Every year, we spend months shopping, playing and gorging our way through our towns and neighborhoods to track down the most amazing stores, marvelous attractions and delectable eateries our area has to offer.

A few exhausting weeks and extra pounds later, we have one incredibly comprehensive and invaluable Best of SJ list. What follows is our awesome, don’t-miss-it, everything-you’ve-gotta-try guide to the best of everything South Jersey. (By the way, if you need us, we’ll be at the gym).

 

«  Best of SJ

  • Best Empanadas

    Empanada Mama’s Cantina
    600 Park Boulevard,
    West Cape May
    609-972-3977
    empmamas.com

    Empanadas for breakfast? Check. Lunch and dinner? Check and check. No matter what time of day you visit Empanada Mama’s, you’ll find the tasty little treats stuffed with amazingly delicious combinations of fresh, local ingredients, like ricotta and sundried tomato, black bean and corn or strawberry Nutella. Whether you’re craving something sweet or savory, you’ll find the perfect option.

  • Best Bonfires on the Beach

    Bungalow No. 7
    402 East Rochester Avenue, Diamond Beach
    609-224-1124
    bungalow7beachbar.com

    The vibe at this oceanfront oasis might be island cool, but Bungalow No. 7 really knows how to turn up the heat. The beach here has been transformed into an airy living room, complete with twinkling lights, cozy sofas and fire pits. Order a drink and then roast marshmallows over the flames as you kick back under the starry skies.

  • Best Reason to Go Beyond Window Shopping

    Red Oak Trading
    324 Washington Street Mall, Cape May
    609-827-8320

    Cape May’s Washington Street is loaded with shops and restaurants, but the always-beautiful window display at Red Oak Trading will beckon you to step inside. The boutique is filled with a carefully curated selection of clothing, jewelry, bags and gifts. Trust us, you’ll be glad you walked through the door (and we doubt you’ll leave empty-handed).

  • Best New Reason to Visit Cape May County Zoo

    Tree to Tree Adventure Park
    707 Route 9 North,
    Cape May Courthouse
    609-388-8289
    treetotreecapemay.com

    IMG_2329Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s the newest aerial attraction at Cape May County Zoo. New this summer, Tree to Tree Adventure Park has everything you and the kids need for high-flying excitement: zip lines, nets, Tarzan swings and other fun obstacles. The color-coded courses become progressively more difficult and are designed to challenge your mind and body, all with an awesome view.

  • Best Wednesday-Night Special

    FIN
    At Tropicana Casino & Resort
    2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City
    800-345-8767
    tropicana.net

    We never really need a reason to head over to FIN, but Wasabi Wednesdays at the amazing seafood restaurant might just be our new favorite one. From 5 to 8 pm every Wednesday, you can enjoy half-price sushi along with half-price saké and sakétinis at the bar.

  • Best Taste of the Shore Anytime, Anywhere

    Johnson’s Popcorn
    1368 Boardwalk, Ocean City
    609-398-5404
    johnsonspopcorn.com

    johnsons_28_caramelDid you know you can get Johnson’s world-famous popcorn shipped anywhere in the world, all year long? With just a few clicks online, you can order tubs, tins and even gourmet gift baskets filled with the amazing caramel corn (or any of the other outstanding flavors) and have them delivered right to your doorstep for all those times you or your loved ones can’t be on the Boardwalk.

  • Best Grab & Go Breakfast

    Teplitzky’s
    At The Chelsea
    111 South Chelsea Avenue, Atlantic City
    609-428-4550
    thechelsea-ac.com

    You need a quick bite to start the day off right, but the beach beckons. Hit Teplitzky’s at The Chelsea for a steaming-hot cup of coffee and one of the retro restaurant’s amazing Malibu Rum glazed doughnuts or Danish (the homemade coconut rum glaze is to die for). For just $3, it’s a bargain you can’t beat.

  • Best Popsicles

    POPularity Pops
    216 South Bay Avenue, Beach Haven
    609-342-0764
    popularitypops.com

    popularity-pops-2These aren’t your run-of-the-mill popsicles. We’re talking gourmet pops made from amazing gelato and sorbet, in phenomenal flavors like pistachio, mango, amaretto and chocolate habanero. Get your pop dipped in chocolate sauce and mouth-watering toppings like shredded coconut or salted pretzels for a treat that’s good all the way down to the wooden stick.

  • Best Crab Cakes

    Rio Station
    3505 Route 9 South,
    Rio Grande
    609-889-2000
    riostation.com

    Another year, and another well-deserved nod to Rio Station’s crab cakes. Chef Kasorn Carter has been making them the same way for nearly three decades, so you’re always guaranteed a perfectly delicious order that’s tender and moist on the inside, but crispy and golden on the outside.

  • Best Way to Do Cape May Like a Foodie

    Cape May Food Tours
    800-979-3370
    capemayfoodtours.com

    Let your taste buds take the lead during the three-hour tasting tours offered by Cape May Food Tours. Your guide will take you to six local eateries, where you’ll sample award-winning and signature dishes. The tours (choose between the Historic Downtown and West Cape May tours) are also a great way to soak in the vibrant Victorian resort and learn more about its architecture, history and local lore.

