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 fifth 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 some early morning fishing or crabbing. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get a great catch for dinner. But before you start, stop by Budd’s Bait and Tackle in Villas, where you’ll find a full line of fishing and crabbing supplies including fresh shucked clams, mealworms, nightcrawlers, a variety of tackle, fresh bunker and much more! No luck on the water? Let Budd’s do the work for you! Pick up some blue crabs for your next meal, caught and cooked daily with your choice of regular, hot or garlic spice.

Prefer to spend your morning high and dry on land? Step back in time into the “age of homespun” at Historic Cold Spring Village in Cold Spring, New Jersey’s largest open-air living history museum representing the life of South Jersey villagers during 1789-1840. This weekend is ‘Whaler Yeoman Weekend,’ celebrating the Cape May County founding families’ livelihoods which were tied to the land and the sea. Enjoy demonstrations and discussions regarding everything from whaling, to farming, to trades and crafts, all of which supported these early settlers.

When afternoon hunger strikes, Cold Spring Grange Restaurant – located at Historic Cold Spring Village and now under new management – is the solution. Satisfy your stomach with farm-t0-table dishes that reflect the season’s bounty, such as Cedar Planked Salmon or Soft Shell Crabs. Experience these delectable dishes within Grange Hall, built in 1912 as a meeting hall for the farmers and residents of Cold Spring and its surrounding rural area until about 1970.

For a lighter lunch option, try the sushi and steakhouse fusion cuisine of Yozu in North Cape May. Don’t worry if not everyone in your party is a Japanese cuisine lover – Yozu is proud to present a signature sushi roll perfect for both the sushi eater and the sushi skeptic. The “East Meets West” roll is the product of the chefs’ experiences in both American and Japanese restaurants. Custom tailored to Yozu’s clientele, the “East Meets West” roll features shrimp tempura, jumbo lump crab and avocado wrapped in rice and soy paper, topped with filet mignon and a combination of Japanese mayo and Béarnaise sauce.

After lunch, 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.

For a different experience on the green, check out 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 afternoon. 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!

If golfing isn’t your thing, 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 to Cape May Canal and the Delaware Bay meet. Flip flops are encouraged so you can kick back and relax!

For dinner, you can satisfy all of your cravings for delicious Mexican food at Dos Amigos in Rio Grande! Serving authentic Mexican cuisine with everything made fresh and by hand on site, Dos Amigos offers dozens of different dishes that will give you a real taste of how Mexican cooking should be. Dos Amigos is now located in the Rio Grande Plaza, next to ShopRite.

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!

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. If you stop by on a Sunday night, you’ll catch the all-day Happy Hour with some great specials! Cheers!