Go 3 blocks to Columbia Ave, turn right. Proceed to Gurney St (monument is in the middle of the road), turn left. Gingerbread House is the 3rd house on the right. Park at the yellow line to check-in.
Follow Interstate 76 East and cross Walt Whitman Bridge. Follow Route 42 to the Atlantic City Expressway. Follow Atlantic City Expressway to the Garden State Parkway (exit 7S). Follow Garden State Parkway to mile zero. Follow the directions above.
From Washington, DC:
Consider taking the Cape May Lewes Ferry, (1-800-64-Ferry) reservation costs $5. From the Washington beltway (route 495) take Route 50 east across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Follow signs for the shortest route to the Cape May Lewes Ferry. After arriving at the ferry terminal in Cape May, follow the exit road and bear to the right. Follow Ferry Road to Route 626 and turn right. Go to the dead-end (Beach Dr.) and turn left. Go to the 5th traffic light (Gurney St.), turn left. The Gingerbread House is the 7th house on the left.
From Baltimore and Washington:
You may want to take the Cape May Lewes Ferry (see directions above) or Follow Interstate 95 North towards Wilmington and Delaware Memorial Bridge. After crossing the bridge, follow Route 40 East towards Atlantic City. After the town of Elmer get on Route 55 South. This will eventually put you on Route 47 south, follow to Route 347 south, and then back on route 47 until you get to the Garden State Parkway. See the directions from New York to get to the Gingerbread House.