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 on the green for a break from the sandy scenery. “Get in on the good life!” only at Avalon Golf & Country Club. Measuring from 6325 to 4924 yards, Avalon is a test for all skill levels. For those who opt for a weekday match, be sure to take advantage of Avalon Golf’s latest special. Get a generous $20 off of your total cost for a foursome. This special will run through August 31st. Post-match, swing by Avalon Links Restaurant for some much needed sustenance. Weekly specials include Cocktails and Dreams on Wednesday Nights, 1/2 Priced Martinis, Thirsty Thursdays with Dan Marro, and Happy Hour every Friday from 4 p.m. until closing with plenty of drink and food specials.
Craving your fill of locally caught crabs instead? Catch MAC’s 9th Annual Craft Beer & Crab Festival this Saturday, August 9th on the grounds of the historic Emlen Physick Estate. This classic summer festival was named one of the 5 Best NJ Summer Festivals by CBS NY and features hard shell crabs, shrimp, and live music. Wash down these delicious summertime foods with craft beer from local and regional breweries in the beer garden under a tent on the estate lawn. Purchase and enjoy a variety of local and regional craft beers from the Harrison Beverage 10-tap beer truck, with other selections including some non-beer beverages. Bring the entire family to enjoy kid-friendly activities including lawn games and acrobats from the Give & Take Jugglers Little Circus, who will delight and entertain throughout the day.
Make waves with Lakeview’s great deals on Wave Runner rentals. Available in singles, doubles, and triples, slice through the waves solo or let a friend do the driving. $65 for a single, $70 for a double, and $75 for a triple per half hour, Lakeview’s brand new Wave Runners reach top speeds while looking the sleekest of sleek. Hop aboard with the help of a skilled employee and prepare feel the rush of the wind on your face and the salt water spray. Get in touch with the water on a quiet kayak ride on Lakeview’s bay expanse. Peace and quiet have never felt as good as aboard a single kayak on this Jersey Shore waterway at sunset. Only $20 per hour for a single and $30 per hour for a double, Lakeview kayaks can be great for exercise and even better for relaxation.
Rather spend your shore day on the waves? Lakeview Docks of Wildwood Crest is happy to help. Make waves with Lakeview’s great deals on Wave Runner rentals. Available in singles, doubles, and triples, slice through the waves solo or let a friend do the driving. $65 for a single, $70 for a double, and $75 for a triple per half hour, Lakeview’s brand new Wave Runners reach top speeds while looking the sleekest of sleek. Lakeview Docks is proud to present some new great rentals for the summer 2014 season that guarantee fun in the sun. Lakeview now features Swan Pedal Boats available for hourly rental for just $40 an hour for a 4-person boat and $35 an hour for a 2-person boat.
After a session on the water, grab an early dinner at Urie’s Restauraunt, a Wildwoods dining tradition since 1956. Urie’s full-course Early Birds are available daily from 4 to 6 p.m. and range from just $13 to $18 per diner. Or escape to the tropics on Urie’s waterfront deck complete with its own Tiki Bar featuring favorite summer cocktails and beer. Discover for yourself why Urie’s was voted Best Water View Dining by South Jersey Magazine at this family-friendly mainstay on the waterway.
Just across Rio Grande Boulevard, Tavern on the Bay is poised to become a new Wildwood dining tradition. Rather try something new? This is the place to do it. This diverse menu features a selection of hearty Tavern sandwiches, fresh caught seafood entrees, steak, rib, and chicken specialties, prepared over a wood fired grill. All of this and more can be enjoyed from Tavern on the Bay’s indoor dining room and bar, pet-friendly patio, or the scenic roof deck. Offering unparalleled panoramic sunset views of the Wildwoods and complete with its own bar, the roof top lounge is a must-see island gem and open from 4:30 p.m. daily.
