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 second 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.

Wake up at the Rio! Situated off of Route 9 South in Rio Grande, Rio Station offers all of your breakfast favorites with unique touches. Here, you won’t find just your average egg dishes! One dish you’ll find at the Rio which you can’t find anywhere else is the “Build Your Own” Cast Iron Frittatas made in a cast iron skillet with three eggs and your choice of fillings, served with Jim’s redskin hash and toast. Try one of Rio’s many mimosas or a Bloody Mary with this unique meal!

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.

Post-breakfast, hit the Cape May County 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 was designed and constructed by local architect Fred Langford. The course is pristine and beautifully laid out, with waters and other hazards presenting challenges at almost every hole to even seasoned veterans.

After your morning on the green, head to the Cape May County Park & Zoo in Cape May Court House and experience over 200 acres of beautiful, natural wooded areas and open space. Besides the many exotic and native animals, the zoo has a large playground, picnic area, gift shop, carousel and rock climbing wall. Bring your bikes and take a ride on one of the bike paths, or hike on one of the trails in the park. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the six-acre aerial park, Tree to Tree Adventure Park, featuring zip lines, climbing nets, Tarzan swings and other fun obstacles. Admission to the zoo is completely free but donations are always welcome!

For lunch, consider delicious BBQ and seafood from DC’s Smokehouse in Cape May Court House. Bring the whole family and experience this delightful down-home cookin’, featuring favorites like brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken and turkey, fried and broiled seafood, and more. Pair your meal with sides such as mac n’ cheese, homemade potato salad, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and a variety of soups and salads.

Next, it’s time for some shopping fun! Visit Mama’s Junk on Hand Avenue in downtown Cape May Court House, a new shop selling anything but junk. At Mama’s Junk, you’ll find unique and vintage home décor, furniture and gift items for every home and heart. Furnish your shore home with both vintage treasures and new items with that old-fashioned feel. Furniture, soy candles, garden planters, artificial florals, wreaths, pillows and more – with a wide variety of items at a range of prices, there’s something for everyone at Mama’s Junk!

If you’ve worked up an appetite shopping ‘til you drop, Nino’s Family Restaurant in Cape May Court House can provide you with nothing short of an authentic Italian meal for dinner. The menu is perfect for both the seafood lover and those with a passion for pasta, and it brings together the cuisine of Northern and Southern Italy. If you’re an early diner, we suggest the Early Bird menu, served from 3 to 5 p.m. This menu includes soup or salad, bread and butter, an entrée with either a side of vegetables or linguini, a beverage and dessert. Choose from over 25 entrée items!

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.