Get Ready for Sea Isle’s Fe-BRRRR-uary Festivities!

polarplunge2019As the polar vortex descends upon us this week, the last thing on your mind may be heading to the beach. But there are some souls who will be busy preparing for their annual mecca to the blustery shores of southern Jersey to take part in some frozen fun. We’re not talking polar bears who have wandered too far north – no, these are brave human souls who will willingly walk into the icy Atlantic as part of freezing February festivities.

Sea Isle City will host its Polar Bear Weekend on February 15-17, 2019. The annual event promises a weekend full of contests, games and activities.

And, of course, The Plunge.


Most of the weekend’s activities will be held at the LaCosta Complex, located at JFK Boulevard and Landis Avenue. On Friday February 15, a Prince and Princess contest for ages 12-16 will take place at 7:30 pm, and a King and Queen contest for ages 21 and older will be held at 9:00 pm, culminating in the crowning of a “Royal Family”.

polarbearcartoonOn Saturday, a costume contest will begin at 12:00 noon, followed by the main event – the Polar Bear Plunge – at 2:00 pm. This is when many humans-turned-polar-bears will walk into the ocean and stay for as long as they can, but we’re guessing not for too long. Plungers can expect water and air temps to be in the 30’s-40’s, which means this event will send quite a shiver down your spine. It is important to note that, because taking a plunge in frigid waters can lead to health issues for some people, an official plunge area has been designated between 38th-40th Streets where medical personnel and ocean rescue will be on hand.

Plungers and their throngs of fans, family and friends are invited to a Post-Plunge party at the LaCosta Complex beginning at 2:30 p.m. with a costume contest awards ceremony to be held at 4:00 pm.

20161228_142824(0)The events continue on Sunday February 17 with a 5k Run and 1.5 Mile Fun Walk for Autism at 12:00 noon, sponsored by Mike’s Seafood. The weekend events will conclude with the 3rd Annual Polar Bear Corn Hole Tournament, sponsored by the South Jersey Corn Hole League. This will also take place at LaCosta with an entry fee of $60 per team. Registration is at 2:00 pm and the tournament begins at 3:00 pm. Proceeds will benefit the Polar Bear Run/Walk for Autism.

Pre-registration is required for most events. For more information, check out Sea Isle City’s website for further information as well as places to stay if you are in need of lodging.

Shop the Shore, Special Events, Uncategorized

Support Your Favorite Shore Businesses Today!

Drive through any town on the southern New Jersey coast what do you notice? Certainly, you’ll see stunning coastal views and beautiful beach homes nestled in and around quaint, small-town settings. But what you won’t see, for the most part, are big box retailers and chain establishments. Instead, you will find small, local, often family-owned and one-of-a-kind establishments.

The local artisans, chefs, brew-masters, farmers, crafters, entertainers and boutique shop owners are the backbone of southern Jersey coast, providing goods and experiences to enhance vacationers’ stays and provide for local residents. They are visionaries, sole proprietors and, in some cases, generations of families who work hard to make their dreams, and those of their customers, come true. And because they are small and local, they are able to provide impeccable personal service and a dedication to helping deliver just what their customers came for, like business owners once did decades ago before big corporations got involved. These are the important aspects of business that the big retail giants and chain establishments of today simply lack, employing instead a greedy profit-over-person mentality.

In 2010, “Small Business Saturday” began as a day when consumers were encouraged to support and celebrate small business. It has become an annual event, being held every Saturday after Thanksgiving. Its strategic positioning between Black Friday and Cyber Monday asks shoppers to think local when purchasing holiday gifts and support those establishments by visiting small local brick and mortar businesses. It’s important, because doing so can keep such a small business in operation.

Even though we’re considered to be at the end of the “shoulder season” for the shore, many shore establishments will remain open through the holidays and beyond. We encourage our readers to consider taking a day trip to the shore to enjoy some of the holiday festivities that have been planned.

Some of these businesses feature websites through which visitors can purchase items online at all times of year, so we suggest that you search for websites for the businesses you enjoyed during your summer visit and consider making an online purchase. This is a great time to find discounted merchandise, stock up on beach essentials for next year or find a perfect gift for your favorite shore-lover. Many of these shops and restaurants offer gift cards that you can purchase online. Giving the gift of a future experience at the shore is a wonderful idea. Even if the business does not maintain an online store, often you can call the business or send them an email and purchase a gift that way. I’ve had luck with this on several occasions because often the shore shop owners are thrilled that you thought of their business and want to help their customers find what they’re looking for, even if it is off season. With Cyber Monday looming, you may find some good online deals.

And if they don’t have a website but do have a social media presence, consider giving them a good review or a shout-out to thank them for what they did to enhance your visit. So often, the best review is word-of-mouth so if you had a positive experience, please share it.

Most everything you do and shop for at the shore is provided by a local business owner, so even if  you are not able to get there today or purchase something online this season, please try to keep a “Small Business Saturday” mentality throughout the year and support these businesses in any way you can. shopsmall2


Shop ’til you Drop This Weekend at the Shore!

