Candlelight Inn - A Seashore Bed & Breakfast
Table Of Contents
Looking for a perfect setting to make wonderful memories? Come join us at the Candlelight Inn, a Victorian Inn on the New Jersey Shore, located in North Wildwood in Cape May County. We specialize in making your vacation or romantic getaway a special time to be remembered.
Our bed and breakfast allows you a different experience from the traditional lodging found at hotels and motels. The Candlelight Inn, which is located in a lovely residential area of North Wildwood, NJ, is a charming Queen Anne Victorian home, built in 1905. It has the architecture of times gone by but will also provide you with all the modern amenities, including two electric vehicle charging stations; one is for Tesla cars and the other is universal. Our rooms have either gas or electric fireplaces, cable, wireless internet and some rooms even have double whirlpool tubs.
There are so many ways that you may enjoy our little bit of heaven at the Jersey shore, and all are just minutes away. Your perfect vacation may include kayaking and canoeing on the bay, or visiting the boardwalk with many rides and attractions. Our beaches in the Wildwoods are extremely wide with soft sand to walk on. Your perfect day can include sunning, tanning, surfing or swimming and there are no beach tags required.
To complete your vacation package, wonderful restaurants, shopping, cultural and historical activities are within a short drive of our bed and breakfast. Whatever your pleasure, it is here at the Candlelight Inn or just a few minutes away. It's for you to decide and for you to enjoy.
The Candlelight Inn is a beautifully restored New Jersey bed and breakfast built at the turn of the century by Leaming Rice. This Queen Anne, Victorian style structure served as the family home for many years and remained in the Rice family until it was purchased by its former innkeepers in 1985. Today, the Candlelight Inn can be enjoyed by couples seeking lodging for a romantic getaway. Authentic antique furnishings that include an 1855 sofa and other period pieces are yours to enjoy as you relax in our parlor.
To make your stay perfect in every way, one of the innkeepers is always available to attend to your needs. Time spent at the Candlelight Inn is always remembered as special. It is our small piece of the New Jersey Coast that we would like to share with you and your special someone.
For a Cape May bed and breakfast, Candlelight Inn in North Wildwood, New Jersey features a variety of accommodations for you in our Main House and in our Carriage House. No matter what you desire, a room is waiting for you at the Candlelight Inn.
Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Wanda O'Brien for sharing her own secrets with BBOnline.com! Why do most travelers stay at your inn?
We are located on an island by the Atlantic Ocean. Most visitors come in season and plan to go to spend time at the beach, boating, antiquing, wineries, historical sights, zoo, lighthouses, golfing, and great dining. In the shoulder seasons, guest still love to engage in many of these same activities as well as special events that are planned throughout the year. In the quiet season we are known for our Murder Mystery Weekends.
What are you best known for? What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?
We are known for our high quality of service. We (my husband Michael and I) run the inn and handle all guest relations. When guests book with us, we talk to them; when they arrive, we greet them; when they come to breakfast, we are the cooks; and when they leave, we are there to send them off. We do everything possible to make our guests feel at home and to provide the level of interaction that makes them comfortable. Additionally, our inn features both the traditional Victorian style as well as a Carriage House, with a more contemporary beach feel.
If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?
In the summer it is the free beach and the boardwalk. In the fall, winter and spring months you can still enjoy a stroll on the beach, but there are so many places to visit: museums, light houses, the zoo, wineries (5) and breweries (3). Cape May is a ten minute drive and they have so many unique shops and galleries that are open year round.
What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?
That when they come to the inn, they feel at home. And, when they come back, they feel like they are coming home.
What’s the best kept secret about the area?
We are just as fun to visit in the fall, winter, and spring!
If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?
We recommend our county zoo, which is one of the the top 10 small zoos in the country; visiting the wineries; Cape May; a boat trip through the marshes or out on the ocean; the lighthouses (2 in the area); and, of course, the beach and boardwalk. If you stay 4 nights one night is 50% off!
Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?
The beach and boardwalk is 3 blocks away. There are many great restaurants within walking distance also.
What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?
We have many, but we love Poppi's, Owens, and Dogtooth which are open year round. Our favorite seasonal places are The Establishment, and Beach Creek Oyster Bar and Grill.
Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?
How many rooms does your inn have?
We have 10 rooms.
Do you accept pets?
Not in season, but we will consider a small dog (crated) in the shoulder or off-seasons. We only have two rooms where this is a possibility.
All eight guestrooms are individually decorated with antique wood beds; period pieces of oak, walnut, pine, and mahogany abound. You will find oriental rugs, old prints and lace to remind you of years gone by. Many "special touches" include a decanter of sherry, chocolates, fresh flowers, robes, and slippers. All guestrooms have private baths, two have a double whirlpool tub. Most rooms have ceiling fans, all are air-conditioned and have fireplaces, televisions, and DVD players.
