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The Best Thing About Each Cape May County Town

Saturday, August 21, 2021   /   by Teresa DiPeso

The Best Thing About Each Cape May County Town

NJ.com just released its list of the best things in each NJ town.  Here is their list for Cape May County!  

Avalon: Avalon Freeze

There is nothing sweeter in summer than a lick of creamy soft-serve. But soft-serve gets little respect, at least in New Jersey. “Hard” ice cream rings up most of the dollars and gets all the publicity. Soft-serve? It’s regular ice cream’s distant, often-neglected cousin, the one that never gets gifts at Christmas. Avalon Freeze opened in 1957 and its retro exterior practically begs you to step up to the counter. There are just three flavors of soft-serve — chocolate, vanilla and twist, but the first two are silky-smooth. Here’s my list of the state’s best soft-serve spots.


Cape May: The victorian homes

The southern tip of New Jersey is a victorian jewel, with the highest concentration of these ornately styled homes outside of San Francisco. Cape May is also impossibly romantic, touts a lively dining scene and an excellent beach. Plus a grace period on your parking meter! Cape May does the Jersey Shore experience like no other town. But it’s not stuffy, encompassing everything from fanciful B&Bs to the hole-in-the-wall Hot Dog Tommy’s. Speaking of food, Cape May was named one of the nation’s top 20 food cities by Conde Nast Traveler magazine.


Cape May Point: Lake Lily

You might say, “why isn’t Cape May Point State Park here?” Because it’s in Lower Township, that’s why. Lake Lily takes up a healthy chunk of the 0.3-square-mile Cape May Point. Pirates loved the lake. They would anchor their boats offshore and reach the lake by small boats, filling their water barrels with the lake’s freshwater. The legendary Captain Kidd was said to have buried treasure here. Cape May Point is farther south than parts of Maryland, Virginia, even Kentucky.


Dennis Township: Jersey Shore Haven

New Jersey is chock fall of campgrounds, but none quite like Jersey Shore Haven. It’s an Airstream-only campground; you can’t go rolling in there in your Winnebago. There are 98 campsites on 38 wooded acres, a screened pavilion, even a heated swimming pool. You’re welcome to drive in with your car and check it out, but observe those 5 mph speed limit signs.


Lower Township: Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach, Cape May, NJ Sunset - YouTube

Sunset Beach, with its gift shops and restaurant — and sunsets, of course — is a popular stop for those who want to escape Cape May’s crowded beaches. The ghostly remains of the concrete ship Atlantus sit several hundred yards offshore. One of the Shore’s most touching moments happens every day at dusk, when the American flag is lowered. Marvin Hume, who served in the Navy Air Force in the South Pacific during World War II, started the flag-lowering ceremony 40 years ago. A brief bio of each veteran was read as Kate Smith sang “God Bless America.” Those who helped Hume lower the flag signed up for flag duty on a calendar in the main gift shop. Hume passed away in 2015, but his son, Larry, intends to keep the ceremony alive. It was not held last summer, but did resume this summer.


Middle: Township Cape May County Park & Zoo

Cape May County Park & Zoo is New Jersey’s own wild kingdom, near the end of its busiest highway, the Parkway. It opened in 1978 with an African lion, spider monkeys, some Jersey wildlife and farm animals. It is now home to 550 animals — parrots, macaws, kookaburras, bongos, ostriches, ring-tailed lemurs, giraffes, bison, Burmese python, elk, a red panda, black bear, lions and the world’s largest rodent, not to mention flamingos from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. And the 87-acre zoo, amazingly, is free.


North Wildwood: New Jersey state barbecue championship

One of the Jersey Shore’s most colorful events, the state barbecue championship draws teams from as far as North Carolina and Florida to compete for top pork, brisket, chicken and best-in-show honors. The names may be nonsensical — the Wauhatachie Stump Jumpers, the Porkitects, the Cookin’ Commando — but the competition is fierce. The event, a fundraiser for the Anglesea Volunteer Fire Co., and accompanied by a blues festival, is held in mid-July.


Ocean City: The Baby Parade

GALLERY: Ocean City Baby Parade 2018 | Photo Galleries |  pressofatlanticcity.com

Kids dressed as pirates, surfers, lifeguards, princesses, angels, vegetables and more, being towed in coolers, red wagons, schoolhouses, farm stands, diners and floats down the boardwalk. It must be the ridiculously adorable Ocean City Baby Parade, the single greatest spectacle at the Jersey Shore every summer. It started in the early 1900s, and attracts 400 or more entries each year. Grand marshals have included Joe DiMaggio and Pete Rose. It was held Aug. 12 this year.