This weekend kicks off the holiday season with two great shopping events.

In Ocean City, the annual Earlier Than The Bird is going on right now. From 8:00 am to 12:00 noon today, shoppers can stroll Asbury Avenue in search of the perfect holiday gifts. Refreshments are available and pajamas are welcome!

Also going on this weekend is Sea Isle City’s Girlfriends Getaway Weekend, where specials and discounts are available at shops, restaurants and bars. This event runs until Sunday November 18.

Stay tuned this week for more upcoming events including the many holiday festivities planned for Thanksgiving weekend.

Happy Shopping!

Cape May, Uncategorized

Cape May is one of “10 Best Beach Towns to Visit in Winter”


Congratulations to Cape May for making Coastal Living Magazine’s “10 Best Beach Towns to Visit in Winter“. We wholeheartedly agree! Cape May’s Holiday Preview happens this weekend (November 16-18) so come on down and see why we believe that Cape May is THE best place to visit during the holiday season.

20151219_163317.jpgIt’s beautiful. During the holiday season, which generally runs from mid-November to January, virtually every square inch of the town is adorned with fresh greens, colorful decorations and beautifully created holiday vignettes. At night, the town sparkles with festive holiday lights.

20151219_162815.jpgThere is so much to do here. With almost two full months of planned festivities, Cape May offers so much to visitors to do during the holidays.  Take a Holiday Lights trolley tour, visit an Old Fashioned Christmas display, sip hot chocolate and listen to carolers, and so much more.

20151219_144841.jpgYou can find unique holiday gifts. Washington Street Mall is a great place to stroll around and shop for everyone on your gift list, but Cape May also offers other shopping venues as well. Check out West End Garage for unique hand-crafted and vintage items, or shop along Beach Avenue for beach-inspired gifts for your favorite shore lover.

CellPhone-Photos-726-Copy.jpgIt’s like stepping back in time. With its Victorian gingerbread houses, horse drawn carriages and gas lamp-lit streets, visiting Cape May during the holiday season is like stepping into a Dickens Christmas village. During the holiday season you can take a Ghosts of Christmas Past trolley ride and do a candlelight tour of Victorian homes, decked out for Christmas as one may have done so during the 1800s. The informative and engaging volunteers of the Cape May Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, dressed in period clothing, are sure to entertain you as you enjoy your old fashioned Cape May Christmas experience.



Special Events, Uncategorized

November Brings Good Cheer

It may be November, but that doesn’t mean the fun stops at the shore. As a matter of fact, there’s a lot going on this month in each of the towns in preparation for the upcoming holidays. Here is an overview of some of the upcoming events going on this month and why we think November is one of the best months to go down the shore.

girlfriendgetawayGirlfriends Getaway Weekend

What’s better than a seaside getaway with good friends? On November 16-18, 2018 Sea Isle City will roll out the red carpet for beach lovers and their friends to eat, drink, shop and be pampered. Over 40 participating businesses will be offering discounts and specials on lodging, dining, spa and shopping opportunities. It’s a perfect way to catch up with friends, have a glass of wine by the sea, relax with a massage and start your holiday shopping. Jitney service will be available Saturday 3:00 pm – 12:00 am.

Holidays Happen Here christmastreeonbeach.jpg

Beginning on November 16 and continuing throughout December, your favorite shore towns will be celebrating this festive season each in their own unique way. Cape May kicks off the season with the arrival of Santa at a tree lighting ceremony at the Emlen Physick Estate, and Ocean City begins offering horse-drawn carriage rides which will continue throughout the  holiday season, along with other festivities. Look for continuing holiday fun in both towns throughout the holiday season. The majority of the holiday festivities are planned for the weekend of November 23 (Thanksgiving weekend). These events include Ocean City’s Christmas in Downtown, Sea Isle City’s Holiday Extravaganza, Avalon’s Festive Friday and Snowfest Saturday, Stone Harbor’s Island Holiday, and many other holiday-inspired events. Wildwood gets in on the action starting the weekend of December 1 with their Family Holiday celebration and a Christmas Parade.   We will be covering all these events in greater detail in mid-November.

holidayshop.jpgJump Start Holiday Shopping

On Saturday, November 17, 2018, Ocean City joins its southern sister in kicking off the holiday shopping season with their annual “Earlier Than The Bird” event. You don’t even have to get out of your pajamas for this one – the event specifically invites shoppers to come in their sleepwear so that they can get out “earlier than the bird” to enjoy some coffee or hot cocoa and begin their holiday shopping at downtown shops. The event runs from 8:00 am and runs until 12:00 noon. When this is done, don’t forget to head south to Sea Isle to enjoy the Girlfriends Getaway shopping deals.