The Carriage House room and suite provide privacy in a modern seashore setting equipped with wicker furnishings. Both rooms feature king size beds, double whirlpool tubs, seasonal gas fireplaces, and outside decks. They are both air-conditioned, have ceiling fans, TVs, DVDs, and stereo systems. For all their modern settings, they also provide the "special touches" that include a decanter of sherry, chocolates, fresh flowers, robes, and slippers.
Central Avenue offers the perfect setting for the Candlelight Inn. With its wide borders and beautifully landscaped islands, it lends itself well to our quiet residential section of North Wildwood. Our spacious porch provides just the right spot for you to take in the view and be surrounded by a cool seashore breeze. Take a deep breath and the hint of salt air is yours for as long as you care to stay.
Our wraparound veranda makes the perfect place to shade the noonday sun and savor a short respite. Sit back and unwind in one of our many rocking chairs. Cozy-up in an old fashioned style porch swing or snooze in our hammock. Retreat to the outdoor sundeck if you wish, it features comfortable patio furniture and hot tub. As a romantic interlude we suggest you try the hot tub under a moonlit sky.
Fall, winter, and early spring are special times that we refer to as the "Quiet Season." This is a time to enjoy the warmth of the glowing fireplace on a chilly night, or a brisk walk down Central Avenue with a quick return to a cup of hot chocolate, coffe, or herbal tea. For the very warm-blooded, there's nothing like a winter walk on the beach or just some quiet time wrapped warmly and enjoying the afternoon sun on our veranda. Whatever time of year, the Candlelight Inn is the perfect bed and breakfast to relax, enjoy, and take time for yourself.
We occasionally rent the house for parties for select small groups. The Candlelight Inn welcomes small business meetings and seminars. We also offer many vacation packages year-round and for a weekend of intrigue, we specialize in Murder Mystery Parties (November through April).
Selected as a Top Ten Inn for the State of New Jersey. We are also a member of Select Registry, and a Diamond Collection Bed and Breakfast.
Breakfast is an occasion at the Candlelight Inn. It is served in the dining room at a large table amid a variety of antiquities that will delight even the most ardent collectors. You will find an original built-in oak breakfront with candles etched into the glass and chestnut pocket doors that are part of a beautiful 19th century dining room suite, as well as many fine collectibles. Our dining room has an air conditioning unit that is only used during our hottest days as the one wall of windows overlooking Central Avenue very often provides a wonderful ocean breeze to compliment your meal.
A breakfast highlight is the company and conversation you will enjoy with our other guests, truly a delightful way to start your day. Some are hesitant to share their morning with strangers before their first cup of coffee, but we have found everyone ends up feeling comfortable at our table and by the end of breakfast we need to kick people out to enjoy their day!
The three-course breakfast starts with a specially prepared fruit dish. A bread course is then served before the main meal. At the Candlelight Inn we offer two choices daily. There is always a “savory” and a “sweet” choice for your main meal. We prepare everything to order so we have breakfast sign-up posted the day before. We brew fresh coffee and have a variety of teas if you prefer. There is a choice of juices placed on the table. We serve locally grown produce when in season. Highlights include NJ peaches, corn, tomatoes as well as homegrown herbs and vegetables.
If the inn is more than 50% full there are two seating times in order to accommodate everyone staying at the inn. You can choose either 8:15 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. so if you have a preference it is recommended that you sign up early. We have had guests phone in their orders!
Very often in the Quiet Season breakfast is served at one set time or if necessary something can be prepared for an early start to your day or a need to sleep in.
We welcome and can accommodate any dietary need with advance notice.
Michael and Wanda O’Brien both fell in love with the ocean at an early age. Michael, who grew up on Long Island, spent many childhood summers at the family beach house and later would frequently visit his former college roommate in Wildwood. Wanda, a New Hampshire native, fondly remembers her family’s trips to the beach and the old wooden boardwalk near her grandmother’s home in Brick, NJ.
So, it’s not surprising that when the couple decided they wanted to take the plunge and buy a bed and breakfast, they kept coming back to the beach.
After an exhaustive search, the O’Briens purchased the Candlelight Inn from longtime owners Bill and Nancy Moncrief in July 2014. The classic Victorian charm, central location to both the Cape May wine trail and Wildwood entertainment, and, most importantly, the proximity to the beach was exactly what they had been looking for in a bed and breakfast.
While Michael has an extensive business background, the bed and breakfast has allowed him to tap into his true passion for cooking. His enthusiasm for fresh ingredients and creative cuisine is evident in every dish he serves. Wanda, who admits to having no cooking skills, manages the day-to-day operations of the inn and also serves as the main taste-tester for Michael’s many culinary endeavors.
