There are so many places and things to see and do when on vacation in our area. Here we made a list of 10 of our favorite things to see and do for both adults and children, while enjoying your vacation.
This list is our personal preferences but the choices (so many LOL) are up to you.
1. Of Course – Our Beaches!
The Wildwood Crest Beach is super wide so you’ll never get that “cramped in” feeling that often times is associated with beaches on those really hot days. There’s plenty of real estate to spread out. The further you are from the water the more space you’ll get. You can even find space to play volley ball, frisbee or toss a football! Also this beach is completely free as are the North Wildwood and Wildwood beaches. To my knowledge these are the only free beaches on the Jersey Shore. Cape May Beach is also worth a visit. Yes there’s a beach tag requirement there but Cape May has a beautiful convention center and loads of eateries with boutique shops lined along its own “concrete” boardwalk. Definitely a must see if I was visiting the area.
2(A). Morey’s Amusement Piers and Its Waterparks
When you’re done with the beach we highly recommend visiting the Wildwood Boardwalk. You can go by car but bring plenty of quarters since you may, with a little bit of patience, find an open parking meter. Another choice would be parking lots but they fill up pretty fast. We opt out for the open air trolley that periodically stops right in front of our condo. Just ask the front management for their schedule and you’ll be good to go. When there you’ll see that our 3 mile long boardwalk has 3 amusement piers that jut out towards the ocean. There’s simply no better setting to have memorable family fun than Morey’s Piers. Explore the boardwalk using the tram car or if your feeling energetic just walk. For more information click on Morey’s Piers.
When our kids were younger we’d visit one of the two water parks (and sometimes both) at least once a month during the summer. Your kids will absolutely love it! Our preference was always the Ocean Oasis because you can have an adult beverage (love that open air trolley) while the kids play. You can rest comfortably in lounge chairs and just enjoy the view. No better way to relax while the kids are splashing around. The other water park is loads of fun too. It’s called Raging Waters Water Park and is a bit more exciting for the older kids. Still plenty to do for the little ones though – it has 2 kiddie pools and a lazy river. This is a nice change from the beach for the kids. Another way to have great family memories! For more information click on Morey’s Piers.
Ok I’ll admit this may not be of interest to everyone but I did say this list is based on our preference LOL. If it’s not for you just scroll on down to the next choice – we’re sure you’ll find something that excites you. We love relaxing at a variety of fishing (or crabbing) choices through out Wildwood Crest and Cape May. You can fish from the beach at several locations. One of my favorites is right by the Cape May lighthouse – a short drive from our condo with plenty of parking. If you prefer to fish by boat there are loads of boat rentals on the island. We happen to like Pier 47 at 3001 Wildwood Blvd in Wildwood. They have skiffs or pontoon boats which are great for families. You can fish or crab the backwater bays of Wildwood. Another chance for great family memories. If you want more serious fishing and want to go out on the ocean there are a myriad of party boats or charter boat willing to accommodate you.
4. Ah -the Restaurants!
Who doesn’t like eating? Especially when you’re on vacation. Nothing better than doing this with a family or group of friends. Or if you prefer a quiet romantic evening with your significant other. Wildwood Crest and Cape May have something for everyone! So these are our choices. For family friendly dining we highly recommend Little Italy at 5401 Atlantic Ave in Wildwood (street parking). Large family portions -reasonably priced and a BYOB but get there early. Also try the Dogtooth Bar and Grill at 100 E Taylor Ave in Wildwood (street parking). Plenty of families there with a wide and reasonably priced menu. Another family place (that’s usually not crowded) is the Fish Factory at 8606 New Jersey Ave in Wildwood Crest (street parking) couple of long blocks from our condo. Try the Crab House at Fish Dock Rd in Wildwood Crest (parking lot) out on 2 mile Landing. Reasonably priced seafood menu with harbor views. For fine dining we like the Beach Creek Oyster Bar and Grill at 500 W Hand Ave in Wildwood (parking lot), Coastal Blues Oceanside (usually not crowded) at 9701 Atlantic Ave in Wildwood Crest about a 5 minute drive and Marie Nicoles at 9510 Pacific Ave in Wildwood Crest also about a 5 minute drive. For breakfast we always go to the Jellyfish Cafe at 5911 New Jersey Ave in Wildwood. Huge portions – love it there!
