Best of the Shore 2015: Wildwood

by Erica Bauwens, Matt Cosentino, Bill Donahue, Erin Fornwald, Amanda Hamm Hengel, Liz Hunter, Rachel Morgan and Peter Proko | Jun 7, 2015
Best of the Shore 2015: Wildwood …From the pages of South Jersey Magazine…

There’s nothing quite like summer at the Shore.
Whether you’re spending the day enjoying the surf and sand or heading out for a cocktail before dining at one of the many spectacular restaurants up and down the coast, it’s time to head back to the beach. But, we don’t want you to show up unprepared, which is why for our annual Best of the Shore roundup we’ve gathered the top places from Long Beach Island to Cape May. Find out where you should be grabbing breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as the best happy hours, cocktail bars, retail shops, activities for the kids and more.

Rise and Shine
The Waves Restaurant
This cozy spot serves up lots of homemade goodness for early risers looking to fill their belly. Fluffy pancakes and well-cooked omelets are fine choices, but we can’t stop raving about their Banella French toast—slices of bread baked in-house stuffed with sliced bananas and topped with Nutella.
(609) 600-2958,

Out to Lunch
Shoobie’s Good Eats
Shoobie’s menu has so many delectable options you could come all summer and not eat the same thing twice. They offer inventive sandwiches and paninis, tacos, mouthwatering burgers, even something called jelly fries—hand-cut fries with cream cheese and a spicy pepper jelly. Oh yeah, the salads are pretty dynamite too, if you’re into that whole looking-good-in-a-swimsuit thing.
(609) 522-7466,

Dining Out
One Fish, Two Fish Restaurant
The menu here is small, but focused, and the plates coming out of the kitchen are as appealing to the eye as they are appetizing to your stomach. Start with Prince Edward Island mussels in a tangy Tabasco tequila sauce then opt for the spicy roasted jerk chicken or blackened salmon, before finishing the evening with a warm chocolate chip muffin stuffed with cookie dough and a side of ice cream.
(609) 522-5223,

Snack Attack
Sam’s Pizza and Curley’s Fries
Boardwalk food is all about being able to grab and go. A slice of pizza here, a bucket of French fries there. Sam’s and Curley’s are Jersey Shore institutions and the fact that they are located mere steps from one another makes it easy for us to chow down efficiently. It’s no coincidence that both places have steady lines; good things come to those who wait.
(609) 522-6017,;

Child’s Play
Airboat Adventures
Over in Wildwood Crest your kids will have a blast riding through the marsh and getting up close and personal with the wildlife while learning about the ecosystem thanks to a friendly and knowledgeable staff that knows the local waterways like the back of their hand. Oh, who are we kidding? Even the adults in your crew will enjoy this one.
(609) 602-2492,

By the Bar
North End American Grill
Happy hour is truly a celebration at this North Wildwood joint. Grab a seat on the outdoor patio where live acoustic music fills the atmosphere as you sip on a Cape May IPA or a specialty cocktail while munching on plates like fried mac-and-cheese wedges or littleneck clams steamed in garlic herb butter.
(609) 435-5691,

Drink Up
The Establishment at 100
High-end cocktails reign supreme at this modern space sandwiched in between some of Wildwood’s more rowdier bars. Gin Makes You Sin—Hendrick’s gin, aperol, basil with honey syrup, grapefruit and a little carbonation—is a surefire way to kick off any evening. Or wind things down with the Message in a Bottle—hibiscus, coconut rum, orange, marmalade, pineapple, coconut milk and nutmeg. The bartenders here are true mixologists and the crafted cocktails are their hallmark.
(609) 523-8100,

The Scoop
With more than 30 homemade ice cream flavors Duffers is a one-stop shop for anyone who screams for ice cream. We absolutely melt for their undeniably delicious sticky bun offering, but maple walnut and piña colada are also crowd pleasers. They even have sundaes portioned for the little ones and they make a darn good orange cream float as well.
(609) 729-1817,

The Buzz
Cattle ‘n Clover
Irish bars are all about the party and this pub packs plenty of Celtic charm. It also hosts some of the Shore’s hottest live musical acts giving patrons the chance to cut loose and dance the night away. The sounds range from Irish folk songs to the hits of today, all under one roof with one mission in mind: to create a night to remember.
(609) 522-3800,

More in Store
This boutique carries the likes of Tommy Bahama and Brighton so your Shore couture will never suffer. It’s the perfect place to pick up some accent jewelry for a special evening on the town or to grab a seasonal handbag that you’ll likely be clutching well past Labor Day.
(609) 729-7528,

What’s New

After a renovation and new ownership, Tucker’s Pub will reopen this summer as the Old City Pub. After being closed for more than two years following Hurricane Sandy, Nino’s Family Restaurant will re-open at the site of the former Groff’s Restaurant on Magnolia Avenue. Splash Zone Waterpark’s Flow House Bar & Grill also added a new upscale menu this year.

This summer at Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks will be a new gorilla-themed amusement ride, centered around the iconic Kong boardwalk landmark. Morey’s Piers’ interactive artists’ colony, artBOX, will introduce a new rotation of guest artists, and a new interactive workshop where kids can create their own works of art to take home.

Bill Henfey Park is undergoing a renovation, including upgrades to the softball field, a new basketball court, two playgrounds, restrooms, a first aid station, new fencing and newly planted trees.

Wildwood Crest Library has a new location on Atlantic Avenue.

Also check out the town’s new Icon Wall Murals, sprinkled throughout the Wildwoods and showcasing its colorful history and culture.

Sip a collection of your favorite local brews at the first-ever Wildwood Beer Fest, June 13-14. And close out the season with the Wildwood Block Party and Music Festival, slated for Sept. 6, with a special performance by Chubby Checker. If country is more your style, Boots at the Beach is set for Sept. 18-19 and will have crafts, vendors, great food, and of course, live country music.

Click here for the full article.

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June, 2015).
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Author: Erica Bauwens, Matt Cosentino, Bill Donahue, Erin Fornwald, Amanda Hamm Hengel, Liz Hunter, Rachel Morgan and Peter Proko


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