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 adult only bed and breakfast allows you a different experience from the traditional lodging found at area hotels and motels. When you enter our front doors an Inglenook with a gas fireplace and wooden benches greets you. In the fall and winter months this is a warm and cozy spot. There are many antique furnishings throughout the home including a Victrola, Secretary, and claw foot tables. Many of the original gas chandeliers now double as electric ones. The original built-in cabinetry and the balustrades on the stairs have candles carved into them, a warm sign of welcome to all who visit. Our home is four stories tall in its grandeur so you will work off those famously filling breakfasts. 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.
Our wraparound veranda makes the perfect place to savor a short respite. Sit back and unwind in one of our many rocking chairs or play a board game at the table. Cozy-up in an old fashioned style porch swing or snooze in our two-person hammock. Retreat to the outdoor sundeck behind our Carriage House if you wish, it features comfortable patio furniture and a six-person hot tub. As a romantic interlude we suggest you try the hot tub under a moonlit sky.
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.
The Candlelight Inn is a beautifully maintained Queen Anne Victorian home built at the turn of the century by Leaming and Sarah Rice. When the home was first built, it was a block and a half to the beach which came up to Atlantic Avenue. With very little built around the home, we imagine there were fabulous ocean views. Today the walk to the ocean has expanded to three blocks due to changes in the shoreline.Central Avenue offers the perfect setting for the Candlelight Inn. With its wide lanes and beautifully landscaped islands, it is a quiet residential street running the length of North Wildwood. With a coveted Central Avenue address the home’s grand front staircase actually faces 24th Avenue. Our spacious wrap-around 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.
To make your stay perfect in every way, either Wanda or Michel, the innkeepers who live on-stie are 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 shore that we would like to share with you and your special someone.
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, satellite TV, and DVD players,. For all their modern settings, they also provide the "special touches" that include a decanter of sherry, chocolates, fresh flowers, robes, and slippers.
Your time at the Candlelight Inn during the spring, summer, and fall moths provides a peaceful rest while a variety of wonderful activities await you only minutes away. From the beach and the Hereford Lighthouse to the boardwalk with rides and attractions, to the bay with kayaking and canoeing; our B&B is moments from where your perfect vacation begins. The beaches in the Wildwoods are wide, and the sand is soft to the touch. For sunning, tanning, surfing, or swimming on the New Jersey Shore, there is no equal. The best part is our beaches our free. Need a break - whether you like to golf, fish, bike, or swim there is plenty to accommodate your desires.
Late 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).
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 and Vinny, both residing in the Philadelphia area.
The family spent many years living in Huntington Station, Long Island and later moved to Schnecksville, Pa. in 2010.
The O’Briens also have a dogsand a cat – 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 a private children and youth agency offering assistance to foster care youth and families.
Cape May County is rich with activities 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 attractions in the area will make it enjoyable.
Whatever your pleasure they can be met in Cape May County. From golf and mini-golf courses to Historical landmarks, museums, and lighthouses, to nature preserves and the Cape May County Zoo, to fishing or whale and dolphin watching excursions, to salt marsh tours, trolley tours, Victorian home tours, there is literally something for everyone! Wildwood is known for its Doo Wop Museum and 50’s architectural landmarks around the island. The boardwalk is a time capsule that hosts many wonderful events such as car shows. Check out local attractions at
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. The inn is a three block walk to the beach.
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
- Cape May Lighthouse, https://www.capemaymac.org/cape-may-lighthouse
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 Willow Creek Winery, http://willowcreekwinerycapemay.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:
We invite you to take a few moments to read some of their thoughts and memories of the Candlelight Inn:
"What a wonderful way to celebrate our 30th anniversary! The Candlelight has such a warm, cozy atmosphere, the bed is sooo comfortable, & breakfast delicious. Thanks for your hospitality. We'll be back. Pam and Joe"
"This was our first time in a B&B and we couldn't be happier. The room was delightful and breakfast delish. Deb and Scott"
"We had an amazing time here doing the Murder Mystery! You guys were fantastic and went above and beyond for us. We will definitely be back soon. Ariel and Arten."
"This was our first time staying here - I have been to many B&B's, but none have come close to the pleasant atmosphere & hospitality as this - Wanda and Mike make you feel as if you have known them forever - so welcome & comfortable. The entire stay has been a time of joy & pleaseure. Ally & Joe"
"Thank you for everything, especially making my mother's birthday extra special. Your place is wonderful, your service - excellent, and the delightful breakfast - mmm! We both have truly enjoyed our welcome here. Rebecca and Linda"
"Our stay here was fun, peaceful and just fantastic. For the second time around, I must say, it gets better-n-better. We love you guys, you are like our second family. See you again soon. Guy and Michelle"
The Seashore sute "was a perfect refuge for my mom, my sister, and me. We were so comfortable ...I hope to bring my husband here to enjoy it next time! Jenny"
"We had an absolutely amazing honeymoon here at the Candlelight Inn! THis was our first time staying at a Bed & Breakfast and we loved it! The rooms are gorgeous and the service was great. My husband and I looked forward to "cookie-o'clock" every day at 5 pm, where we could just sit on one of the rockers on the porch and relax...Our honeymoon was such a great experience and we had such a nice time making memories at the Candlelight Inn. Thank you Michael and Wanda for giving us such an amazing time. Tina and Ryan"
"We enjoyed our stay at your beautiful B&B, celebrating another anniversary. You are both so warm & welcoming. I usually like to try different places because we only take one weekend trip a year without our children, but because we left last year with such fond memories we chose to stay again...Brenda and Darren"
"...From breakfast to the great reccommendations for dinner to the relaxing hot tub, you made our spring break retreat a getaway we will not forget! We hope to see you again soon! Nancy and Nick"
"What a fabulous R&R we have had at your B&B! -beautiful deco, atmospere, -great conversations, cookies, -super comphy bedding, -heavenly delicious breakfasts! We sure hope to return soon! Lou and Connie
PS love the porch too!"
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