Island Hopping: Offshore

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, this Jersey Shore county can be quite daunting. With all this ground to cover, where should you even begin? We’re here with our eighth edition of Island Hopping for the season, offering some of our favorite places to “do the shore.” This week we’re hopping offshore, where you’ll find just as much summer fun as our beach towns.

Start your morning with in-house, micro-roasted coffee and fresh, hand-rolled bagels at Avalon Coffee and Grille in Rio Grande. At the coffee bar, you’ll find the classic Avalon blend as well as other unique blends, plus lattes, cappuccinos, teas and espressos all available in hot, iced or frozen. There are a variety of bagel and cream cheese flavors to choose from so everyone can find something they like. Or go for a delicious bagel breakfast sandwich with your choice of bagel and meat, two extra large eggs and cheese.

For those who like to spend time in the kitchen, a home-cooked breakfast with some help from ShopRite is the way to go! Conveniently located in Rio Grande, ShopRite is THE place to go for all of your breakfast essentials. Offering deals and discounts on countless food items, you are sure to save big! ShopRite offers the freshest produce, meats, bake shop items and much more. Check out ShopRite’s ad in this week’s Herald, or log on to for the most up-to-date deals.

After fueling up, it’s time to see Cape May County up close and personal from a bike seat. Take the family over to Hale Bicycle Shop in Cape May Court House, where there’s something for everyone. Hop on for a test ride so you can find just the right bike, then get everything you need to enhance your riding experience such as helmets, locks, pumps, hydration systems and more. At Hale, you’ll find only the best quality bikes!

Spend your afternoon away from the shore crowds and book some tee time at Sand Barrens Golf Club’s 27-hole championship course, located in Swainton. Book online to make things quick and convenient, and to enjoy the best available rates. For a shorter visit, hit the driving range and practice your swing for your next match.

Continue your day on the green at Heritage Links Golf Club in Ocean View. Open to the public, this nine-hole golf course features 2,100 yards of golfing area, 30 par and 113 slope. This is a great place for beginners, and challenging enough for experts as well.

For a great post-match lunch, head to Menz Restaurant & Bar in Rio Grande. The most unique dining atmosphere at the shore, Menz offers fresh and delicious food, daily drink specials and of course, fun for the kids! Dine inside from the extensive menu, or check out Menz Front Porch Bar & Patio serving salads, sandwiches, burgers and cocktails.

If you prefer a quiet lunch at home, swing by Woodbine Meat Market in Woodbine for an old-fashioned butcher experience. Here, you’ll find everything you need to make fresh lunchmeat sandwiches such as honey ham, turkey breast, store-cooked roast beef, American cheese, provolone cheese and more. Hoagies, cheesesteaks and a large selection of sides are also available. And of course, everything is butchered or made in-store!

For a unique experience at the shore, check out Woodbine Equestrian Center in Woodbine! Take riding lessons in a safe, professional and friendly environment. English riding lessons are taught for children (ages 3 and up) and adults, beginner and advanced. Private or group sessions are available at this state-of-the-art facility, scheduled by appointment.

When dinnertime rolls around, let Rio Station in Rio Grande satisfy you with made-from-scratch dishes. The dinner menu consists of family recipes from sandwiches, to pasta, to seafood, to steak, with all ingredients coming from local farms. Many dishes such as the filets, burgers, flat iron steaks and chicken are organic and natural, with no hormones or antibiotics. Freshly prepared food takes a little longer, but it’s worth it to eat well!

Another dinner option is Surf Dog Bar & Grill in Woodbine, where you can indulge in savory burgers, tacos and brick oven pizza. With daily specials to fit everyone’s budget and a vibe that captures the spirit of the Jersey Shore, this eatery offers a fun environment the whole family can enjoy. Relax inside the cozy dining room, or cool off and have a cold drink at the Sand Bar on the outside patio!

When heading home for the evening, stop by Joe Canal’s Discount Liquor Outlet in Rio Grande and grab everything you need for some post-dinner cocktails. Joe Canal’s has the largest selection of your favorite vodka, scotch, bourbon, whiskey, rum, brandy, gin, liquors, beer and wine. Besides spirits, Joe Canal’s also offers everything you need to pair with your fine wine such as cheese spreads, aged artisan cheeses, crackers and more.

For an extraordinary backyard oasis to enjoy your cocktails in, visit Ocean Outdoor Patio – Teak Outlet. A variety of chairs, tables, seater sofas and loungers can transform any ordinary outdoor living space!