If you go to Cape May we highly recommend Oyster Bay Restaurant and Bar at 615 S Lafayette St in Cape May (parking lot). It’s an upscale-casual steak & seafood restaurant featuring a large bar area & nautical-themed decor. Kids are welcome too. Another interesting place is the Lobster House (parking lot). It’s a bustling, harbor front seafood restaurant featuring a full bar, dockside seating & a casual ambiance. Georges Place is another great little breakfast/lunch cafe at 301 Beach Ave in Cape May (street parking-ouch!). Great food and prices but hard to get in to. For fine dining try the Ebbitt Room at 25 Jackson St in Cape May (street parking). It’s well-appointed, luxurious eatery & tavern offering seasonal, farm-to-table New American cuisine & drinks.
5. The Wildwood and Cape May Themed Events
The themed weekends offered by the Wildwoods and Cape May keep the excitement flowing. Here’s a small sampling of some of the past summer’s events in Wildwood (Cape May has it’s own themed event too!).
- The New Jersey State BBQ Championship & Anglesea Blues Festival 2nd and Olde New Jersey Avenues, and surrounding pubs in North Wildwood. Vacationers and locals alike experience the BEST in Barbeque & Blues at this exciting three day festival. Live cooking demonstrations, incredible food and top regional and national blues acts on a FREE main stage
- The Curley Fry Festival was at Morey’s Piers and brought their annual Curley Fry Festival to the boardwalk at Surfside Pier. Amateur eaters will compete to eat the most one-pound buckets of Curley Fries in 5 minutes
- The North Wildwood Italian-American Festival- Authentic Italian-American foods, vendors, dancing, children’s games, meatball relay races, Little Miss Italy contest, olive tree signings, raffles and FREE live entertainment.
- The NJ State Crab Festival – Event took place in front of the Ice House Restaurant, 4415 Park Blvd.in Wildwood featuring a block party atmosphere with “crabby” fun for the entire family! 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Festival includes bushels of blue claw crabs, a beer garden, “must try” crabby bloody marys, vendors and exciting things for the kids including a crab race at 6 p.m
- The Roar to the Shore Motorcycle Rally Cape Classics Motorcycle Club presents one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the Northeast! Daily motorcycle vendors, food and merchandise vendors, live entertainment and activities surrounding the Wildwoods Convention Center
- Wildwood Block Party & Music Festival Ended the summer season at Fox Park (Ocean Avenue between Burk and Montgomery Avenues) in Wildwood. A family festival that included crafts, games, rides, great food and continuous FREE live entertainment.
- The Irish Fall Festival Olde New Jersey Avenue and surrounding pubs, North Wildwood. The largest Irish Festival on the East Coast celebrating Irish heritage with dancing, music, food and craft vendors
- Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Maritime Festival – The event took place on the grounds of the historic Hereford Inlet Lighthouse and along Central Avenue fronting the lighthouse in North Wildwood. The outdoor festival is a celebration of New Jersey’s rich maritime history.
But wait there’s more-check out the free summer concerts:
- Concerts under the Stars Series – FREE live entertainment at the Lou Booth Amphitheatre, 2nd & Ocean Avenues, North Wildwood.
- The Doo Wop Back to the ’50s Neon Night Tour at 500 Ocean Avenue in Wildwood. Happens every Tuesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. during the summer season. The Wildwoods are home to the highest concentration of mid-century doo wop architecture in the country
- Wildwood Crest Summer Concerts (weekly all summer long)
Additionally they had these events last summer too:
- Fireworks on the Beach – extravaganza on the beach every Friday night at Pine Avenue in Wildwood!