Michael and Wanda have two adult sons – Brian, currently enlisted in the PA Army National Guard and working and Vinny, a senior at Temple majoring in finance.
The family spent many years living in Huntington Station, Long Island and later moved to Schnecksville, Pa. in 2010.
The O’Briens also have two dogs and a cat – Ozzy, an Australian Cattle dog; Cooper, a Australian Kelpi; and Lily, a house cat – that reside in the owners quarters for the comfort of guests with allergies.
Michael O’Brien grew up in Rockville Center, Long Island and later attended Muhlenberg College, in Allentown, Pa., where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history. He went on to receive a graduate degree in law from Rutgers University School of Law in New Brunswick, NJ.
Michael has had a diverse career that includes being an educator, serving as a teacher, administrator and school president, and in-house counsel for two Fortune 200 companies.
Most recently, he served as a deacon for Zion’s United Church of Christ (the Liberty Bell Church) in Allentown, Pa.
Over the years, Michael has played an active role in the community by coaching his son’s sports teams, volunteering with the Boy Scouts, and helping with his church’s many charitable events.
Wanda O’Brien was born and raised in Manchester, NH. She later moved to New York to attend New York University and graduated with a degree in theater with a minor in psychology. During her years living in the city she worked as a casting agent for a TV commercial company and had the opportunity to meet and work with celebrities including B.B. King and Wendy’s restaurant chain owner Dave Thomas. She later received a master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University and worked for the Henry Viscardi School in Albertson, N.Y., an accredited model school for children with severe physical disabilities and who often require life-sustaining medical treatment throughout the day. In Pennsylvania, Wanda worked for The Impact Project, a private children and youth agency offering assistance to foster care youth and families.
Cape May County is rich with activities for a Jersey Shore vacation and will provide all of our guests with fun, relaxation, and education. While you are a guest of the Candlelight Inn, we hope the variety of things to do in the area will make it enjoyable.
The Wildwood boardwalk, beach, fine restaurants, tennis courts, and shopping are all within a few minutes walk. Whatever your pleasure, it's within a short distance of the Candlelight Inn. The best biking, fishing, boating, historical sightseeing, zoo, casinos, golf courses, the recently restored Hereford Inlet Lighthouse; it's for you to decide and for you to enjoy.
Looking for that special piece from the past? Cape May County is filled with antique stores. Spend a day meandering along back roads or strolling through the Washington Street Mall to look for that special item. List of Cape May County antique shops.
There are beaches galore on the island of the Wildwoods, and they are all free to the public. From the wide expanses in the center of the island to the more narrow beaches with sand dunes on the north, there is a patch of sand for everyone. The beaches are wide, and the sand is soft to the touch. For sunning, tanning, surfing, or swimming; the Wildwood beaches have no equal. No beach tags are required.
Wildwood has 3 miles of boardwalk that features a variety of amusements including roller coasters and water rides. Visit www.moreyspiers.com and Splashzone Interactive Water Park for more information.
There are many opportunities to play golf in the Cape May/Atlantic County area of New Jersey. Since the range in skill level and golf fees vary widely, we recommend that you check out each golf course Web site for additional details. In many cases, you may book tee times on-line. Of course, we are always happy to make arrangements for you. List of Cape May golf courses.
History and Nature
History abounds in South Jersey.For those interested in a look into the past, consider these locations:
- Cape May County Park & Zoo, www.capemayzoo.org
- Wetlands Institute, www.wetlandsinstitute.org
- Historic Cold Spring Village, www.hcsv.org
- Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, www.herefordlighthouse.org
- Leaming's Run Garden, www.leamingsrungardens.com
Cape May County has several wineries that are favorites among our guests. Spend an afternoon visiting, touring, and tasting. For more information, go to Cape May Winery (capemaywinery.com), Hawk Haven Vineyard (www.hawkhavenvineyard.com), Turdo Vineyard (www.turdovineyards.com), and Natali Vineyard (www.nataliwines.com). The Garden State Winegrower's Association has also set up a Wine Trail for you to be sure to get a "taste" of all the wineries.
For information about these and other fun activities in Cape May County, we recommend the following Web sites:
- Cape May County Department of Tourism, www.thejerseycape.com
- Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce, www.gwcoc.com
- Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, www.capemaycountychamber.com
We invite you to take a few moments to read some of their thoughts and memories of the Candlelight Inn:
"The time spent here was like being 'home away from home,' only better." Warren, OH
"We were reminded again that what makes a B&B special is meeting the other guests and getting to know the hosts. This is the true treasure of this place." Ardmore, PA
"Bill & Nancy are the best and the housekeeper treats this place as if it's her own business and it shows!" Marlton, NJ
"Quietness, serenity – something you can't buy." Moorestown, NJ
"No place could be as relaxing, comfortable and peaceful as the Candlelight Inn." Elmwood Park, NJ
"The romantic, relaxing setting made for a peaceful break from our busy life and a very special 15th anniversary celebration." Bear, DE
"The Candlelight Inn is a real jewel." Lake George, NY
"We have found our beach home away from home as it feels like our own while we are here." Athens, PA
"A great location, warm and friendly hospitality, and a warm & cozy atmosphere." Raritan, NJ
"The Candlelight Inn has become our getaway place. Everytime we are here, it is truly special." Edison, NJ
"This place has a special place in our hearts." Cherry Hill, NJ
Top 10 Reasons to Stay at the Candlelight Inn
- Being @Home even when you're so far from home.
