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Grab your sunscreen and big floppy hat, because our Best of SJ: The Shore is one hot list of everything you shouldn’t miss at the Jersey Shore this summer.

  • Best Old-School Drinks 

    Chelsea Five Gastropub at Tropicana Atlantic City
    tropicana.net

    It’s not your grandfather’s whiskey sour – or is it? Gastropub features over 50 whiskeys, bourbons and other old-fashioned drinks prepared with robustly flavored spirits, house-made simple syrups, fresh squeezed juices and even egg whites. Pair them with signature apps, including Blue Crab Mac ‘N’ Cheese, Yellowfin Tuna Tacos and White Cheddar Truffle fries.

  • Best Crab Cakes

    Rio Station

    riostation.com

    The chefs at Rio Station take great care to make sure when you get your crabcake, you’re always eating one thing: lots and lots of fresh, tasty crab meat. No filler here. It’s why everyone knows exactly what to order at this popular restaurant in Rio Grande (just outside of Wildwood).

  • Best South Beach Vibe

    It’s all about relaxing and living in the moment when vacationing at Cape May’s premier oceanfront luxury hotel. Just breathe in the salty air and you’re halfway there. But there’s more to that easy breezy vibe: you’ll love the lush bedding, spa-like bathrooms and frosty cocktails served poolside, beachside or on your own private balcony. Time will stand still, and that’s the point.

  • Best Casino Nightlife

    Borgata

    borgata.com

    Who’s ready for some after-dark adventures? Nightlife is back in America’s shore town, and you can do it all at Borgata. Start with eclectic tequila shots at Gypsy Bar, then make your way to the dance floor at the Premier Nightclub. Take a break for apps and brews at Borgata Beer Garden or maybe a bottle of red and Mediterranean bites at The Wine Bar. The night never ends in this fast-paced and fun Shore spot.

  •  Best Beach Trikes

    Zippy’s Bikes

    zippysbikes.com

    If you thought when you learned to ride a 2-wheeler that you’d never go back to a tricycle, think again. Zippy’s has more than 50 adult trikes in stock, but they’re going fast. Simply put, they’re the perfect ride – comfortable, stable and more versatile than clunky carts for hauling all your beach gear. Check out the E350 Electric Trike for a smooth, hassle-free ride.

  • Best Beach Bucket

    Johnson’s Popcorn
    johnsonspopcorn.com

    It makes total sense if you head to the Shore with the sole purpose of picking up a fresh tub of Johnson’s Popcorn. We’ve done it. The familiar aroma of hot caramel tossed over giant kernels of popcorn has lured crowds since 1940. It’s a classic.

  • Best BBQ

    Henri’s Hotts
    bestbbqsj.com

    We can’t get enough of the ribs, chicken, brisket and pulled pork at this super friendly BBQ spot. Get ready for some fabulous food cooked to perfection (the meat just slides off the bone). And don’t forget the collard greens and mac ‘n’ cheese. You’ll have a BBQ feast just waiting for you.

  • Best Dinner After the Beach

    Rio Station
    riostation.com

    After a long day of sun and sand, the last thing you want to think about is dinner. Leave it to Rio Station, where absolutely everything on the menu is a winner (don’t skip the cauliflower bites).

  • Best Catch of the Day

    Crab & Seafood Shack
    crabandseafoodshack.com

    You’ll notice “Jersey Fresh” next to many of the tasty dishes on the menu here. That’s the magic that makes the Shack’s platters taste like they were just hauled out of the ocean and put straight on your plate. This is a Wildwood hotspot you shouldn’t miss.

  • Best Beach Jams

    Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
    hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com

    Ready to wave your hands in the air? Hard Rock’s vibrant music scene is ready for you. All the big guns play at the Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena – like Journey on Aug. 20. The resort’s smaller venues and bars also feature live jams. And when the band’s on break, just look around – Hard Rock still has its huge collection of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia.

