Island Hopping: June 30 – July 7

Fried Food, Fireworks, Festivals

Well folks, this week is “The Big One,” and we don’t mean the catastrophic earthquake that might one day destroy a large portion of the Pacific Northwest. No, we mean the Fourth of July weekend and all the chaos that comes with it. But it’s good chaos! So let us take you through a day at the Jersey shore during these busiest of times.  

Let’s start our day over in Wildwood at the Marvis Diner, on Rio Grande Ave just a short way over the bridge. Wildwood has been known for many years for its neon signs and Doo Wop vibe, and few diners exemplify that better than Marvis.  

Marvis Diner in Wildwood

Your editor used to eat at Marvis Diner on Sunday mornings after church with his great-great-grandmother. The place has seen a significant facelift since then, but the Americana vibes remain. Consider this a four-star seal of approval from a local. 

After breakfast, we recommend heading across the bridge to Historic Cold Spring Village in Lower Township where they are celebrating Independence Day all weekend long. The village is an open-air non-profit recreation of a town that might have existed around America’s founding. The houses, beautifully spread across the large property, are all period-accurate and are filled with actors who can tell you about life in the 18th century. We hear that Ben Franklin will make an appearance this weekend, no joke.  

Their Independence Day weekend takes place 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 1 and Sunday, July 2. 

Historic Cold Spring Village in Lower Township

While we’re off-island, let’s head next to Lower Township’s Independence Day Festival. In your editor’s experience, this is one of the busiest events anywhere in the county all year round. There’s no better way to celebrate the founding of our nation than a slam-packed festival full of fried food and carnival rides. This is definitely a local-oriented event, and we applaud it for that. The festival has rides, food, live music, great views of the sunset (it’s right on the bay in North Cape May), and fireworks at 9 p.m. 

Speaking of fireworks, you can see these star-spangled explosives basically anywhere in the county. Avalon, Cape May, Sea Isle, Stone Harbor, Middle Township, and Lower Township all have fireworks scheduled on different days. Check out our Fourth of July events list in this issue to find fireworks in your town. 

During the summer, Wildwood sets off fireworks every Friday.

And remember, drink in moderation! The big holiday is on a Tuesday, and you might regret the at-work hangover the next day if you overdo it.  

And that’s all for Island Hopping this week! We hope you found something fun to do, or at least had fun reading along. Did we miss something? Have thoughts about Do the Shore? Have an event we should cover? Email the editor at