It’s our favorite time of the year – SUMMER! So that means it’s time to think about everything we love down the Shore! Grab your wide-brimmed hat, lather on some sunscreen, sit back and enjoy this super fun list of all the spots that make life so good when you’re visiting your favorite Shore town.

  • Best Beach Bucket

    Beach Bucket Lunch

    Ocean City

    When you’ve got your spot on the beach all set up, the last thing you want to do is leave to get food – now you don’t have to. Beach Bucket Lunch delivers a choice of sandwich/hoagie/salad, chips, a Tastykake and a drink right to the beach. All you have to do is call or text with your order.

  • Best Mussels

    Ventura’s Offshore Café




    Take in panoramic ocean views while dining at the Gastropub’s Terrace Lounge. It’s the perfect setting for upscale pub food and an impressive menu of old-fashioned drinks and craft beers.

  • Best Dinner Reservation You Can’t Get

    Chef Vola’s

    Atlantic City

    Even regulars have a hard time getting into this classic Italian restaurant known for its impeccable service and authentic fare. (If you do happen to get a reservation, there are some people at SJ Mag who would love to join you. Ring us up.)

  • Best Casino Night Life

    Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

    Atlantic City

    Everyone knows Hard Rock has the coolest concerts, but the casino is filled every night with lots of options for live music – The Lobby Bar, Council Oak Lounge and our favorite, Dueling Pianos (open ’til 1 am on weekends).

  • Best Fitness Class

    Milton and Betty Katz JCC



    The HIIT Club at Katz JCC in Margate combines modern technology with tried-and-true physical activity. During the high-energy workout class, an online fitness tracker lets participants track their heart rate, effort and calories burned both in the app and on a live screen during class.

  • Best Place to Linger Over Dinner


    Cape May

    The beautiful restaurant attached to The Grand Hotel offers mouth-watering steaks (don’t miss the 24 oz. Cowboy Ribeye) and the freshest seafood (the crab cakes are a must). So take your time and enjoy the easy ambiance and attentive service while you dine in this very special spot.

  • Best Beach Weddings

    The Grand Hotel

    Cape May

    The wedding specialists at The Grand know exactly how to turn a beach wedding into the most magical day – the one people will talk about for months. From the lovely ceremony on the beach to the loaded-with-fun reception, brides & grooms will find everything they need for their special day (in the most spectacular setting).

  • Best Boardwalk Pizza

    Joe’s Pizzeria


    The slices are huge – and that’s awesome because the pizza is so good you’ll want as much as you can get! Smothered in cheese (with lots of toppings to choose from), the pizza at Joe’s is just the perfect touch to any walk on the boards.

  • Best Boardwalk Fun


    Pretty much every step you take along the 38 blocks of Wildwood’s Boardwalk is an opportunity for fun! There are amusement piers, mini golf, waterparks, arcades and even an art installation made from shipping crates. When you need a break from the beach, hit the boards for a blast of good times!

  • Best Boutique


    Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor

    This lively & little beach-inspired boutique is packed with the trendiest sportswear for vacation fun. They’ve got everything to freshen up your summer wardrobe – leisurewear, accessories, swimwear and cover-ups. You’ll leave looking your best and feeling pretty great.

  • Best Party Favors

    Johnson’s Popcorn

    Ocean City

    Sure you can order online any time of year and get your fix. But there’s something much more satisfying about being on the OC boardwalk and watching as your bucket is dipped into the large copper kettle then comes back to you overflowing with hand-mixed popcorn.

  • Best Pancakes

    Uncle Will’s Pancake House

    Beach Haven

    Uncle Will’s Pancake House photo: Studio 539 – Ashley Vosseller

    Uncle Will’s pancakes are light and fluffy…and simply yummy. Try the apple pecan and splurge for an extra $2 to get the 100% pure Maple syrup – so worth it. (If you’re gluten sensitive, they’ve got you covered.)

  • Best Hotdogs


    Sea Isle City

    Considering LouDogs has been serving up specialty hotdogs for over 38 years, it’s no surprise how much people love this popular Shore joint. There are 14 dogs to choose from, but no matter which you try, you’ll love every bite!

  • Best Ferry Ride

    Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum

    Beach Haven/Tuckerton

    All summer long, you can take this 1-hour ferry ride across Little Egg Harbor Bay. The ride is limited to 20 people, and you can bring a small cooler onboard. Best of all, a roundtrip ticket costs $15.

  • Best Rooftop Vibe

    Chelsea Five Gastropub

    Tropicana Casino Resort

    Atlantic City

    The rooftop lounge at Chelsea Five has that “wow” appeal. Try the Lobster Cheesecake (it’s an appetizer!) and if you’re game, enjoy one of their 50 whiskeys and bourbons. They’ve got everything you need for a fabulous night.

  • Best Ice Cream Shop For Your Pup

    Salty Paws

    Stone Harbor

    You simply must take your furry best friend to this charming spot for a sweet treat. The specialty shop serves cones, waffle bowls or dishes of dog-friendly ice cream. They even have a toppings bar – think dehydrated chicken and sweet potato fries.

  • Best Place to Stay (Well) Overnight

    Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

    Atlantic City

    Borgata has designated a special group of rooms and suites as “Stay Well” rooms. So your room is enhanced with aromatherapy, a shower enhancer to reduce the amount of chlorine in the water, a dawn-simulating light to wake you and an air-purification system. Non-toxic cleaning products are also used in these special rooms.

  • Best Camp

    Cape May County Park & Zoo

    Cape May

    Who wouldn’t love to spend summer camp with alpacas, lions & monkeys? You can register your child for a weekly session, but each week is designed for different ages, so check the website. On Aug. 14 & 15, teens can attend Zoology 101 and get a firsthand look at what it’s like to have a wildlife career.

  • Best Poolside Fun

    Ocean Club Hotel

    Cape May


    Every day in the summer – from 9 am ’til dusk – you can chill at this luxurious pool, with complimentary towels, umbrellas for shade and attendants to help with whatever you need. Don’t miss the Tiki Ten35 bar for a quick bite or a fab cocktail (or both!).

  • Best Special Occasion Restaurant

    The Gables

    Beach Haven


    This charming Victorian Inn is the perfect setting for a special gourmet dinner. They exclusively offer a 3-course, prix-fixe menu where you can choose from a wide selection of fresh dishes. Be sure to ask for a table in the garden when you make your reservation (which can only be done 30 days in advance).

  • Best Bread

    Aversa’s Bakery



    Order a specialty hoagie (like the Tony Soprano) or get a few loaves to take home for your spaghetti dinner. Whatever you decide, you’ll never go wrong with the freshest bread from Aversa’s.

  • Best Lobster Roll

    Crab & Seafood Shack


    Stop by this family-run spot for some fresh seafood and the friendliest service. The lobster roll is their signature dish and for good reason – chunks of delicious lobster on a garlic roll with bits of real bacon.

  • Best Tour That Makes Us a Little Nervous

    Cape May MAC

    Cape May

    In this very unsual tour, called “Voices from Beyond,” you’ll hear actual spirit voices captured in the Emlen Physick Estate over the past 10 years. You’ll also see historical photos of the Physick family and their staff alongside photos of apparitions seen inside the house. So ok, we think you should take the tour but then again, maybe not.

August 2023
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