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 11th 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!

If you’re day of Island Hopping starts on a Saturday, spend your morning at the Downtown Wildwood Farmers Market! Located on Pacific Avenue between Oak & Schellenger avenues in Wildwood, the market features fruits, vegetables, plants, honey, herbs, nuts, wine and more. Grab coffee and a muffin for a quick breakfast, or stock up on fresh produce to cook at home. The market also includes family entertainment that makes for a fun morning for those of all ages!

Once the heat hits, it’s time to head out on the water. Pier47 Marina in Wildwood is your destination for watersports fun! This full service marina offers rentals and sales of outboards, jet boats and personal watercrafts, perfect to get you out on the water and keep you cool. Pier47 also is home to a 5,000+ square-foot fully stocked ship store that offers cleaning and detailing supplies, engine oil, marine chemicals and lubricants, tackle supplies and much more.

For a more relaxing afternoon on the water, visit the Kayak Fishing Store in North Wildwood. Talk to the ProStaff, find the right kayak for you and get tips on how to reel in the best catch. If kayak fishing isn’t the sport for you, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available to rent, and all kayaks are equipped with fishing rod holders for those that want to try their luck!

Lunch time! 2 Mile Restaurant & Bar is an excellent choice for your family’s midday meal, offering waterfront dining at its best. Here, your dining experience will be first rate without the formality, with menu options from artisan-style flatbread pizzas and upscale appetizers to top-notch steaks and the freshest seafood. A full cocktail menu, 20 beers on tap and an extensive wine list are available to complement your meal while taking in unbeatable views of Wildwood Crest’s waterways.

Another great lunch option is Poppi’s in Wildwood, serving up signature dishes like Crispy Rice Balls, Parmesan Truffle Fries, Seafood Risotto, Caprese Salad and more. Brick oven pizza is Poppi’s specialty, created with the highest quality ingredients and pizza dough made on the premises daily. Pair your meal with local wine from Hawk Haven Winery, and finish it off with one of Poppi’s homemade specialty desserts!

After lunch, take a trip to the pier that ROCKS! Morey’s Adventure Pier, located between Spencer and Youngs avenues on the Wildwoods Boardwalk, is packed with high thrill extreme rides, the famous Great White wooden coaster and helicopter rides, plus a stage that features School of Rock’s live entertainment all summer long! Check out the [artBOX], a 10,000-square-foot gallery made from 11 re-purposed shipping containers, showcasing local artists’ paintings and crafts.

Next, shop ‘til you drop among the Boardwalk’s 38 blocks. Stop into 5 Mile Marketplace to get everything you need for your time at the shore, including swimwear, resort wear, active wear, shoes, hats, sunscreen, beach toys and more. Plus, you can get souvenir clothing and gifts to help you remember your Wildwood Days forever!

For the fashionista in your family, take a walk down to Marcellina, located toward the end of the Boardwalk in Wildwood Crest. Marcellina has become a go-to shopping destination for high quality clothing and accessories. Featuring popular designer lines such as Tommy Bahama, Brighton, Spartina, Kendra Scott, Uno de 50, Lokai, Alex & Ani and more, Marcellina offers looks for the beach, boardwalk or a nice evening out.

When dinnertime rolls around, drink, dine and unwind at Urie’s Waterfront Restaurant off of Rio Grande Avenue. At Urie’s, you can enjoy dinner along the Wildwoods Yacht Basin and escape to the tropics. Urie’s waterfront deck is complete with its own Tiki Bar featuring favorite summer cocktails and beer. Indulge in all-you-can-eat snow and Maryland blue crabs nightly on the dockside deck, or opt for a fresh catch from the raw bar.

In the mood for Italian? Head to Little Italy in Wildwood Crest, replicating the sights, sounds, tastes and overall experience of an authentic Italian piazza. If the shore atmosphere has you craving cuisine of the sea, Little Italy offers ultra-fresh seafood combination platters topped lightly with breadcrumbs and baked to perfection. Or, for the best of both worlds, try one of Little Italy’s “pasta with seafood” dishes!

Casey’s on Third in North Wildwood welcomes you to grab a cool cocktail and relax after a long day of Island Hopping. If you happen to catch the tunes of a live band on stage, step onto the huge dance floor and get your groove on!

Why stop there? Bar hop over to Dogtooth Bar & Grill in Wildwood and keep the fun going! Enjoy live music and drink specials, and satisfy those late night cravings with delicious bar bites. Come see for yourself why Dogtooth is notable among visitors and a local favorite!