With so many beach bars, pubs, and casual clubs to choose from, Cape May County renders nightlife decision-making extremely difficult. Thus, I set out on a mission to hit as many favorite late-night hotspots as possible in a two night span. Here, I review my Wildwood “Bar Hopping” encounters.

Thursday evening had finally rolled around after what seemed like an endless week of work responsibilities. An island escape seemed appropriate. Around 9 p.m., I set out for Coconut Cove with thoughts of frozen cocktails and island melodies on my mind. My bar hopping buddy and I took a seat at what I like to call the “boat bar”, on the deck at the waterfront.

We quickly realized that we were in the midst of Coconut Cove’s Reggae Night celebration, as live covers of Bob Marley and The Fugees permeated the tropical atmosphere. “What can I get for you?” asked bartender Vance enthusiastically. I decided to give the $4.99 rum, pineapple juice, and grenadine cocktail a try and did not regret it. I headed toward the stage and took a seat on a stool propped in the sand of Coconut Cove’s stage-front barefoot bar. As the Raggamuffins finished their set and I emptied my cocktail, we decided it was time for our next hop.

After a quick walk, we arrived at Westy’s Irish Pub where the sounds of the always awesome Stellar Mojo assured us that we were making the right bar decision. Stellar Mojo takes the Westy’s stage every Thursday night around 10 p.m. and keeps the crowd-favorites coming until the early hours of Friday morning. Former bartender of the week Joe Diamond approached us quickly after we took a seat at the sprawling bar, and I decided to stick with a Westy’s signature, ordering two Celtic Lemonades. “This is dangerously good!” exclaimed my barhopping partner in crime after her first taste of the concoction. Stellar Mojo’s set diversity surprised us time after time as they transitioned from a Dave Matthews classic to the current Gym Class Heroes hit “Home”. Lead singer John “Kinger” King shocked both of us, displaying true voice versatility as he launched into Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”. Three Celtic Lemonades later and after a long work day, my bar hopping stamina was depleted. It was time to call it a night. Grand total of hops – two. Weak.

Friday night, I was ready for redemption. I also happened to be celebrating a co-worker’s bachelorette party. The crew and I decided to first hit a few downtown hotspots. A round of “Woman in Love” shooters seemed perfectly appropriate… “Cheers to years of wedded bliss,” we toasted. We then grabbed a cab to the North Wildwood “Entertainment District”. Next stop – Flip Flopz.

The dance floor was as flooded as ever as DJ TonyStef played high energy house music hits. After a few ambitious rounds of Cattle ‘N Clover shooters, I decided to switch to beer. Cold Corona in hand and dancing to Avicii’s “Levels”, I was in bar hopping heaven. As the clock struck 12:30 a.m., I decided to make another move. I made the walk to Casey’s on Third to grab a Guinness and a few laughs with bartender Bernie. “Irish” Bernie is a former bartender of the week, an authentic Irishman, and quite the character. He has also perfected the Guinness pour. The rich pint of beer was a welcome change from the sweet cocktails that I had favored earlier in the night. After my lone venture to Casey’s, I reunited with the bachelorette crew at Flip Flopz and we decided to head back toward our “crash pad” for the night.

But one final downtown pit stop at was necessary. We ended the night with a final round of Irish Cream liqueur shots and singing along with the bar’s acoustic performer. Grand total of hops – four. I had doubled Thursday night’s number and met some of Wildwood’s liveliest nightlife characters in the process. All in all, this bar hopper’s weekend was a smash success.

By Megan Kummer