Island Hopping – July 18th through 24th!

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

There’s no better way to start a shore day then with a hearty breakfast deal. Coastal Blue Oceanside Bar & Grill at the Icona Resort is happy to fuel your day with their latest “Early Bird” special, perfect for an affordable pre-beach family meal. Any day between 7:30 and 9 a.m., buy one breakfast entrée, get one free. Better yet, Coastal Blue’s entrees start at just $6.

From Diamond Beach, make way for Cape May where Historic Cold Spring Village will be in full “Hands-on History” swing this Saturday and Sunday.
Try your hand at crafts and trades from the 1800s including blacksmithing, basketweaving, woodworking and more. Step inside the Village’s twenty six restored, historic buildings and interact with historical interpreters to learn and create-the way our ancestors did. Children can even get their ‘Pastport’ stamped for each hands-on activity they complete, and redeem it for a free treat in the Country Store.

Prefer to stay in the Wildwoods for a relaxing day poolside? Make way for the Oceanic’s swim-up Tiki Bar where there’s never a cover and the public is more than welcome. Swim up, drink up, and get your tan on! The Oceanic’s Pool Bar features weekday specials you will not want to miss from Twisted Tuesday featuring $3 Twisted Teas to Sunday Funday with just $3 Coronas. Rather opt for a day on the water in an entirely different way? Lakeview Docks is Wildwood Crest’s preferred spot for water sports fun and is proud to present some new great rentals for the summer 2014 season. 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. Pedal your way across Sunset Lake for an unrivaled view of the Wildwoods. Stand up paddle boards are also a new addition to Lakeview’s collection. Eleven feet long and extremely stable, these Lakeview boards offer beginners a great opportunity to learn paddling technique. Lakeview’s paddles are also adjustable to the height of each individual renter, ensuring a custom, comfortable SUP experience for just $10 per hour.

Stone Harbor’s shopping district is a great alternative if you’re in need of a break from the sun. 96th Street is home to a variety of retailers, from those that specialize in apparel and beach gear to those that stock refined yet affordable jewelry and accessories. The Jewelry Studio is one such retailer that has made a name for itself as one of Stone Harbor’s premiere jewelry authorities. Stop by this week and check out this summer’s hottest jewelry line, Alex and Ani. Alex and Ani is both affordable and trend-setting with prices starting at $24. These expandable bracelets are made in the USA with recyclable metal, and positive energy. Check out their Charity by Design collection through which the proceeds of each bracelet are given back to charities such as The American Cancer Society, The Alzheimer’s Association, The National Autism Association, and way more.

After your Stone Harbor shopping excursion, plan for a 7-Mile dinner to remember courtesy of Luigi’s Pasta & Vino of the Golden Inn Resort. Home of the “Pasta your way”, Luigi’s Pasta & Vino has a warm, inviting atmosphere and traditionally inspired Italian fare that has kept Jersey Shore guests coming back for over 20 years. But prepare to experience Luigi’s like never before as it has recently undergone a major renovation and the menu has been remastered. Be sure to check out their half priced bottle of wine night every Sunday night now through Labor Day Weekend! Dinner is served Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5.30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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 at this family-friendly mainstay on the waterway.

For those who’d rather enjoy the freshest catch in the courtesy of their own home, Li’l Kurtz’s Seafood Market is here to help. Li’l Kurtz’s is located on scenic Sunset Lake and allows diners to carry out their seafood, chicken, and steak specialties or literally take them outside for dock dining. Li’l Kurtz’s is most renowned for their award-winning crab cake and lobster bisque. Their extensive menu of platters, sandwiches, salads, and appetizers offer affordably priced options that are perfect for catering a family feast. Over in Avalon, Oceanside Seafood is home to the freshest eat-in or takeout seafood on the 7-mile stretch. Oceanside’s fresh seafood market offers a huge variety including hard shell and softshell crab, locally caught fluke, scallops, clams, mussels, tuna and much more. You can even pick your own live lobster fresh from Oceanside’s tank.

Not the best of beach days? Engage in some friendly family competition at Duffer’s Mini Golf. This eighteen-hole miniature golf course allows customers to tee up at the foot of a huge sand castle or a few feet from the tentacles of a giant purple octopus. The nautical theme of the course is perfect for the “gone to the beach” mood of the shore town’s patrons. Finish up the game at the shipwreck of the final hole where golfers putt to win a chance at a free game for their next visit to Duffer’s.

Add a touch of culture to your shore trip with the help of the talented professionals of Cape May Stage. This Monday, July 21, Cape May Stage puts the spotlight on fostering the careers of young theatre artists. Beginning at 2 p.m., the Resident Intern Company of Cape May Stage presents John Patrick Shanley’s “Savage in Limbo.” Taking place in a seedy neighborhood bar in the Bronx, a group of dejected individuals seeks relief from the tedium of everyday life. Riddled with dry humor and quick wit, Shanley’s work depicts the desperation and loneliness of these characters as they seek to forge meaningful connections in an often-meaningless world.

Looking for some nightlife recommendations? Anglesea Pub has been a favorite local spot for decades now and is just steps away from North Wildwood’s entertainment district. Featuring live entertainment most nights of the week and Sports Trivia on Sunday, the Anglesea Pub is Ireland’s corner pub right in our backyard. Pasta Pesto Italian Grill is also a great Wildwoods destination for a cocktail in a bright and modern atmosphere. Take a seat at this illuminated bar, say hello to former bartender of the week Ellen, and check out her new Martini Menu.