Island Hopping: June 28 to July 4


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.

Good morning! Start your day with breakfast at Rio Station in Rio Grande, where you can choose from a variety of breakfast favorites to quench your cravings. Build your own three-egg omelets or frittatas, baked in a cast iron skillet. Choose your stack of pancakes, then choose from sides of bacon, Taylor ham, scrapple, and more. Pair your meal with a Bloody Mary, traditional Mimosa, or Bellini and you’re ready to start your day!

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!

Next, stop by Ellie & Wild Bill’s Farmers Market & Garden Center in Cape May to buy fresh produce, baked goods, plants, and more. Open daily at 9 a.m.; you’re sure to walk away from this family-owned and operated shop with pretty flowers or a sweet treat.

Fuel up for your afternoon activities at “Wildwood’s Favorite Diner,” Marvis Diner on Pacific and Rio Grande Avenues. The family-friendly restaurant has an amazing menu with so many great options available. Breakfast is served all day, or you can choose from specialty sandwiches, burgers, “grilled cheese madness,” and more. Kids can even order a “Tram Car” to receive a Wildwood themed stack of pancakes with a side of bacon.

After lunch, hit the green at Laguna Oaks Golf Course in Cape May Court House. Filled with 200 acres of meadowland, willows, oak trees, ponds and waterfalls, this 10-hole par-3 course may be the most challenging and beautiful par-3 course you will ever play. The course is pristine and beautifully laid out, with waters and other hazards presenting challenges at almost every hole to even seasoned veterans.

If you head up to Wildwood, stop by The Bread & Cheese Cupboard in Stone Harbor to pick up a few sweets and treats or savory breads and sandwiches. Treat yourself to some cheese to pair with the bread and make the perfect appetizer or charcuterie board.

Once your activities are done for the day, wind down at Mulligan’s Shore Bar & Grill in Wildwood for a great meal at a casual sports bar. For a Mulligan’s classic, order the Triple D burger; a double-decker burger topped with bacon, American cheese, ham, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and caramelized onions. Enjoy daily specials from 5-10 p.m., including Lobster Mac & Cheese on Tuesdays or Jack Daniel’s BBQ Ribs on Thursdays.

Another dinner option is Hemingway’s Restaurant at the Grand Hotel. Indulge in modern American cuisine with a variety of delectable culinary creations and enjoy locally caught fresh seafood, mouthwatering U.S.D.A. prime steak and so much more. The “classically casual never stuffy” vibe at Hemingway’s makes it the perfect place to relax after a day shopping, golfing, or out on the water. Hemingway’s is open until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights, so when you’re done with dinner, grab a nightcap before you head home.

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!