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.
Bacon Bloody Mary, anyone? Wake up with Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille on Beach Avenue, featuring panoramic views of Cape May’s beautiful sand and surf. Start your day with a traditional breakfast favorite such as Harry’s Signature Hotcakes or eggs any style, or opt for something a little more unique like the Lobster Benedict or Banana Bread French Toast. And we can’t forget about Harry’s extensive collection of breakfast cocktails! Pair your delectable cuisine with a Bloody Mary, a famous Orange Crush or a flavored Mimosa.
After breakfast, spend your morning on the water at Utsch’s Marina, located in Cape May off Route 109. In the mood to jet ski, parasail, or whale watch? Utsch’s is your go-to marina for everything fun under the sun. Charter a boat and head out on the water for a fishing trip or a beautiful sunset cruise. If you’re looking for equipment, the Bait & Tackle can “hook you up” with anything you may need. No matter what your plan, Utsch’s can help you execute your next adventure out on the water!
After an exciting, water-filled morning, head over to the Crab House at Two Mile Landing in Wildwood Crest to chill out with a famous Orange Crush in hand. Or, opt for one of the other fruity flavored crushes, grapefruit or strawberry-orange. Whatever you choose, pair it with some fresh local seafood for the perfect mid-day meal. Swing by during Crabby Happy Hour from 2 to 5 p.m. daily for some sweet specials!
If you’re offshore, grab lunch at Jake’s Bar & Grill in Villas and discover one of the best-kept secrets in town! This restaurant is chef-owned and operated by James Kershaw, who has over 30 years of restaurant experience. His signature New England and Spicy Crab Chowders are just a few of the incredible choices on Jake’s extensive menu. Fresh specials are served daily at Jake’s, including seafood, pasta, and hot and cold sandwiches. The restaurant also offers a children’s menu for the little ones!
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 another dinner option, end your exciting day in Cape May with a delicious sit-down dinner at Sapore Italiano in West Cape May. Set in one of the oldest homes in the seaside resort town, this restaurant offers classic homemade Italian food including antipasti options, carne, pollo, pesce and “real” Italian pasta. Some favorites include the Risotto Scampi – Arborio rice sautéed with shrimp and garlic in extra virgin olive oil in a pink cognac sauce – and Salmon alla Bruschetta – grilled or blackened Salmon served with sautéed spinach and bruschetta sauce on the side. Whatever you choose, your authentic Italian meal will be made with only fresh and local ingredients. With a menu like that, there is no reason to leave this fine dining establishment hungry!
If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, Douglass Fudge & Candies has the creamiest fudge you will ever taste, along with incomparable saltwater taffy and homemade chocolate. End your night at one of their two locations in Wildwood or Stone Harbor with whatever you prefer! The Douglass family’s commitment to quality is evident after just one sample of these sweet treats, but believe us, you’ll want a lot more than that. Don’t leave the shore without a box of this Jersey Shore tradition!
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!