- Yoga on the Beach – Bring a beach towel it’s on the Wildwood beach behind the Wildwood Convention Center at Burk Avenue for yoga classes at 9 a.m. $5 per class.
- Sports Card, Toys, Comics & Collectibles Show -Wildwoods Convention Center. Collectibles, memorabilia and guest star appearances. Over 100 tables of the hottest collectibles on the planet!
- Authentic Irish Pipe and Drum Brigade parade on the Wildwoods Boardwalk
- Cape May Spring Festival
- Polish Festival
- Wildwood International Kite Festival
- Jersey Shore Beach N Boat Season Long Fishing Tournament, Pub Crawl during the Mummers Brigade Weekend,
They say shopping is mostly for woman but I have to say that whether cruising the high end souvenir shops (and clothing boutiques) on Beach Drive or the Washington Street Mall (both in Cape May) I truly enjoy the shopping experience. There really is something unique for everyone. There are always benches or other forms of seating pretty much everywhere to just stop and relax. Plenty of places to have a nice lunch “al fresco” where you can just kick back and people watch. A few ice cream and fudge shops for the “sweet tooths” among us too. Also nice clean bathrooms at both locations should the need arise.
7. An Evening At Sunset Beach
We’ve enjoyed Sunset Beach throughout the years. When you visit Cape May be sure to leave one night open for the evening flag ceremony which is held daily from May through September. You can watch the sun set over the Delaware Bay while taps plays and the flag is lowered for the evening. It’s a moving event. Sunset Beach will be packed with people who come out to watch the sunset so be sure to get there early because the parking lot fills up fast. The sunset is absolutely beautiful as is the beach (no beach tags required). This beach is at the very tip of New Jersey, that’s why it’s the only place to see the sunset in the west. The beach is more for sight seeing than swimming but the fishing is good and you can look for Cape May diamonds along the shore line. Sunset Beach is a beautiful place to find solace. Nothing compares to nature’s sunsets or sunrises!
8. Visit The Cape May Wineries
The Cape May Wineries have certainly grown over the years that Lori and I have been vacationing here. They produce some pretty fine wines. You remember that old quote- ““Life’s too Short to Drink Bad Wine!” There are 5 wineries to explore. The Cape May Winery, the Hawk Haven Winery, the Jesse Creek Winery and the Willow Creek Winery. The wineries have really expanded here in Cape May County. We’ve heard there’s even an organized tour called Tastings and Tours . Here’s the blurb right off of their website. “Enjoy a carefree day while tasting and touring at some of the finest wineries, breweries and brew pubs. Let us do the driving so you can sit back, relax and take in the scenery and of course, enjoy sampling at wineries and breweries with no worries!” Sounds good to me!
9. Whale and Dolphin Watching Tours
Well whale watching and dolphin watching are a great way to experience some of Cape May’s natural wonders. The Cape May Whale Watcher fleet have a variety of available activities. Lori and I chose the 3-hour tour of the Bay and the Atlantic. We didn’t see any whales but learned a ton about Cape May’s ocean habitat and saw plenty of dolphins during our whale and dolphin watching expedition. Some of these boats offer a variety of day and special event cruise packages including a dinner cruise.
10. Atlantic City Nightlife
Okay I have to admit I’m not much of a gambler but Atlantic City is well known for both its inside and outside activities, its casinos, bars, shopping and beaches. It brings the idea of entertainment to a new level. The Atlantic City entertainment possibilities are countless. Besides Cape May beach, Atlantic City is one of the best holiday beach destinations on the Jersey Shore. Take a walk on the Atlantic City boardwalk and you’ll see what I am talking about. Hotel and restaurant owners realized the tourist potential and the boardwalk is ringed by luxurious hotels, casinos and restaurants. There is always action in Atlantic City, like New York it’s a town that never sleeps. It does not matter what you like, Atlantic City has it all.