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 day with a delicious home-cooked breakfast, made with farm fresh produce from Ellie & Wild Bill’s Farmers Market in Green Creek. From locally grown fruits and veggies to homemade baked goods, this family owned and operated local produce and garden center has everything you need to start your day. They are open from 9 a.m. daily, so stop on by for all of your cooking needs!

After breakfast, spend some time on the green at Cape May Par 3 & Driving Range in Rio Grande. This 18-hole course allows those of all skill levels to have a successful game, making for a fun-filled morning. If you’re thinking about stopping by the beach after to soak up some afternoon sun, Cape May Par 3 welcomes those in beach attire to hit a round of golf before hitting the sand!

An alternative to the beach is a visit to Historic Cold Spring Village in Cold Spring, where you can step back in time into the “age of homespun.” This open-air living history museum represents the life of South Jersey villagers during 1789-1840. This weekend is ‘Down on the Farm Weekend,’ celebrating life on the Early American farm.

Grab lunch at Jake’s Bar & Grill in Villas and discover one of the best kept secrets in town! This restaurant is chef owned and operated by James Kershaw, who has over 30 years of restaurant experience. His signature New England and Spicy Crab Chowders are just a few of the incredible choices on Jake’s extensive menu. Fresh specials are served daily at Jake’s, including seafood, pasta, and hot and cold sandwiches. The restaurant also offers a children’s menu for the little ones!

Another great lunch option is Alumni Grill @ Rio Grande, offering a fresh, creative, school-themed menu full of one-of-a-kind salads, wraps, burgers, panini and specialty steaks. We suggest the ‘Rio Grande’ style burger, featuring a lightly fried egg, Applewood smoked bacon, avocado, pepper jack cheese and a drizzle of homemade hot garlic hot sauce. Local high school sports jerseys, jackets, varsity letters, plaques, newspaper clippings and photos line the walls, so look out for your local friends!

Next, hop aboard the Cape May-Lewes Ferry for a trip across the bay to Delaware’s tax-free shopping and beach attractions. The ride is pleasant and scenic, and terminals on both sides have enjoyable restaurants, outdoor cafés and well-stocked gift shops. Before heading out, grab a Happy Hour cocktail at On the Rocks Dockside Grill at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal, overlooking the waters where the Cape May Canal and the Delaware Bay meet. Flip flops are encouraged so you can kick back and relax!

After your journey across the Delaware Bay, it’s dinner time at 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.

For a different type of dinner cuisine, visit Vincenzo’s Little Italy II in North Cape May and get a taste of Italy. This family-friendly restaurant serves the very best in Italian food, from hot and cold appetizers like bruschetta to a large variety of pizzas, pastas, sauces and accompaniments. Bring your favorite Italian wine or beverage with you to complete your dining experience!

If Asian flavors are what you prefer, Asian Palace in North Cape May is the place to go! Owners Mike and Lisa are excited to offer delicious sushi and sashimi along with their regular Chinese and Thai menu, all within a bright, open and trendy atmosphere. Try the Tom Yum Koong soup for a spicy and satisfying treat, or sample the awesome Shanghai Steak. Everything on the menu is a delight, so don’t be afraid to try something new!

After a long day of hopping around offshore, relax and unwind at 5 West Pub in North Cape May and grab some cool cocktails with friends. Even furry friends are welcome, as 5 West Pub’s outside patio is pet friendly! Water is probably the best choice for Fido, but for you, we suggest the signature “5 West” cocktail made with Bacardi Dragonberry Rum, lemonade, cranberry juice and 7Up.

You can also kick back at the Country Club Tavern in Swainton, where country meets Cape May County! Enjoy your favorite brew or cocktail while listening to live music or catching your favorite sports team on one of eight flat screen TVs. On your way out, stop by the liquor store featuring a vast selection of cold beer and wine for you to enjoy at home!