Island Hopping: September 2 to September 8

Cape May County is a treasure trove of thrills, games, specialty seafood, happy hour specials, traditional family-style restaurants, beach gear, breakfast favorites 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 last edition of Island Hopping, offering our map of suggestions of where to “do the shore” for a great week of Cape May County fun and an epic end to summer.

Start your morning on the Wildwoods Boardwalk – there’s nothing like a brisk walk with an ocean breeze to get your day going! Check out Adam’s Restaurant on the Boardwalk in North Wildwood, voted #1 Boardwalk destination for casual family-style dining. Have breakfast with a view, and choose from a variety of tasty dishes including hot cakes, fresh eggs, French toast, omelets, crisp waffles and more. The extensive breakfast menu is sure to satisfy even the most sophisticate palate!

After fueling up for the day, take the family over to Hollywood Bicycle Center in Avalon to view the Seven Mile Island from a bike seat. This full-service bicycle shop provides quality new bikes and all the gear you need, as well as certified specialists for bike fittings. Already have a bike that needs some tuning up? Hollywood Bicycle Shop has certified bike repair specialists on hand. Looking to rent instead of buy? Rentals are available as well, and the shop offers free delivery for three or more bikes within 10 miles.

Lunchtime calls for a trip to The Watering Hull in Stone Harbor, a bar, restaurant, lounge and music venue featuring Caribbean food. Located upstairs in Harbor Square, The Watering Hull’s lunch menu features a wide selection of appetizers, raw bar options, soups, salads, platters and specialty sandwiches. Pair your lunch with a midday cocktail, such as a margarita, mojito or signature “Hull” cocktail.

A second lunch option is Ship N’ Shore Bar & Grill, where you’ll find a unique and laid-back atmosphere which overlooks Otten’s Harbor. Get a cold beer or cocktail, plus all of your favorite bar bites! Enjoy homemade burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, salads, pizzas and more. With Happy Hour prices all day every day, it’s always Happy Hour at Ship N’ Shore!

Post-lunch, engage in some retail therapy, whether it’s for yourself or a loved one. Visit The Well Dressed Olive in Stone Harbor, specializing in premium extra virgin olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars, gourmet foods and unique gifts. But this isn’t just any old shopping experience – The Well Dressed Olive carries a large collection of fresh olive oils and traditional balsamic vinegars, all on tap for you to taste!

Next, hop on over to The Marketplace @ Teaberry in Cape May Court House, where you’ll find over 80 individual vendors under one roof. One vendor to check out is Cape Gift Basket Company, offering a wide variety of ready-made or customized baskets for any occasion. Spa baskets, new baby baskets, cooking baskets and more – you name it! Custom baskets are also available, and you can order online as well.

Dinner options in Cape May County are endless. Take in the charm and graciousness of the Victorian era at the Merion Inn in Cape May. Enjoy traditional regional seafood specialties, sizzling steaks, classic cocktails and live piano music. Try a Vickitini, a Merion Inn original named after the owner, Vicki Watson, full of smooth orange and cranberry flavors.

For an authentic Italian meal, dine at Nino’s Family Restaurant with locations in Cape May Court House and Wildwood. 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. in Cape May Court House and 3 to 5:30 p.m. in Wildwood. 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!

A third dining option is Colleen’s By The Sea in Wildwood, a new restaurant in the area. Colleen’s offers an upscale dining experience with casual elegance that the entire family can enjoy. The extensive menu is made with care from the finest cuts of meat and the freshest seafood available. Colleen’s wine list is as extensive as its dinner menu, so you can find the perfect pairing for your meal!

Bring your day of island hopping to a sweet end at Duffer’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor in Wildwood. With a large selection of homemade ice cream flavors, Duffer’s offers countless possibilities. Unique flavors such as maple walnut, strawberry cheesecake, vanilla fudge, butter brickle and coconut chip can be topped with your favorite syrup and candy bar pieces. The extensive sundae menu must also be considered, or go for the warm waffles and ice cream for a delicious treat!

For a unique sweet treat, try a wafflewich! Next to the Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor is Wafflewich, offering made-to-order Coney Waffles with scoops of ice cream and assorted toppings. These “Coney Waffles” are named so because the waffle itself is shaped like a hot dog bun, making it a mess-free vehicle for scoops of ice cream. Indulge in your wafflewich while watching a picture-perfect sunset over Stone Harbor’s bay!