Island Hopping: The Wildwoods

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 seventh edition of Island Hopping for the season, offering some of our favorite places to “do the shore.” This week we’re hopping to the Wildwoods, five miles of free beaches, a world-famous boardwalk, thrilling amusements and water parks, incredible dining, a variety of shops and so much more!

Start your morning at Jimbo’s Family Restaurant, where you’ll find bigger portions of better food! Located on the corner of 25th & Atlantic avenues in North Wildwood, Jimbo’s unique breakfast creations will leave you full and satisfied. Try Jimbo’s Signature Sandwich, made with two hard-fried eggs, two pieces of pork roll and American cheese, all in between a fresh bagel and served with a side of home fries and fruit.

After breakfast, cruise through the Five Mile Island’s streets on a sleek bike from Smitty’s Bike Rental, located on the corner of Youngs & Ocean avenues in Wildwood. Smitty’s makes biking affordable for every budget, with low-priced rentals and specials all summer long. Smitty’s has a variety of bikes available, including singles, lowrider, tandem bikes and surreys.

Once you’ve viewed the Wildwoods from a bike seat, head over to Mocean Waverunners in Wildwood and have an adventure on the water. Choose a leisurely cruise around, or open the throttle and see what you can do in over three miles of an open freestyle riding area. Don’t stress if you’re not experienced – Mocean’s professional instruction staff is available to help!

For a different water experience, check out Raging Waters Water Park located behind Morey’s Mariner’s Pier on the Wildwoods Boardwalk. Here, the entire family can have a wet and wild adventure. Parents can enjoy private cabanas, a float-up snack bar and the lazy River Adventure, while small children can play in one of two unique kiddie play areas. For the thrill seekers, plummet over Shotgun Falls or drift through the Wildwood skyline on the Sky Pond Journey!

Visit Backfin Blues Bar & Grill in Wildwood for lunch in a relaxing yet classy atmosphere. Enjoy a drink in the sun on the rooftop deck, or grab a delicious meal in the downstairs dining room. Consider the fresh fired brick oven pizza, the only brick oven pizza on the island that’s made with natural wood and no gas. Backfin’s extensive menu will be sure to thrill your taste buds no matter what you choose!

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! With Happy Hour prices all day every day, it’s always Happy Hour at Ship N’ Shore!

After lunch, it’s time to hit the rides! Morey’s Mariner’s Pier, located at Schellenger Avenue on the Wildwoods Boardwalk, offers fun for all with the atmosphere of a traditional amusement park. Hop aboard the Musik Express and jam out while spinning round and round. Take a breathtaking ride on the Giant Wheel with amazing views. And if all of this excitement puts you in the mood for a snack, Mariner’s offers irresistible boardwalk treats like pretzels, fried Oreos, ice cream and more!

Many dinner options await you in the Wildwoods. Experience an Italian meal from the heart at Joey M’s La Piazza Cucina Italiana in Wildwood. This restaurant offers everything from simple dishes to exotic dishes. Whatever you choose, the chefs will make you feel right at home like you are part of la famiglia. Cooking isn’t the only passion of Joey M’s – you may even get to hear him sing over your supper!

On the Wildwoods Yacht Basin, Boathouse Restaurant & Marina Deck invites diners to enjoy fresh seafood, steaks and sunsets! Grab two entrees for just $29 with Boathouse’s Sunset Specials nightly from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sit on the Marina Deck and pair your meal with spectacular views and a warm summer breeze!

Lighthouse Pointe lives again! Alongside picturesque waterfront dining, Lighthouse Pointe offers an all-new menu with a wide variety of great quality food ranging from surf and turf, to a large selection of gourmet burgers, to bar bites. Dine outside with family and friends while taking in beautiful bay views and breezes, and catch some tunes with live entertainment.

You can’t go wrong with some after-dinner cocktails at The Wharf, your “Hideaway on the Waterway.” Outside on the deck, which overlooks Otten’s Harbor on the Intracoastal Waterway, you can witness one of the most beautiful sunsets that you will ever see while sipping on one of The Wharf’s specialty drinks. Try the Voodoo Juice, full of fruity rums and juices and served in a souvenir “Voodoo Bucket.” The sounds of the best local bands often heat up the deck in the evenings, so stick around!

End your day of island hopping at Mulligan’s Shore Bar and Grill in Wildwood. This coastal-themed bar and restaurant is beautifully decorated with everything including surfboards, fish, life preservers and lighthouses. Wind down with the signature “Mullitini,” a secret family recipe you’re sure to enjoy, and the perfect way to relax after a long day out and about in Cape May County.

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