Island Hopping: August 7th to August 13th

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 eighth edition of Complete Island Hopping, our map of suggestions for a great week of Cape May County fun.

Start your day the syrupy way with a hardy pancake breakfast courtesy of Duffer’s Family Restaurant of Wildwood’s Pacific Avenue. From banana nut to Swedish, Duffer’s restaurant offers a variety of classic and specialty pancake choices. With its cream cheese filling and topped with fresh strawberries, Duffer’s Stuffed French Toast is another must-try breakfast specialty. Served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily, breakfast at Duffer’s can be enjoyed by early and late risers alike.

Instead of hitting the beach, try a morning at the Cape May County Park and Zoo; bring the kids and explore! Besides the many exotic and natural animals and brand new exhibits, there is a large playground, picnic area, gift shop, carousel and rock climbing wall. Bring your bikes and take a ride on one of the bike paths or hike on one of the trails in the park. Admission to the zoo is completely free but donations are always welcome!

Next, cool off with a trip to Splash Zone located on the Wildwood boardwalk; with over fourteen water attraction, you will be busy for most of the day. When you have worked up an appetite, stop by the Flow House Bar and Grille for great food, cool drinks and the perfect wave. Enjoy a cocktail at their fully stocked bar or much on one of their mouthwatering appetizers, salads and sandwiches.

Those who are in need of an escape from the shore crowds are encouraged to book a tee time at Sand Barrens Golf Club‘s 27-hole championship course. Book online to make things quick and convenient and to enjoy the best available rates. For a shorter visit, hit the driving range and practice your swing for your next match. After your time on the green, relax and unwind in the Sand Barrens Club House, complete with high ceilings, large windows opening to beautiful vistas, and elegant yet comfortable furnishings.

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, Tavern by The Bay is also an essential Happy Hour stop. Sample one of the many signatures at daily Happy Hour from 4 to 6 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.

Elsewhere, on the Wildwoods Yacht Basin, Boathouse Restaurant specializing in fresh seafood, steaks and sunsets invites diners to grab dinner for two for just $25 with Boathouse’s Sunset Dinner Special nightly from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The Boathouse even features an $8 Children’s Menu for the kids of the family. The restaurant also has nightly entertainment daily, check out the entertainment grid for a full listing.

If you are looking for a casual dining experience, head down ocean drive to H&H Seafood. Whether you’re looking for Blue Claw crabs, lobster, Cape May scallops, shrimp, clams, oysters or local fish, you’ll find it in this fresh seafood market. The dockside dining menu changes daily depending on the catch so stop by to check out the catch of the day. Be sure to take advantage of the all-you-can-eat Blue Claw crabs special. Come hungry and leave satisfied!

Offshore, find all you need for that night’s cocktail hour at Gleeson’s Discount Liquors of Ocean View. Be sure to check out Gleeson’s display of DiBruno Bros. cheese spreads, aged artisan cheeses, spreads, Crostini crackers, and more. Established in 1939 by Italian immigrant brothers Danny and Jo, DiBruno Bros. cheeses are unique treasures of the rich culture of Philadelphia’s 9th Street Italian Market and a true treat for any wine and cheese tasting.