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? This week’s island hop commences on 7-mile island, with a lazy day on the Avalon beach. Kick back with your toes in the sand or hit the water for a long swim or a solid boogie boarding session. For an effortless family dinner, place a call to Oceanside Seafood and place an order for any of their delicious seafood dinners or delicious sides. They’ll get dinner started while you’re still lounging in your beach chair…Go for a seafood platter of fried oysters or ahi tuna steak to satisfy the whole family. Oceanside promises to have it ready in 15-25 minutes!
For those who prefer the sprawling sandy stretches of the Wildwoods island, Li’l Kurtz’s is the perfect stop to close a beautiful beach day. They have redefined “take-out” allowing hungry diners to carry out their seafood, chicken, and steak specialties or literally to take them outside for dock dining. With gorgeous twilight views of Sunset Lake, Li’l Kurtz’s also features Wildwood Crest’s only nightly sunset dinner cruise which they cater themselves. Start the day chilling by the water and finish it dining on the waterway.
Energize the next morning with a hardy breakfast Duffer’s style. A Wildwoods institution since 1974, Duffer’s features a complete menu of Cape May County breakfast favorites including buttermilk and Swedish pancakes, French toast, and eggs made to order. Brand new this summer season, the Daybreak Quesadilla features a south-of-the-border taste, stuffed with scrambled eggs, jack cheese, black beans, avocado, salsa, sour cream, and green onions. BLT-lovers will love Duffer’s new breakfast twist on this classic sandwich, the Croissant ABLT. This flaky croissant is stuffed with fresh avocado, bacon, lettuce, and tomato and is topped with a fried egg. A few blocks north on Park Boulevard, Lakeview Docks offers all the essentials for a water sports-filled fun. Peace and quiet have never felt as good as they do aboard a Lakeview kayak on Sunset Lake’s scenic waterway. 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. Learn the true meaning of teamwork aboard a double while achieving the tricky task of paddling coordination. New to kayaking? The Lakeview staff provides professional pointers on rowing, helping you get started.
Post-paddle, hit downtown Wildwood’s Pacific Avenue shopping district where M.S. Brown Jewelers offers the latest in jewelry trends. Commemorate your Wildwoods visit with a one-of-a-kind Wildwood charm bead for Pandora or Chamilia bracelets. Encased in real Wildwood sand and offered in a range of beach related themes, this bead is just the way to express your Jersey Shore love. For an early dinner, swing by Little Italy of Atlantic Avenue Sunday through Friday from 4 to 5 pm for the $13.99 early bird special. Now celebrating its 18th business season, Little Italy features a charming and rustic interior, fashioned like an authentic Italian Piazza.
For post-dinner cocktails and brews, set your sights on Lighthouse Pointe. Tucked beside the intercoastal waterway, the Pointe’s stage will be home to a host of top-notch entertainers this summer season. On Friday the 12th, catch the Sindi Raymond Band’s show starting at 6 pm. This husband and wife duo has been playing together for 16 years now and is not afraid to “push the limits”. Crowds are attracted to their unique sound, which Jim Raymond describes as “Goth-a-delic”. Lighthouse Pointe is also buzzing with excitement about its upcoming Christmas in July Boat Parade and celebration set for July 20th. The parade will kick off from Shawcrest Marina and diners can look forward to great specials and live entertainment.
Spend your evening where the Wildwoods truly come alive in the nighttime…none other than “the boards”! The Boardwalk is home to live entertainment nearly every day of the week with the Irish Pipe Brigade Parade on Mondays, Duffy String Band performances Wednesdays, and the Fralinger and Woodland String Band shows on Thursdays. Ring in the weekend with a bang (literally) at Friday night’s Coca-Cola Fireworks Spectacular. Be sure to make a pit stop at Douglass Fudge for a taste of a tradition. All Douglass fudge is made on-premises and with the decades-old recipe of the Douglass family. Other Douglass delicacies include fresh caramels, molasses paddles, and salt water taffy.
On the Jersey Shore’s most southern tip, Cape May patrons can get their grub on at the Blue Pig Tavern of Congress Hall. There is no better place at exit 0 to enjoy classic American comfort food. Just ask Oprah Winfrey, who was spotted enjoying brunch at the Blue Pig just weeks ago. Recently, Executive Chef Jeremy Einhorn has implemented a delicious farm-to-table menu featuring fresh produce, herbs and eggs from Cape May’s very own Beach Plum Farm, located less than 2 miles from the restaurant. Pre or post Blue Pig feast, relax with a cocktail in hand at the Gazebo Bar of Marq’s Pub, located at the Marquis de Lafayette Hotel. Cape May’s “hidden gem” Marq’s Pub is just steps from the beach and serves the best in beachy frozen drinks. The indoor pub is open until 10 pm while guests are invited to take in the sights and sounds of Cape May from the Gazebo until 7 pm.
Offshore, Rio Grande is home to Cape May County’s most talked-about crab cakes. Rio Station’s world-famous crab cakes have been voted Best in South Jersey by SJ Magazine three years running. Rio Station serves lunch, dinner and late-night in the bar, including a full dinner menu as late as 11 p.m. off-season and midnight during the summer. Joe Canal’s, just a quick drive up Route 47, has EVERYTHING you need when it comes to wine, spirits, and beer. After undergoing a major expansion, Joe Canal’s now offers nearly twice the inventory plus even more of patrons’ favorite selections. For those of a refined wine palate, Joe Canal’s even sponsors its own wine tastings several times weekly. With wine consultants expert counsel and the friendly assistance of Joe Canal’s staff, shopping for drinks and cocktails is just as pleasant as the beverages themselves.