Island Hopping: The Wildwoods

Cape May County is a treasure trove of thrills, games, specialty seafood, happy hour specials, traditional family-style restaurants, beach gear, breakfast spots, sweet treats and relaxing rituals. Yet with its 620-square-mile span, this Jersey Shore county can be quite daunting. With all this ground to cover, where should you even begin? We’re here with our 11th edition of Island Hopping for the season, offering some of our favorite places to “do the shore.” This week we’re hopping to the Wildwoods, five miles of free beaches, a world-famous boardwalk, thrilling amusements and water parks, incredible dining, a variety of shops and so much more!

While Duffer’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor in on Pacific Avenue in Wildwood is widely known for its homemade ice cream treats, breakfast here is just as delicious! With endless possibilities such as specialty breakfast sandwiches, light and tender Duffermade pancakes, omelettes made with fresh country eggs, stuffed French toast and much, much more, everyone is sure to leave Duffer’s with satisfied stomachs!

After breakfast, hop on a bike and take a ride through the Wildwoods. Green’s Bike Rentals on Ocean Avenue in Wildwood provides a wide range of bikes and surreys, making sure each member of your family gets the bicycle they want. Every customer is approached with a focus on service, family and fun! Green’s makes it easy to rent bikes while on vacation with free delivery and pick up on all weekly rentals in the Wildwoods!

For lunch, check out Poppi’s located on New Jersey Avenue in Wildwood, serving up signature dishes like Crispy Rice Balls, Parmesan Truffle Fries, Seafood Risotto, Caprese Salad and more. Brick oven pizza is Poppi’s specialty, created with the highest quality ingredients and pizza dough made on the premises daily. Pair your meal with local wine from Hawk Haven Winery, and finish it off with one of Poppi’s homemade specialty desserts!

If you prefer a relaxing lunch in the comfort of your own place – whether that be a hotel room, condo or house – Fish House Market & Eatery in Wildwood Crest can provide you with delicious seafood to go. Order raw and Fish House will give you the lemon and spices needed to whip up a home-cooked meal, or order it cooked and let them do the work for you!

Next, it’s time to go wild at Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks! Cool off and make a splash at one of two water parks. Raging Waters Water Park is a wet and wild adventure for the entire family, and Ocean Oasis Water Park + Beach Club boasts a small getaway among exciting waterslides and play areas. Three amusement piers await you and your family when you’re ready for some thrills. Mariner's Pier offers the atmosphere of a traditional amusement park, Surfside Pier is a vibrant seaside carnival with neon colors, bright lights and music, and Adventure Pier is the pier that ROCKS. Visit them all for a memorable boardwalk experience!

Your dinner options are endless in the Wildwoods. Over on the waterfront at Schooner Landing in Wildwood, Beach Creek Oyster Bar & Grille offers contemporary coastal cuisine with an international flair – cuisine your family will love for dinner. Save room to sample one of the oyster specialties, with at least three different oyster dishes offered daily.

In the mood for traditional Italian cuisine? Look no further than Piro’s Restaurant in North Wildwood. Mouthwatering chef specialties include a 14 oz. Veal Chop, Stuffed Flounder, Veal Pasquale, Homemade Dynamite Lasagna, Fresh Seafood and Sunday Gravy. A full bar is available, along with the best wine list on the island. All desserts are homemade for a sweet ending to a great meal!

For a more casual meal, Dogtooth Bar & Grill on East Taylor Avenue in Wildwood will not disappoint. Dogtooth is a favorite for both the “local crowd” and vacationers alike, known for its diverse menu selection. Bar fare, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, flatbreads, wings, pasta and more… you name it, Dogtooth has it!

When the sun goes down, the nightlife in the Wildwoods heats up! Check out Boardwalk Bar & Grill, located just one block from the beach on Atlantic Avenue in Wildwood. This weekend, catch live music by Tommy Zito on Saturday and Sindi Raymond on Sunday while sipping on Boardwalk Bar & Grill’s specialty Watch the Tram Car drink!

For laid-back late night drinks, Ship N’ Shore Bar & Grill is the place to go. Overlooking Otten’s Harbor and located on West Montgomery Avenue in Wildwood, Ship N’ Shore offers Happy Hour prices all day every day! Stop by on Saturday night to hear tunes from DJ Crazy “Mike Schmaneck” from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The Deck at Holly Beach on Pacific Avenue in Wildwood is another nightlife option that’s always a great time. The Deck is known for its unique theme nights like Euro Mondays, Tuesday Romanian Nights, Wednesday Summer Breakers Parties and Sunday Bulgarian Nights. Come party the night away with great friends, live music and cool cocktails!