  • Best Hotel Stay with the Kids

    Reges Oceanfront Resort
    9201 Atlantic Avenue, Wildwood Crest
    609-729-9300
    regesresort.com

    Getting away with the kids has never been so easy – and fun. In addition to comfortable, oceanfront rooms, Reges Resort has all the amenities to make your next family vacation unforgettable: a heated pool, a separate children’s pool, a sundeck with barbecue grills, poolside entertainment and an activity room.

  • Best Fun on Two Wheels

    Zippy’s Bikes
    3900 Pacific Avenue, Wildwood
    609-408-8956
    zippysbikes.com

    IMG_0678Put the pedal to the metal with help from the great staff at Zippy’s Bikes. Whether you’re looking to buy a fully loaded mountain bike or rent a cruiser during your week down the Shore, you’ll find oodles of options. The store also carries all the accessories you need to step up your ride, like lights, baskets and cup holders.

  • Best Lobster Roll

    Crab & Seafood Shack
    4520 Park Boulevard, Wildwood
    609-770-8509
    crabandseafoodshack.com

    This is the third time we’ve told you about the lobster rolls at Crab & Seafood Shack, so we hope you get the hint by now. Served on garlic rolls, they’re loaded with lobster that’s perfectly seasoned with dill and lemon. If you don’t want to wait for a table (there’s always a wait on weekends), call in your takeout order. Just be sure to call before the dinnertime rush, otherwise you’ll just get a busy signal thanks to all the other people doing the same.

  • Best Cabana Suites

    Ocean Club Hotel
    1035 Beach Avenue, Cape May
    609-884-7000
    capemayoceanclubhotel.com

    This is next-level lounging: The Pool and Sundeck Cabana Suites at Ocean Club Hotel boast private cabanas, just steps outside of your room. The swanky cabanas offer impressive views of the Atlantic Ocean and Cape May’s beach, along with privacy curtains and a flat-screen TV. You can even order food and drinks from the comfort of your own private oasis.

  • Best Make-Your-Own Bloody Marys

    Fins Bar & Grille
    142 Decatur Street,
    Cape May
    609-884-3449
    finscapemay.com

    Last summer was Fins Bar & Grille’s first season (formerly known as the Pilot House; the restaurant recently underwent a renovation and name change), but the trendy eatery is already knocking it out of the park, especially on Sundays. During Fins’ Sunday Social, you can mix up your own bloody mary to perfectly suit your taste (we like ours extra spicy!)

  • Best Place to Meet & Mingle

    The Sunroom
    Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
    1 Borgata Way
    Atlantic City
    609-317-1000
    theborgata.com

    THE SUNROOM AT THE WATER CLUBThe Sunroom is a lush oasis in the middle of Atlantic City, making it the perfect place for drinks and conversation. Located just inside The Borgata’s Water Club, the lounge is a sun-filled space with cascading water and elegant gardens. Grab a seat on one of the luxe sofas, then unwind with a glass of wine and one of the lounge’s signature tapas dishes.

  • Best Bohemian Boutique

    Summer Studio Avalon
    2900 Dune Drive, Avalon
    609-368-2300
    summerstudioavalon.com

    With its creative décor, handmade pieces from indie designers and whimsical atmosphere, Summer Studio Avalon will call to your boho-chic side. The friendly owner Kim will be happy to give you details on the items in the store and the artisans behind them, and she also offers art classes for kids.

  • Best Sundeck For Your Wedding

    The Grand Hotel
    1045 Beach Avenue,
    Cape May
    609-884-5611
    grandhotelcapemay.com

    JD-200We’ve told you about the amazing beach weddings at The Grand, but now we’re letting you in on another secret: The Cape May resort also has a spacious second-floor sundeck. Featuring sweeping views of the beach and ocean, it’s an unforgettable place to exchange vows.

  • Best Way to Celebrate the Sunset

    Wildwood Crest Sunset Celebrations
    Sunset Lake
    Miami Road and New Jersey Avenue, Wildwood Crest
    609-523-0202
    visitwildwoodcrest.com

    Wildwood Crest has a cool new way to wind down your day. Every Thursday from July 8 through August 17, head to beautiful Sunset Lake to celebrate some of the most spectacular sunsets at the Shore. The party kicks off at 7 pm with live music, children’s games and other family-friendly activities as you await the fiery hues that light up the sky.

  • Best Bay-Side Fun

    The Reeds at Shelter Haven
    9601 Third Avenue,
    Stone Harbor
    609-368-0100
    reedsatshelterhaven.com

     

    «  Best of SJ

    The Bay Activities Center at The Reeds at Shelter Haven has everything you need to relax or exercise in tranquil Shelter Haven Basin. Try the kayaks, pedal boats, paddle boards and even family floats. And this summer, being in the bay is even better: The resort now has Hobie Mirage Eclipse stand-up paddle boards for beginners and experienced paddlers alike.

July 2016
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2 Comments

  1. J Accardi says:

    When will the poll be available for SJ best of the shore?

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