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 first 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 “Wildwood’s favorite diner,” Marvis Diner! Located on the corner of Pacific and Rio Grande avenues, Marvis Diner brings us back in time with its whimsical doo-wop theme and pays tribute to Wildwood’s glory days of the 1950s. Here you’ll find the best breakfast creations to get your day going, including Marvis favorites like Cream Chipped Beef, the Greek Omelette and the Royal Flush with two eggs, two pancakes, bacon and sausage. A best seller among Marvis’s many breakfast choices is the Stuffed French Toast, stuffed with your choice of Nutella and bananas or cream cheese and strawberries.

After a delicious and filling breakfast, it’s time for some fun on the water at Lakeview Docks! Head to scenic Sunset Lake in Wildwood Crest and get ready to soak up the sun on a Lakeview kayak, Swan Pedal Boat or stand-up paddleboard. For an on-the-water fishing experience, try out one of Lakeview’s four-person fishing boats. And of course Lakeview has WaveRunner rentals, offering the most exclusive rides in town in a quiet, large area of the bay.

When midday hunger strikes, you don’t have to give up your waterfront views. Check out the Crab House at Two Mile Landing in Wildwood Crest, featuring 500 feet of waterfront dining and a Crab Deck that boasts a view like no other. Enjoy fresh-caught crabs, other locally caught seafood, burgers, ribs, bar bites and more, and wash it down with a cold beer or a famous Orange Crush.

Another great waterfront option for lunch is Urie’s Waterfront Restaurant in Wildwood. Located off of Rio Grande Avenue, Urie’s allows you to escape to the tropics right along the Wildwoods Yacht Basin. Open for lunch on the weekends, Urie’s offers seafood, steaks, crabs, a raw bar and more. The waterfront deck is complete with its own Tiki Bar, featuring all of your favorite summer cocktails and beer. After lunch, check out Urie’s huge arcade that the children (and the children at heart) will love!

Post-lunch shopping is the perfect way to pass the afternoon by. Visit the Wildwoods Boardwalk for 38 blocks of shops including beachwear, clothing, accessories, souvenirs, jewelry, antiques, home décor, sweets and more. We suggest checking out Boardwalk’s Best Gifts & Variety at Glenwood Avenue & the Boardwalk for all of your souvenir needs. This shop is your destination for all things Wildwood, providing swim and resort wear, shoes, accessories, gifts and more for everyone on your list, all at affordable prices.

For dinner, consider dining at an establishment participating in the Wildwoods’ Restaurant Week for the best deals. From June 17 through June 21, you can wine and dine in some of the Wildwoods’ finest restaurants and get a four course meal for just $30 (plus tax and gratuity).

Who doesn’t love some authentic Italian desserts? Satisfy your sweet tooth with dessert 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!

The Wildwoods offer a great nightlife scene when the sun goes down. Head to the spectacular rooftop deck at Backfin Bar & Grill in Wildwood and catch the sunset over the bay. Grab a cool cocktail from the bar, jam to the tunes of local musicians, and relax and unwind in the classy yet casual atmosphere.

For a different scene, Shamrock Beef & Ale on Pacific Avenue in Wildwood features Irish fun all night long. Along with great drink specials, Shamrock features continuous live entertainment all summer long. You’ll likely find the legendary Billy Jack at this bar, wowing crowds with his acoustic and vocal talents. There’s nothing like the Shamrock experience!