The Mainstay Inn & Cottage

Designed in 1872, the property was originally established as a private gambling club.


Designed in 1872, the property was originally established as a private gambling club.

the mainstay inn and cottage interior





- +

The Basics


The Mainstay Inn was originally known as "The Clubhouse," a 19th century pleasure palace, where gentlemen gathered in an elegant setting for gambling and other amusements. Since 1976, visitors have been able to enjoy the same grand spaces, with fourteen foot ceilings, and museum quality antiques. The twelve spacious guest rooms are furnished with splendid antiques, much as they were in the 19th century, but now all have private bathrooms with tub and shower.

At a Glance

  • Free WiFi
  • Smoke-Free
  • Free Parking
  • Concierge Services
  • Fireplace or Fire Pit
  • Full House Rental
  • Weddings/Events

In the Know

  • Rent a bike and cycle through the area to see the historic sites of the city
  • Step on board one of the area’s charter fishing boats for deep sea and Delaware Bay fishing trips
  • Take a ghost tour of the area, which combines history and tales of local hauntings
  • Hop onboard the Cape May Whale Watcher and take in the dolphins and whales

Stay for the Story

The Mainstay Inn & Cottage is a captivating haven located in the heart of historic Cape May, NJ. This enchanting bed and breakfast boasts a rich history that dates back to the 19th century, offering a glimpse into the town's Victorian heritage.

Sip & Savor

Here are a few things to sip & savor when you visit…

Visit Cape May Winery for wine tasting and tapas
Enjoy the Blue Pig Tavern for classic and farm fresh american fare
The Ebbitt Room is known for its innovative cuisine, attentive service, and refined ambiance

See & Do

Here are a few things to see & do when you visit…

Enjoy a day at Cape May's beach, within walking distance (the inn will provide beach tags and chairs!)
Visit the Cape May Bird Observatory to learn more about birding and the beautiful birds that visit the area
Try Cape May Brewing Co. for a four-sample tasting or guided tour

Guest Reviews

Had a much deserved break due to my husband's excellent planning. This was our second time staying at the Mainstay. The host was welcoming, knowledgeable about the town, a pleasure to speak to and the food was off the charts delicious. Service was efficient and friendly. I'm looking forward to returning to this gem. A huge plus is the parking provided since parking in Cape May is sometimes challenging...just...See More


We've just returned from two nights in the Clay Room (our favorite) at the Mainstay Inn. We've been coming to the Mainstay Inn since before we were married - 20 years. It remains a stand-out among the Cape May B&Bs as well as the carriage ride narratives. Its stately 1872 architecture as well as landscaping give it a magnificent exterior. The interior boasts uncluttered Victorian warmth. The bed linens...See More

- Brandywine Lady

How is this showing 2 stars? Is it only a 2-star rating system? This place is amazing. Rooms are fabulous. Updated bathrooms and super clean. Beds are very comfy though only queen in most otherwise would be 6-stars ;) Breakfast are wonderful and afternoon tea with snacks is a nice afternoon break, if needed. The front porch is my favorite place. Whether at the main or the garden house.

- Mike Smith

The most accommodating and gracious owners and staff are what keep me and my husband coming to this magnificent B&B year after year. The house is extremely well cared for and is quite beautiful. Breakfasts and afternoon tea are delicious. Combine all of this with a short walk to the beach, and we couldn’t ask for more. Can’t wait to return…which we will!! Highly recommended!!!!

- Gloria Friedman

My husband and spent 3 nights in the Grant suite which was a lovely, clean space with a separate sitting room and a king size bed. The bathroom was large as well. This room is located on the top floor of this grand old house and although warned of the very steep back staircase to get to this room, it was a work out, especially carrying luggage up and...See More

- Lili Palladino

Rooms & Suites

# of Rooms: 12

Room Amenities: Air Conditioning, Bathrobes, Hair Dryer, Alarm Clocks, Antique Furnishings

For information on ADA accessibility for the facility or its rooms, please contact the property directly.


Smoking Policy: Outside - Only in designated areas

Family Friendly: Welcomes children over the age of 12

Food & Wine

Meals Offered: Breakfast

Special Diets Accommodated: Yes

Restaurant on Premises: No

Dining Amenities: Complimentary Afternoon Tea/Refreshments, Complimentary Beverages, Complimentary Early Coffee Tea, Complimentary Snacks, Special Diets Accommodated

Guest Services

Internet Service: Wireless

Front Desk/Security: Business Hours

Corporate Rates: Yes

Inn Amenities: Hot Breakfast, Concierge Services, Free Onsite Parking, Full House Rental Available, Gardens on Property, National Historic Registry, Weddings & Events Available

Weddings & Celebrations

Wedding/Reception/Event Facilities: Outdoor

Events Supported: Private Parties, Ceremonies, Receptions

The Journal

Bench on the beach overlooking a lighthouse.

5 of the Best Places to Visit for Labor Day

As the final celebration of summer, Labor Day is an...

A romantic couple cooking on a camping burner on a dock.

Your Guide to the Most Romantic Getaways on the East Coast

14 Romantic Getaways on the East Coast From the waterfalls...

A couple snuggling in cold weather

20 of the Most Romantic Things to Do in New Jersey

New Jersey boasts beautiful beaches, lush forests, and lively, upbeat...

A group of people running along a beach boardwalk

Explore the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk This Summer

Plan Your Beach Getaway! Walking along the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk...

Cash tip at a restaurant

Bed and Breakfast Tipping Etiquette: What You Need to Know

A Select Registry “Inn”sider’s Feature Questions often surface regarding bed...

Houses in a neighborhood

These are the BEST Things to do in Cape May This Summer!

The Jersey Shore is Waiting! Cape May, New Jersey, fondly...

Historic Hotel Saugutuck in Michigan with a classic car in front

Once Upon an Inn: Historic Hotels & Inns

Glimpse Into the Past at These 12 Historic Craft Lodging...


Location Type: Coastal