Sea Isle City: Fish Alley

Exploring Sea Isle City: The Fishing Village That Reels in Summer Crowds |  New Jersey Monthly

In the early 1900s, commercial fishing boats docked along the canals of what Sea Isle City founder Charles K. Landis called “Venicean Park," and the neighborhood soon acquired the nickname Fish Alley. Today, it’s a popular spot stocked with restaurants, bars and boats. My favorite spots: The outdoor bar at The Oar House, and Casa Taco Bayfront Taqueria, just around the corner. Sea Isle’s Welcome Center is located next to the “Fish Alley" sign.


Stone Harbor: Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary

Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary | VisitNJ.org

A bird sanctuary smack in the middle of a seashore resort? Why not? The area was a birder’s heaven as far back as the late 1800s. When the 96th Street bridge opened in 1911, birders no longer had to trudge across four miles of marsh to get there. The Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary, which formally opened in 1947, is one of the few completely within municipal boundaries. There are four paths and you might see the brown thrasher, glossy ibis, great blue heron, osprey and northern flicker, among other birds.


Upper Township: Strathmere

Upper’s Jersey Shore hideaway Strathmere is notable for what it doesn’t have: no boardwalk, no amusement parks or water slides, no parking meters, not even a pizzeria. The post office is on the ground floor of a faded white house. But there’s The Deauville Inn (whose website asks “Where the hell is Strathmere?”), Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, and The Old Shack, a sandwich spot. And don’t forget Twisties, a red-shingled neighborhood bar with a great bayfront setting. The bar was one of ten finalists in our N.J.’s best bar showdown two summers ago.


West Cape May: Beach Plum Farm

There’s much to love here. Beach Plum Farm serves breakfast and lunch, with ingredients picked from the 60-acre farm, in the Beach Plum Farm Kitchen, an Amish barn. One must-try: the homemade doughnuts. You can also pick up fresh herbs and flowers, eggs and produce, the best locally made condiments, and quality handmade goods from Cape May County.


West Wildwood: Westside Saloon

A guide to the best 'dive bars' at the Jersey Shore | PhillyVoice

West Wildwood is the forgotten Wildwood, lost amidst the much brighter lights of North Wildwood, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. “Small town charm on the back bay” is the official slogan, and Glenwood Avenue is the only way in by land. It winds past Bedrock Golf, a miniature golf course; the whitewashed municipal building; and the Westside Saloon, which may be the narrowest bar in Jersey, at least at one end. That’s it for nightlife in West Wildwood. If you want action and excitement, head elsewhere.


Wildwood: ‘Watch the tram car, please!’

The Five Most Annoying Words at the Jersey Shore every summer are not “Your license and registration, please” or “We are all booked up,” but a quintet of seemingly innocuous words that, when strung together, have managed to grate on generations of visitors to Wildwood: “Watch the tram car, please. Watch the tram car, please …” The Voice may be stern and scolding, but it belongs to a sweet senior citizen who retired from South Jersey Gas and now does volunteer work for a church and food pantry. She recorded the message in 1971. “I just spoke into a tape recorder and said it over and over,” Flo Stingel once told me.


Wildwood Crest: Free beach!

Wildwood Crest | NJ Beach Towns Real Estate :: Daniels Realty

I would like to have said “the great 50s retro hotels," but most have been bulldozed in recent years to make way for spanking new condos and townhomes. A few remain, including the Caribbean Motel. All three Wildwood beaches — North Wildwood, Wildwood and the Crest — are free. And impossibly wide. You’ll get more exercise just reaching the water than anything else you’ll do that day.


Woodbine: Sam Azeez Center for Woodbine Heritage

Woodbine was founded in 1891 as a haven for Eastern European Jews persecuted by Czarist regimes, according to the township website. Millionaire railroad tycoon Baron de Hirsch’s foundation bought 5,300 acres of land to begin a settlement and Woodbine was incorporated as a borough in 1903. The Sam Azeez Center for Woodbine Heritage, in the Woodbine Brotherhood Synagogue building, houses exhibits on town history, farming and factories, arts and culture, the Baron de Hirsch Agricultural School, and more. It is temporarily closed.

Teresa M DiPeso & The DiPeso Group Jersey Shore Real Estate Experts
Teresa M. DiPeso
5901 New Jersey Ave
Wildwood Crest, NJ 08260
609-780-1434

The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity program of the Cape May County Multiple Listing Service. Real estate listings held by brokerage are marked with the Broker Reciprocity logo or the Broker Reciprocity thumbnail logo (a little black house) and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers.
The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity program of the South Jersey Shore Regional MLS. Real estate listings held by brokerage are marked with the Broker Reciprocity logo or the Broker Reciprocity thumbnail logo (a little black house) and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers.
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