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 second edition of Complete Island Hopping, our map of suggestions for a great week of Cape May County fun.
Make it a Cape May day and start with breakfast at what began as a local surfers’ bar and has become a prime spot for family and canine fun. The Rusty Nail Bar & Grill at the Beach Shack features breakfast on both Saturdays and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Choose from their varied selection of eggs and omelets, pancakes, sammies, and even all-natural smoothies. Make breakfast at The Nail a tradition all summer long by joining the 2014 Breakfast Club. Purchase a Breakfast Club Coffee Mug for $19.95 and receive bottomless cups of coffee during breakfast hours for the season.
Later that afternoon, gear up for some shore recreation with the help of our friends at Smitty’s Bikes. Located at the corner of Young and Ocean Avenues in the heart of Wildwood, Smitty’s features tandems, surreys for the whole family, and classic single cruisers. Here, you can always ride for two hours at the price of one. If instead golf is your sport of choice, head over to Laguna Oaks of Cape May Court House and located directly off of the Parkway for a round of afternoon par-3. Designed by architect Fred Langford, this 10-hole course has its own little Island Green. “Although it’s not as famous as the 17th Island at Sawgrass, our 16th Island happens to be 130 yards from the Blue Tees, which is the length that the PGA plays on Sunday at the Players Tournament,” states Langford. Surrounded on all sides by water, accessing it is an experience in itself, accomplished only by crossing the scenic bridge through the gazebo.
After cycling the island or teeing off at this unique island green, unwind with an intimate, fine dining experience at One Fish Two Fish of Wildwood’s Pacific Avenue. A recipient of Ed Hitzel’s Restaurant Magazine’s Excellence Award for 2013, One Fish, Two Fish is back with a splash this summer after changing up the menu with some seasonal additions. Start your night with the House Cured Pork Belly, a maple glazed pork belly with angry orchard puree and Granny Smith apple. For your main course, sample the ever-popular Pan Seared Local Scallops with roasted lemon butter, sweet jersey corn, and asparagus. If seafood isn’t your favorite, One Fish Two Fish also features a fair share of “of the land” entrees sure to hit the spot. Hit the boards to walk off dinner and grab dessert compliments of Douglass Fudge. Made fresh on the premises daily by fourth generation Douglass family members, this fudge and candy is made with the freshest and finest ingredients available and according to the century-old original recipe. Sample a piece of chocolate covered fruit, new for this summer season.
Conclude the evening with a cocktail at Dogtooth Bar & Grill located right next to Kona Sports on New Jersey Avenue. Be sure to ask the bartender about the Dogtooth Drink of the Day and check out the several craft, imported, and domestic beers they have on tap. There between 11 p.m. and midnight? You’re in luck. Dogtooth hosts its Reverse Happy Hour at this time, featuring great drink discounts and deals on late-night apps.
Those who might like to enjoy a nice cigar on the porch before the night’s end can hit Seagars of Rio Grande to browse their massive selection of flavored, full bodied, mild, and medium cigars, as well as cigarillos. Cigars is open Monday through Saturday until 10 p.m. and Sunday until 9 p.m. Relax with one of your purchases right there in-store in the extensive private lounge equipped with leather couches, chairs, and big screen televisions for your enjoyment.
Begin your next day here at the shore with some thrilling water sports fun. Lakeview Docks is located directly on Sunset Lake of Wildwood Crest and has added stand up paddle boarding to its already varied selection of on the water activities. Each of these paddle boards are wider and thus very stable for beginners. Other Lakeview rentals include one and two-person kayaks, speedboats, fishing and crabbing supplies, and even swan pedal boats. Those stationed over in Cape May can also hit the water courtesy of Utsch’s Marina located on the harbor. Hit the skies with East Coast Parasailing, or take a cruise on one of Utsch’s jet boats.
Over on Seven-Mile Island, beachgoers are encouraged to take a lunch break at The Golden Inn’s newly renovated Sandbar & Grille. Here, you are encouraged to keep a drink in your hand and toes in the sand. The Sandbar is conveniently located right on the Avalon Beach and bikinis and bathing suits are welcome. Nothing says summer like enjoying one of their fresh salads, sandwiches or wraps with an ice cold beer or cocktail. You can even grab a hot dog or chicken fingers for the kids.
Hit the Wildwoods for post-beach Happy Hour and a hearty Italian dinner. First stop? Urie’s Waterfront Restaurant located directly on the yacht basin. Take the edge off with $2 drafts and a few half-priced apps from 2 to 4 p.m. daily. Those who would like to drink with a friend should definitely sample the Urie’s Voodoo Bucket, made with four different flavors of Cruzan Rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and then topped off with dark rum and finished with two straws. Just across the Intercoastal Waterway, the Wharf’s Happy Hour kicks off even earlier at 11 a.m. and lasts until 6 p.m. daily. Hit the deck for great drink discounts and even better view. When dinnertime rolls around, set your sights on Pasta Pesto of Atlantic Avenue. Wildwood’s newest Italian eatery, Pasta Pesto features specialty wood-fired pizzas, made-from-scratch pasta and sauces, and even its very own market of gourmet Italian items. The “bambini”, or kids, can choose from a menu of their own while parents can order a cocktail or wine of their choice from Pasta Pesto’s in-house bar.