  • Best Pizza to Eat while Cruising the Boardwalk

    Roma Pizza
    romapizzaocnj.com

    Why didn’t anyone think of the pizza cone sooner? Roma’s thin crust is shaped into a cone and filled with Mozzarella and tangy sauce. You can have your slice and keep walking the  boards in Ocean City.

     

  • Best Bread

    Enfin Farms

    Foodies go out of their way to sample Enfin Farms’ artisanal breads fresh out of the wood-burning clay oven. Known near and far as the Bread Lady, Elizabeth Degener sells her award-winning breads from a red-roof shack at the family farm in Cape May. Catch is, she holds pop-up sales twice a week – and you never know when. Follow the farm’s Facebook page for news of a pop-up.

     

  • Best Chicken Cheesesteak

    Five Girls Sandwich Shop
    five-girls.com

    Come for the fresh, never-frozen chicken chunks on a 12″ Liscio’s long roll, then stay to play Ms. PacMan and other retro arcade games. You’ll totally understand why this new North Wildwood sandwich shop is quickly developing a following.

  • Best Pizza

    Joe’s Pizzeria

    This Wildwood favorite is known for its giant slices and flavorful pizzas. Enjoy this friendly pizza place with a variety of  fresh and tasty pies. We know everyone has their favorite pizza down the Shore, but try Joe’s. You’ll be happy you did.

  • Best Waterfront Hangout

    Ventura’s Greenhouse Bar & Grill
    venturasgreenhouse.com

    You can’t beat the views of the ocean and elephant. (That would be Lucy the Elephant, which is next door.) Ventura’s is a Margate staple known for great pub food, good drinks and friendly, fast service.

  • Best Rainy Day Activity

    NAS Wildwood Aviation Museum
    usnasw.org

    This little-known museum in Cape May puts World War II-era aircrafts and engines within reach. You can see historic airplanes, jets and helicopters in a hangar that was used as an active training facility. It’s open every day in the summer from 10 am – 4 pm.

     

  • Best Shore Wedding

    The Grand Hotel
    grandhotelcapemay.com

    Whether you tie the knot on the beach, sundeck, cocktail lounge or the ballroom, The Grand’s talented staff sweats the details so the most special day of your life is as spectacular as the ocean view.

     

  • Best Brews on Hot & Humid Days

    MudHen Brewery
    mudhenbrew.com

    Oh those Wildwood Days! When it’s too hot to do much of anything besides lay on the beach, Wildwood Haze is there for you. This New England style IPA featuring cashmere and Motueka hops hits the spot.

  • Best Brunch

    On the edge of the lush gardens of Cape May’s Emlen Physick Estate, this new pet-friendly BYOB offers unique takes on classic brunch. You just have to choose between treats like Strawberry Cheesecake Waffle and Black Pasta Lobster. The best part? Brunch is served every day, 10 am to 3 pm.

     

  • Best Cocktails

    The Salty Mermaid Bar & Grille

    hesaltymermaidbarandgrille.com

    Grab a seat at the bar and take your pick from the menu of fresh, fun and creative cocktails. Try the Grilled Pineapple & Jalapeño Margarita or the Misunderstood Mermaid (Ginger Spiced Whiskey, Pear Juice, Ginger Ale, Muddled Amarena). If you’re there in the morning, there’s a full Breakfast Cocktail menu you don’t want to miss. How’s a Cape May Blueberry Lemonade sound? Works for us.

     

  • Best Musical Instrument

    Boardwalk Hall Organ

    boardwalkorgans.org

    Ok, we know this is a weird category but Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City is home to 2 historic pipe organs. The massive organ in the auditorium is the world’s largest musical instrument and it holds 4 Guinness World Records, including largest and loudest musical instrument ever constructed. Tours of the organs have not been brought back since Covid restrictions canceled programming, but check out the website for live-streamed recitals.

     

August 2021
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