Farther inland in downtown Wildwood, Dogtooth Bar & Grill is a locals’ favorite nighttime hangout that is definitely worth a visit. Each and every day, there’s new and exciting deals, entertainment, and menu items to enjoy. On Tuesday, flatbread pizza costs just $6.95 after 6 p.m. and can be followed by a cold glass of discounted craft draft. Dogtooth Unplugged arrives on Wednesday, featuring live acoustic entertainment, taco deals, and even $10 Coronita buckets to split with friends. Finally, Friday brings double Dogtooth Happy Hours from 4 to 7 p.m. and again from 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. plus one of the island’s most awesome games of Name That Tune at 9 p.m.
For a post-dinner cocktail in a calm, upscale ambiance, set your sights on Marie Nicole’s Grill at Diamond Beach. Enjoy one of their famous hand-crafted cocktails at the extended bar featuring a casual bar menu. An eight year recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, Marie Nicole’s offers an extensive and varied wine list to satisfy the palate of even the most discriminating wine connoisseur. In addition to the finest of wines, Marie Nicole’s offers an excellent Martini and Drink Menu. Sample the “Marie Nicole Martini”, made with pear vodka and ginger puree or the “Marie Nicole Rita” made with Patron Tequila, lime juice, agave, and a few other secret ingredients to make it “simply perfect”.
Diamond Beach’s latest gem, Coastal Blue Oceanside & Grill, plays host to a late night Reverse Happy Hour that is the perfect way to end the night. From 10 p.m. to close, enjoy $4 featured beer as well as the $5 featured wine and $5 featured cocktail of the evening. When late night cravings strike, Coastal Blue’s Reverse Happy Hour answers with deals on BBQ Chili Wings, Braised Short Rib Nachos, Calamari Tempura, and more.
Take a break from the sun and have some family fun the next afternoon at Island Bowl – Wildwood’s newly renovated bowling center. Island Bowl invites you to “bowl your butt off” on Monday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons from noon to 5 for $17.50 per two hours on a lane. Plus, any one-hour, all-you-can-bowl session on both Saturdays and Sundays costs just $10 per lane from noon to 3 pm and $12 per lane from 3 to 6 p.m. Two for Tuesday at Island Bowl is also a must-try with $2 games, $2 shoes, $2 pizza slices, $2 hot dogs, $2 large sodas, and $2 domestic drafts.
Rather spend your afternoon on a shore shopping excursion? Head for Cape May’s Washington Street Mall to find just about anything you might desire. The Great White Shark is one of the Mall’s most eclectic retailers and is home to some novelty tees that make great vacation gifts. The store specializes in sizes from 6 months to 6XL and features some of the funniest tees around. “Your Bait Sucks”, “Your Boat is Ugly”, and a large selection of “Jaws” movie tee shirts are just a few fan favorites. Beyond their comfortable and quality apparel, Great White Shark is also home to a collection of unique souvenirs. From fun fashion jewelry to Tiki décor, these Great White Shark collectibles are not your everyday keepsakes.
Over in Stone Harbor, 96th Street remains one of our County’s premiere shopping destinations. Here, The Jewelry Studio is renowned for its distinctive, eye-catching jewelry, as well as its outstanding service. Jewelry Studio’s educated staff is well-versed in all designers and lines they have to offer and is happy to provide their professional opinion to buyers. From first-rate repairs, to spontaneous “just because” jewelry gifts, to Sea Life vacation remembrances, to specific occasion jewelry, Jewelry Studio’s million dollar inventory provides a superb selection. Follow up your purchases with some well-deserved outdoor dining and relaxing at the Reeds Water Star Grille. Enjoy their new bayside lounge with cocktail service and custom seating for lawn dining. Ask your server about the $3-$6 beer, wine and cocktail specials Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.
Farther north, the Deauville Inn offers four distinctively different dining experiences in one scenic location. Enjoy a dockside lunch Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. or some pub grub daily in the Deauville’s sports bar. Out in the Beach House, each weekend is jam packed with entertainment and affordable buffet options. Be sure to get your fill of summer BBQ staples from the Deauville’s exclusive BBQ menu.