Cape May County is a treasure trove of thrills, games, specialty seafood, happy hour specials, traditional family-style restaurants, beach gear, breakfast favorites, and relaxing rituals. Yet with its six hundred and twenty square-mile span, this Jersey shore county can be quite daunting. With all this ground to cover, where should you even begin? “Blast” is here with our ninth edition of Complete Island Hopping, our map of suggestions for a great week of Cape May County fun.
This week’s hop commences in charming West Cape May at the quaint Bella Vida Garden Café. Owners and operators, the local Monge family, draw from their personal travel experiences and impressions when creating Bella Vida’s innovative dishes. Voted Cape May County’s “Best Breakfast”, Bella Vida’s morning specialties are served daily from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., giving early and late risers an equal opportunity to enjoy these unique dishes. Cape May’s “Hottest Hotcakes” include sweet potato and multigrain and are gluten free. Try them fresh fruit-filled or filled with chocolate chips.
After a satisfying breakfast, start your day in the right state of mind courtesy of Congress Hall’s Yoga on the Beach. Their instructor, Sharon Fruchtman, guides beginner to advanced yogis through the perfect routine for all. Breathe in the fresh ocean air while connecting both mind and body through this series of poses and stretches. Classes are offered daily from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. through September 1st and cost $14.95 each.
After getting the lay of the exit zero land, why not hit the waterway? Utsch’s Marina, located at the east end of the Cape May Canal, provides dockage for visiting boats overnight or for the entire summer season. Factory-trained mechanics at this full-service facility can keep your vessel in top running order or help you find the perfect fit from their collection of brand new and used boats for interested shoppers. Not up for ownership commitment? Utsch’s Marina also offers charter and party boats for groups looking to enjoy a day of deep-sea fishing or parasailing without a boat of their own.
Make the next day a wild Wildwoods day at Morey’s Piers. Never considered boardwalk cuisine a complete breakfast? Think again. Turn breakfast into an adventure aboard Morey’s Piers 156-foot high Ferris wheel. Breakfast in the Sky is in its second season of delicious food and stunning views. Guests are whisked away on a dream-like journey, leisurely soaring high above Wildwood on Morey’s Piers Giant Wheel, while indulging in a unique culinary experience complete with fine china, white linen tablecloths, and wheel-side service. This unique breakfast experience was one of the last famous ideas of Morey’s Piers’ late founder, Will Morey, Sr. Before you leave the boards, be sure to make a stop at Marcellina Boutique. Marcellina has become a go-to shopping destination for high quality clothing and accessories and personalized customer service. Featuring popular designer lines such as Tommy Bahama, Pandora, Brighton, and Vera Bradley, Marcellina offers looks for the beach, boardwalk, or even a nice evening out.
Next, hit the streets pedaling. And do it in style compliments of Smitty’s Bike Rentals of Young & Ocean Avenues in downtown Wildwood. All bikes are rented on an hourly basis, so you won’t find yourself paying for an entire day if you only plan on riding for a short time. For additional savings, they also offer a two-for-one special, through which you can ride two hours for the price of one hour any time after 11 a.m. daily. As about Smitty’s daily and weekly rental deals, available for single cruisers. Be sure to zip by M.S. Brown Jewelers, also of Pacific Avenue, to check out their new collections of Wildwood destination jewelry. Express your shore love with M.S. Brown’s new Wind & Fire “Everyone loves Wildwood” charm bracelet.
Post-cruise, reward yourself with some classic creamy fudge. Douglass Fudge of the Wildwoods Boardwalk is where you need to be. Made fresh on the premises daily by fourth generation Douglass family members, this fudge and these candies are made with the freshest and finest ingredients available and according to the century-old original recipes. Take advantage of this summer’s great-value deal and buy 2 pounds of Douglass Fudge, promised to be the “creamiest” you’ll experience, and get one free.
Head inland for lunch along the Intercoastal Waterway at The Wharf for a taste of their all new discounted lunch specials. From fresh salads prepared with seasonal ingredients to signature lunch entrees, the selections change with each day, but their delicious flavors remain consistent.
When the late afternoon rolls around, get “happy” at Beach Creek Oyster Bar & Grill for awesome cocktails with an even better view. Their daily Happy Hour begins at 3 and concludes at 5, featuring special discounts on draft beer and house wine. Most famous for their artisanal and dessert martinis, Beach Creek’s bartenders are definitely masters of mixology. Just a hop, skip, and a jump across Rio Grande Avenue, the recently opened Tavern on The Bay is also an essential Happy Hour stop. Sample one of TOB’s many signatures at daily Happy Hour Sunday through Wednesday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Opt for the Watermelon Fire Margarita if you dare. This margarita is mixed with those who appreciate a distinct “kick” in mind and can be modified with extra habanero sauce for the boldest of patrons. Snack on ½ price appetizers and enjoy $1.50 domestic drafts and drink deals.
Do dinner along the Wildwoods Yacht Basin for an escape to the tropics only at Urie’s Waterfront Restaurant. Here, the waterfront deck is complete with its own Tiki Bar featuring favorite summer cocktails and beer. Indulge in all-you-can-eat Snow and Maryland Blue crabs nightly on the dockside deck, or opt for fresh catch from the raw bar. Discover for yourself why Urie’s was voted Best Water View Dining by South Jersey Magazine.
Rather do dinner in the comfort of your own home, hotel, or rental? Sample the renowned Asian fusion flavors of Dragon House Restaurant in the heart of the Wildwoods. All menu items are available for takeout and/or delivery, including the ever-popular “Chinese Pizza”, or Scallion Pancakes, appetizer. For those on 7-Mile Island, grab a taste of the fresh local seafood to go courtesy of Oceanside Seafood of Dune Drive. Oceanside’s fresh seafood market offers a huge variety of fresh catches including locally caught Fluke, Mahi-Mahi, Tilapia, Shrimp, Crab Claw, Lobster Tail, and more. Can’t find the seafood item you’re looking for? Give Oceanside 24 hours and the staff will personally order it for you.
Feel like staying home for dinner AND drinks? Green’s has you covered. Wildwood’s favorite liquor store, “The Original” Green’s Liquors, has the perfect beverages for any occasion. They proudly carry the island’s largest selection of beer, wine, and liquor and invite you to browse our extensive selection with competitive prices.
Those who prefer a night on the town should conclude the evening with a cocktail at Dogtooth Bar & Grill located right next to Kona Sports on New Jersey Avenue. Be sure to ask the bartender about the Dogtooth Drink of the Day and check out the several craft, imported, and domestic beers they have on tap. There on a Friday between 11 p.m. and midnight? You’re in luck. Dogtooth hosts its Reverse Happy Hour at this time, featuring great drink discounts and deals on late-night apps.