What to do When the Skies Aren’t Blue: Explore the Shore

When summer showers make a beach day impossible, what alternatives does Cape May County offer? Whether you’d like to take a step back in time or bowl a strike, we have a recommendation for exploring the Jersey Shore in a new way on a dreary day.

Feeling rainy day anxiety? When looking for an outlet for pent-up energy during a downpour, choosing a more physical activity is the way to go. Bowling is a classic indoor activity that can be enjoyed by family members and friends of all ages. Both Island Bowl in Wildwood and Mouse Trap Lanes in Woodbine are great places for family entertainment, friends’ night out or date night. Both bowling alleys have an arcade and lounge for some post-match fun, and both offer multiple specials throughout the week.

Inspired to commune with nature instead? Cape May County offers various indoor facilities that allow interaction with wildlife and its habitats. The Wetlands Institute of Stone Harbor, surrounded by award winning gardens with hundreds of native plants, features Marshview Hall from which visitors can observe the surrounding marsh and sample wildlife art and carvings. Cape May Bird Observatory also proves to be a great lookout point on a rainy day. Binoculars make for an even better look and can be purchased in the nature shop.

Forgot an umbrella? Hop aboard Dolly the Trolley, sponsored by Downtown Wildwood, for a $1 ride from 26th Street all the way to Cresse Avenue. Dolly run from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday and offers shield from the rain. Look for the pink and blue “Dolly The Trolley Stop” signs along Pacific Avenue and Atlantic Avenue and take a ride to visit all the great restaurants, clubs and shops that Downtown Wildwood has to offer!

Interested in the history of your favorite shore towns? Visit the Cape May Lighthouse at Cape May Point State Park for one of the county’s best vantage points and to learn about the monument and its history over the past two centuries. Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in North Wildwood is also open for touring and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. The Naval Air Station Wildwood at the Cape May Airport has been restored and transformed into an Aviation Museum that houses a number of aircrafts, engines, special exhibits and educational interactive displays. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities hosts many events at the historic Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May, including house tours that showcase the history behind this 18-room mansion and the homes that border it. Visit The Museum of Cape May County in Cape May Court House to see a showcase of county life from Native American times through the twenty-first century.

Dying to see that new movie release? Frank Theatres in Rio Grande, Harbor Square Theatre in Stone Harbor and Moorlyn Family Theatre in Ocean City all give the whole family something to do together on a rainy day, so grab a bucket of popcorn and your favorite candy!

In the mood for a tasting? Winery and brewery tours and tastings are a fun way for adults to get out on a rainy day. Cape May Winery & Vineyard in Cape May, Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery in Rio Grande, Willow Creek Winery in Cape May and Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House are all local wineries that offer wine tastings and tours, but all are different in their own unique style and atmosphere. For those who prefer a different taste, Cape May Brewing Company in Cape May, Slack Tide Brewing Company in Clermont and 7 Mile Brewery in Rio Grande offer brewery tastings and tours, all with a different feel, but all with great beer.

Theater lover? Check out the indoor stages of talented local theater companies. East Lynne Theater Company (ELTC) based out of Cape May is a proven destination for theater lovers who crave the adventure of discovery. Also based out of Cape May, Cape May Stage inspires performers, audiences, the community and the entire region. For a unique theatrical production, visit Elaine’s Dinner Theater in Cape May for a full course dinner and a show put on within the walls of a restored Victorian Mansion.