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 ninth 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!

While Duffer’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor in Wildwood is widely known for its homemade ice cream treats, breakfast here is just as delicious! With endless possibilities such as specialty breakfast sandwiches, light and tender Duffermade pancakes, omelettes made with fresh country eggs, stuffed French toast and much, much more, everyone is sure to leave Duffer’s with satisfied stomachs!

D R Bradley Bike Rental can help you work off those morning calories with a lovely bike ride through the Wildwoods! Conveniently located on Rambler Road and the beach in Wildwood Crest at the beginning of the Wildwood Bike Path, D R Bradley Bike Rentals has bikes to accommodate everyone. Rentals include single bikes, surreys, low riders, training wheels and trailers.

Spend the rest of your morning with some fun and relaxation in the sun! Located on the beach behind Morey’s Surfside Pier is a small getaway in Ocean Oasis Water Park + Beach Club. Among an exciting collection of waterslides and play areas for the kids and kids at heart, you’ll find private cabanas in an atmosphere of tranquility for those who wish to sit back and relax. Float through the Lazy River or sip on a drink from the swim up bar, or opt for a specialty cocktail at Stubborn Brothers Beach Bar & Grille.

Have lunch Irish-style at the totally revamped Shamrock Beef & Ale, featuring a full lunch menu to please the Irish palate and beyond. The Shamrock offers everything from small plates to full course meals. Grab an Irish favorite such as Bangers & Mash, or go for a classic burger made fresh with Black Angus beef, never frozen. Shepherd’s Pie is one of Shamrock’s irresistible signature dishes, with beef, carrots and peas in brown gravy topped with a mashed potato crust. Yum!

If you prefer a relaxing lunch in the comfort of your own place – whether that be a hotel room, condo or house – Fish House Market & Eatery in Wildwood Crest can provide you with delicious seafood to go. Order raw and Fish House will give you the lemon and spices needed to whip up a home-cooked meal, or order it cooked and let them do the work for you!

Take an afternoon stroll on the famous Wildwoods Boardwalk, and be sure to get some shopping some while you’re there! We suggest stopping by Elby’s Variety Store, where you’ll find everything you need for your Jersey Shore vacation. Get swimwear, clothes, hats and shoes, plus souvenirs and gifts to remember your Wildwood Days forever!

If you’re not ready to head back to the boards, there are plenty of shopping options on the streets of the Five Mile Island. Check out the North Wildwood Shirt Shop, with a retail store full of beach needs and North Wildwood logo gear. Can’t find what you’re looking for? The Shirt Shop specializes in custom screen printing and embroidery!

Your dinner options are endless in the Wildwoods. Over on the waterfront at Schooner Landing in Wildwood, Beach Creek Oyster Bar & Grille offers contemporary coastal cuisine with an international flair – cuisine your family will love for dinner. Save room to sample one of the oyster specialties, with at least three different oyster dishes offered daily.

For an authentic Italian meal, dine at Nino’s Family Restaurant in 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.

Brine, a new restaurant on the bay in Wildwood Crest, is known for its fresh fare, seasonal cocktails, breathtaking sunsets and good company. Take in the bay’s salty air and stay for a while as you dine on locally sourced menu items to entertain every palate.

After dinner, experience the excitement of the Wildwoods Boardwalk at night. Hop on the Giant Wheel and take in the gorgeous views of the city. Indulge in sweet treats like creamy fudge, smooth ice cream or crunchy popcorn. Pop into an arcade and challenge the kids to a game. If you happen to be on the boards on a Friday night, stick around until 10 p.m., when the fireworks extravaganza lights up the night sky!

Who doesn’t love some authentic Italian desserts? Satisfy your nighttime sweet tooth at the Ravioli House in Wildwood. The Pastry Shop’s cases are filled with a vast selection of beautiful and delightful pastries, cakes and pies. You don’t want to miss out on this Italian tradition!

When heading home for the evening, swing by Cork ‘n’ Bottle on Atlantic Avenue in Wildwood and grab everything you need to unwind with some cocktails. Established in 1937, Cork ‘n’ Bottle has been serving wine, beer and spirits to both locals and visitors of the Wildwoods for 80 years!

Rather let someone else do your drink mixing for you? At Ice House Restaurant & Bar in Wildwood, you can chill atop the casual, open-air deck and bar with a cool cocktail in hand. Sip your drink, gaze upon Otten’s Harbor and sit under the twinkling stars – the perfect way to end your day of Island Hopping.