Island Hopping: August 16 to August 22


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, the Jersey Shore county can be quite daunting. With all the ground to cover, where should you even begin? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Island Hopping is your go-to guide for the season with our favorite places to “do the shore.” This week we’re hopping all around the county to plan your day from dusk till dawn.

Good morning! Start your day with breakfast at Rio Station in Rio Grande, where you can choose from a variety of breakfast favorites to quench your cravings. Build your own three-egg omelets or frittatas, baked in a cast iron skillet. Choose your stack of pancakes, then choose from sides of bacon, Taylor ham, scrapple, and more. Pair your meal with a Bloody Mary, traditional Mimosa, or Bellini and you’re ready to start your day!

Next, stop by Ellie & Wild Bill’s Farmers Market & Garden Center in Cape May to buy fresh produce, baked goods, plants, and more. Open daily at 9 a.m.; you’re sure to walk away from this family-owned and operated shop with pretty flowers or a sweet treat.

When you’re ready for lunch, Country Club Tavern in Cape May Court House is the place to go. Order take-out or dine in for great pub style food in a family-friendly atmosphere. Enjoy classic sandwiches, like a grilled cheese or a BLT, or the Country Club Tavern classics, like the CCT Reuben or the CCT Special. Don’t forget a side of fries, potato salad, or cole slaw!

If you’re looking for another lunch option, you can’t go wrong with Salty Mermaid Bar & Grille in Wildwood. The creative menu gives you a variety of great options and the bar has over 20 beers on tap. Look out for daily specials or live music each weekend!

After lunch, it’s time to learn about Cape May’s past. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) offers multiple tours, both walking and trolley, throughout the summer. This weekend, consider a visit to the Cape May Lighthouse. Climb this 1859 structure’s 199 steps to the watch gallery and see gorgeous views of the Jersey Cape and Delaware Bay. Or, hop aboard the trolley and tour Cape May’s Historic District while hearing entertaining and enlightening stories about the nation’s oldest seaside resort and how it survived. Another option is to have an adventure at the Emlen Physick Estate, using a map to explore the grounds while looking for the answers to an educational scavenger hunt. With over 20 tours and activities happening in a day, everyone in your family will surely enjoy their day in Cape May (while learning a thing or two!).

When dinnertime rolls around, the newly renovated Stone Harbor Bar & Grill is the perfect place to settle in. The restaurant offers a great atmosphere, and a modern take on classic seaside pub. Try a fresh, never frozen, burger, and pair it with homemade Nachos Grande. Guests over 21 can enjoy the bar with a great choice of draft and craft beers to wash your meal down with, and enjoy entertainment on 20 big screens!

For a home-cooked dinner, Dutch Country Meats & Deli in Bridgeton can provide you with the delicious meats you need. Choose from a variety of meats at peak freshness, including grill ready kabobs, tender roasts, delicious steaks, fresh ground hamburgers, pork chops, sausage grillers and more. Plus, Dutch Country Meats has weekend specials, so don’t miss out on a great deal!

If you’d like enjoy after-dinner drinks on your own front porch, swing by Cork ‘n’ Bottle on Atlantic Avenue in Wildwood and grab everything you need to unwind. Established in 1937, Cork ‘n’ Bottle has been serving wine, beer and spirits to both locals and visitors of the Wildwoods for over 80 years!

After a long day out in Cape May County, get home safely and relax. It won’t be long before you have to start planning your next fun-filled day at the shore!