- Bill & Nancy
- The Refreshment Table (hot chocolate on the porch! Yum!)
- The "Little House on the Prairie" Phone!
- Apple Cinnamon Pancakes! (and I don't like pancakes either!)
- Cool Lock on the Front Door!
- Baked Maple Pears! (and I don't even like pears!)
- Location! Location! Location
- The Porch!
- Really Soft Sheets!
"Your hospitality matches the graciousness and comfort of this home you run." Alexandria, VA
"We've already phoned friends about your cozy Inn and will most certainly return." Westfield, NJ
"The experience was even better than we anticipated – from the cozy room and delicious breakfasts to the midnight dip in the outdoor hot tub." New York City, NY
"We'll tell our friends about you for sure." Castleton, NY
"Wine in Blue Meadow's two-person whirlpool tub was a romantic way to end our nights." Philadelphia, PA
"It seems you've thought of everything to make your guests very comfortable." North Plainfield, NJ
"Wow! What a way to celebrate our anniversary. Romance is alive at the Candlelight." Mays Landing, NJ
"From the moment we arrived your hospitality was astounding. This was an amazing place to unwind and relax." Lindenhurst, NY
"We had the best time from the moment we arrived." Freehold, NJ
"This is our third visit to a B&B. The care, the details, the friendliness, the amenities and love you provide make the Candlelight Inn the Best and most Beautiful experience we will cherish." Marlton, NJ
"If you only have one vacation to take, spend it at the Candlelight." Jackson, NJ
"We really did get a chance to just be us and leave all the challenges for another day." Sicklerville, NJ
"This was our first B&B experience. Our stay at the Candlelight has set the standard by which others will have to match." Hewitt, NJ
Our stay at your Inn was like visiting the home of a good friend." Barnegat, NJ
"You have managed to capture some of the old world charm & calm of yesteryear." Staten Island, NY
"We got engaged at the Candlelight Inn!!" Lafayette Hill, PA
"Just a little tip – go to breakfast extremely hungry – there is a lot of food." Jenette, PA
"Celebrating her birthday was special – the Candlelight completed the package." Tuckerton, NJ
"The very nature of candlelight brings a calm, serene, and peaceful feeling to a home – and that's why this place was named so perfectly." Flushing, NY
"The only way to describe it is to call it perfect." Hershey, PA
"This is a wonderful place with such excellent features as being away from the 'crowds' in Cape May (but not too far for touring)." Annapolis, MD
"Sitting on your veranda reminded me so much of the home I lived in as a child – wonderful memories." Charlotte, NC
"Rest assured that you have chosen a charming B&B where you can rest your head in a tranquil setting." Mannerville, NY
"Just took a dip in the hot tub out back & am now enjoying the warmth of the fireplace & brandy. Wow!!!" Ankeny, IA
"We'll be back!!" Montvale, NJ
How To Find Us
- Garden State Parkway to Exit 6
- Rt. 147 East into N. Wildwood to 2nd Avenue.
- Make left on 2nd (Anglesea Vol. Fire Co), go to Central Avenue
- Make right on Central; go to 24th
- Inn is on right at 24th & Central
- Turn on 24th, pull into drive and park in rear
Eastbound: (from Philadelphia)
- Atlantic City Expressway to Exit 7S to Garden State Parkway as above
Eastbound: (from Delaware)
- Delaware Memorial Bridge to Rt. 40
- East to Rt. 55
- South to Rt. 47
- Go 3 miles on Rt. 47 to Rt. 347
- Stay on Rt. 347 for 8 1/2 miles to Rt. 47 again at light
- Take Rt. 47 approx. 12 miles to Rt. 618
- Turn left at Rt. 618 which becomes Rt. 147 after 3 miles
- Stay on Rt. 147 for approx. 3 1/2 miles to 2nd Ave, as above
- From Ferry or Cape May take G.S. Pkwy North to Exit 4 into Wildwood
- After bridge, go to the 6th traffic light and turn left on Atlantic Ave
- Go thru Wildwood to 24th Ave
- Turn left on 24th, go 1 block to Central Ave. and Inn is as above