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 hop begins bright and early at Uncle Bill’s of downtown Wildwood where “quality has no substitute”. That’s why their renowned recipes have remained exactly the same throughout their fifty-one year history. Now, even those family members or friends whose dietary needs have limited their pancake intake can join in the breakfast feast. The varied gluten-free menu includes a number of UB classics such as Blueberry and Chocolate Chip Pancakes and French Toast dishes. For those who prefer to sleep in, not to fear. Uncle Bill’s serves breakfast all morning AND afternoon until their 2 pm closing. Before taking off, be sure to check out the custom hand painted mural spanning the side of this Pacific Avenue Uncle Bill’s location.
Take a quick stroll toward the beach to spend the afternoon on the Wildwoods Boardwalk. Recently voted one of the “Most Awesome Boardwalks in America” by BudgetTravel.com, the Wildwoods Boardwalk is now home to a brand-new artisans’ village crafted entirely from repurposed shipping containers. Get a taste of the Jersey Shore’s quirky culture while browsing the collections of local artistic phenoms Ed and Hong Peahota, David Macomber, Pete Bieling Jr., and Pete Bieling Sr. This Friday, July 26th, the Wildwoods Boardwalk welcomes the athletes of the Annual Co-Ed Beach Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. Just a few steps off the boardwalk on the beach between Poplar and Roberts Avenues, the tournament features 4-on-4 face-offs between players of all ages and skill levels. After cheering on your favorite Frisbee throwers, swing by Route 66 Restaurant & Pizzeria at the corner of Juniper Avenue and the boardwalk to fill up on their hardy appetizers and “Classic Burgers”. The “Impala” cheeseburger is topped with bacon and barbecue sauce while the “Galaxie” is topped with bleu cheese dressing and buffalo sauce.
Prefer to grab some quick pub grub away from the hustle of the boards? Head for Ice House Bar & Restaurant of Park Boulevard. Ice House now offers a brand new menu of quick eats to enjoy at their downstairs bar. Served exclusively at Ice House’s indoor granite bar, this menu features Crab Cake, Shrimp Cocktail, and Tuna Sashimi starters. The Seafood Caesar has been the menu’s biggest hit, featuring grilled shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, and fresh locally caught fish of the day served over Ice House’s delicious Caesar salad. But the true talk of the town revolves around the bar’s ever-changing Flatbreads of the Day and Chef’s Choice Burgers. Also separate from the busy boardwalk scene, Pasta Pesto Italian Grill is Atlantic Avenue’s newest family eatery. From the pasta to its delicious sauce, every aspect of Pasta Pesto’s dishes is made on-site in its sprawling kitchen. Share one of the Grill’s Foccacia Flat Breads such as the Panatha, topped with buffalo mozzarella, tomato, garlic, arugula, and pesto. For a lighter bite, sample one of Pasta Pesto’s signature salads featuring prosciutto, scallops, shrimp, salmon, chicken, crabmeat and steak optional toppings.
For post-dinner cocktails, head for Wildwood’s Schooner Island waterway to enjoy the sunset with a Beach Creek martini in hand. Cool off with the Shore Breeze specialty martini or sample the crowd favorite Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Coconut rum, pineapple, vanilla vodka, and Licor 43 blend to taste miraculously similar to a slice of fresh pineapple cake. Treat yourself to a dessert cocktail such as the Mint Chocolate Chip or the Funky Monkey. Beach Creek also features an extensive, exclusive wine list. On Saturday night, why not dinner and a show? From 4 pm, “eat fresh, eat local” at One Fish Two Fish of Pacific Avenue. Sample their specialty Charbroiled local oysters in which owners and chefs Ryan Allenbach and Brian Schroeder use a butter mixed with summer shandy beer and citrus zest. They provide the food and Westy’s of North Wildwood provides after-meal show. Bigg Romeo takes the stage of Art’s Big Deck from 6 -10 pm Saturday night with their powerful, dynamic renditions of 60′s soul, 70′s disco, 80′s retro, 90′s dance classics, and the hottest pop tunes of today.
For those farther south in the beautiful Victorian town of Cape May, kick off your Sunday at historic Congress Hall. Once a summer retreat for the nation’s presidents, Congress Hall was a vacation destination for Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan. President Benjamin Harrison made Congress Hall his “summer White House” and conducted the affairs of state from the hotel. Explore this Cape May monument’s rich history while enjoying brunch at its in-house restaurant, the Blue Pig Tavern. Can’t get enough of Cape May’s charming historic anecdotes? Jump aboard the Angel of the Sea Guided Tour starting at 12:15 on Sunday the 28th and sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities. Take a 30-minute guided tour of one of Cape May’s most charming historic B&Bs and hear how this elegant property, built in the 1850s, was moved to its current location. Enjoy light refreshments after your tour.
Spend the evening taking in Cape May Stage’s latest production, “Boeing Boeing” presented by Marc Camoletti. Engaged to three different stewardesses, all working for a different airline, Bernard maintains a carefully balanced schedule to keep his three lives separate. Too bad he can only keep it up for so long. When an ill-timed visit from a friend and new, faster jet planes lead to the three women being in Paris all at the same time, Bernard must fly by the seat of his pants to keep them all apart and keep his various lies straight. An uproariously funny, madcap comedy from a French playwright, Boeing Boeing will have you laughing out loud at what happens when Bernard’s life hits some turbulence.
By Megan Kummer