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Miniature Golf at Sunset Beach

Link to Channel 40's story about Sunset Beach 

Sunset BeachSunset Beach near Cape May, New Jersey 
Sunset Beach is one of our very favorite places. Besides having unusually beautiful sunsets over open water (not normally visible on the East Coast), Sunset Beach has three things: the remains of the concrete ship "Atlantus", Cape May Diamonds, and the summer evening Flag Ceremony. All this, and free parking, too!    Directions
Atlantus, the concrete ship: in 1917, the United States joined World War I. Ships were quickly needed to transport soldiers and supplies to Europe. As an alternative to using steel, several ocean-going ships were made of reinforced concrete. They worked, but evidently were too slow to be economical, and were not used for very long after the war ended. In 1926, it was planned that one of these, the Atlantus, be used as part of a Ferry slip. It would be towed to a point near Cape May, and then purposely sunk so that a roadway to the ferry could be built over it. However, there was a mishap, the boat got stuck on a sand bar near its final destination, and there it remains, to this day. Today, due to the wear and ravages of time and the water, it takes a bit of imagination to recognize the Atlantus as a ship. Here are three pictures, one from 1955, and two from 1997:
concrete ship in 1955the concrete ship Atlantus at SunsetAtlantus seen from lighthouse click on pictures to enlarge
        1955                   1997              1997                     2010
In the 1997 shot from the top of nearby Cape May Lighthouse, you can just make out the outline of the old concrete ship in Delaware Bay
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Cape May Diamonds: OK, they're not really diamonds, they're quartz crystals. But it's still a neat thing to try and find them on Sunset Beach. Just sit down on the beach and pick up a bunch of pebbles; you'll probably find at least one "diamond", and they're free for the taking! Cape May Diamonds can actually be polished and faceted, and made to look a bit like the real thing. Take them home and put them in your tumbler to polish them, or just step into one of the three gift shops at Sunset Beach, where you'll find many Cape May Diamonds already polished, mounted in jewelry, and for sale.
picking up diamonds from beachdiamonds and pendantpolished diamonds(click on the pictures if you'd like to enlarge them)

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Summer Evening Flag Ceremony
It's a Tradition. Every sunset, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, there's a ceremony.  It goes like this: first, Marvin Hume, the owner of Sunset Beach (which includes three gift shops and a snack bar), asks for children to volunteer to help lower the flag. Many families reserve a night for their children to lower the flag a year in advance. The children are told that there is a proper way to fold the flag, and that they will be shown how to do it. The flags at Sunset Beach are special. They are all U.S. servicemen's casket flags. When you visit, ask Mr. Hume about some of the stories behind these flags, and how he came by them. As the sun sets, the pounding of the surf is joined by Kate Smith singing "God Bless America." A crowd gathers, and the National Anthem is played. Some people salute. Then Taps is played, and the children lower the flag, being careful to catch it so that it doesn't touch the ground. The children then fold the flag under the instruction of Mr. Hume, as the crowd wanders back down to the beach to watch the setting sun, the waves, perhaps a far-off ocean-going ship or the Cape May Ferry, or possibly to resume looking for Cape May Diamonds. We're very lucky to be here!
 (click on the pictures if you'd like to enlarge them)
Marvin Hume returns a casket flag to the family of a veteran after lowering it at the evening flag ceremony

folding the flagMarvin Hume shows child how to fold the flag
evening flag loweringThe flag is lowered

Link to local TV Channel 40 news story about Marvin Hume and the Evening Flag Ceremony at Sunset Beach  

Miniature Golf at Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach has an 18-hole miniature golf course (the first 9 holes are handicap-accessible). You can see Delaware Bay from our course!


Sounds on .WAV files

as the crowd watches, some saluting, the mournful sound of taps is accompanied by the waves of  Delaware Bay as the serviceman's flag is lowered

Note: if you're using Internet Explorer, you will want to hit the Media Player "Stop" button while this .WAV file loads. Play as soon as it finishes loading. Otherwise it won't sound right!


Directions:  from the center of Cape May, New Jersey, take Lafayette Avenue to West Perry Street, which turns into Sunset Boulevard; continue for about 3 miles. Sunset Boulevard ends at Sunset Beach. Feel free to call for directions as needed: 1-800-757-6468 (1-800-75 POINT).

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2013 Clay Mikolasy, Producer of "Great Places in South Jersey"       

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last edited 05/25/2013