Small Business Saturdaywashingtonstreetshopping1

November 24 is Small Business Saturday, a nationally recognized day to celebrate and support local small businesses. We’re hoping that you’ll come to the shore to support your favorite beach shops, bars, restaurants and hotels in exchange for a relaxing and fun weekend filled with holiday festivities and a chance to pick up some beach-inspired gifts for those on your holiday shopping list.

So as you can see, November is a busy time down the shore. May your holiday plans include a trip to the shore to enjoy all these festive events!

Special Events

How To Trick-Or-Treat at the Shore

Okay, Halloween lovers – tomorrow is the big day! Here are some things you may want to know about trick-or-treating at the shore:

Where: Trick-or-treating is happening on October 31 in each Cape May County town.

When: The specific trick-or-treat times for each town is listed below.

 pumpkinonbeach       Avalon: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm*
        Cape May: 5 to 7 p.m.
        West Cape May: 5 to 7 p.m.
        Ocean City: 5 to 8 p.m.
        Sea Isle City: 5 to 8 p.m.
        Stone Harbor: 5 to 8 p.m.*
        North Wildwood: 5 to 7 p.m.
        West Wildwood: 5 to 8 p.m.
        Wildwood: 5 to 8 p.m.
        Wildwood Crest: 5 to 7 p.m.

(*Note that Avalon and Stone Harbor will provide maps of participating houses, available at the 82nd Street Recreation Department, or look for wooden pumpkins on lawns or porches.)

halloweenstarfishWho: Trick-or-treating is fun for everyone – including the teens! After all, if they took the time to put together a costume and are knocking on your door and (hopefully politely) asking for candy, that means they’re not out doing other things. So let them have their fun-sized bars!

Here are some other things to keep in mind when deciding who to trick-or-treat with:

• Children should be accompanied by an adult at all times
• Adults should remain with children at all times, including when going up to a door
• Teens who are not accompanied by an adult should go in a group – safety in numbers!
• Teens and their parents should discuss and agree upon a specific route and return time
• It is best to trick-or-treat only in neighborhoods or houses that you know
• If a person invites you inside, do not go unless you know them well or if the adults say its okay
• Children should be advised not to give their names, tell where they live or give other personal information if trick-or-treating where they don’t know the home owners

How: Here are some other best practices to keep in mind when trick-or-treating:

trickortreat• Costumes should not restrict visibility or movement
• Avoid masks that block vision and costumes that drag on the ground
• Pay attention to your town’s trick-or-treat rules, such as times, houses that are participating, etc.
• Know and obey your town/state pedestrian safety laws
• Use caution when crossing the street and around moving vehicles
• Carry a flashlight or use reflective tape and/or glow sticks to increase the likelihood that drivers can see you
• Do not open any candy or items until they are inspected – look for open packages or anything that feels or looks unusual
• Report any suspicious person or activity to the police immediately

Whew! We know this is a lot to keep in mind but our goal is to make sure that everyone is safe and enjoys their Halloween experience. So be safe, enjoy your night and have fun!


Cocktails by the Sea, Special Events

Brews and Boos

If you’re wondering what to do this weekend with an October Nor’easter promising to dump a ton of rain on the coast, why not carve out some time to participate in one of the Halloween-themed events sponsored by one of our local breweries? After all, this Saturday (October 27) is National American Beer Day, so it’s a perfect time to belly up and support a local brewery. We’ll be providing more information on Cape May County’s local breweries on National American Beer Day, but before then we wanted to let you know about some of the brew-haha going on this weekend.

On October 26, the Cape May Brewing Company will be hosting its Halloween Bash from 5:00 – 9:00 pm at the brewery which is located at the Cape May Airport. The Bash will feature a costume contest, $4 pints and lots of frightening fun. A signature Halloween flight will be available featuring two of their Halloween One-Offs: “Mounds Bar Honey Porter” and “Lemonhead Always Ready”. In addition, the brewery will be releasing two special limited cans – “Maize Haze”, which is a corn-based brew incorporating locally-sourced blue corn from South Jersey and “Not from Concentrate”, a freshly-pressed apple cider beer.

On October 27, the Ludlam Island Brewery and the Slack Tide Brewery will join together in hosting their special Halloween Party featuring “boos and brews” as well as treats from Hank Sauce, a locally crafted hot sauce company and restaurant located in Townsends Inlet. A jitney service will run between the two breweries from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

At the 21st Annual Olde Tyme Harvest Festival in Cape May Courthouse on Saturday, the 7 Mile Brewing Company will be serving up its special brews from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm on Mechanic Street. The festival includes craft and food vendors, rides and entertainment. Note that they have a rain date of Sunday October 28, which is likely given the approaching storm – but this just gives you another day to celebrate locally brewed American-crafted beer.

Also on Saturday at the Cold Spring Brewery located at the Historic Cold Spring Village, the group Love Mellow will be performing from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

Due to the impending Nor’Easter, it may be best to call the breweries before heading out to make sure these events are still taking place, or if the weather will cause a cancellation or postponement of the event.

We know that if you attend any of these events you’ll be there just for the “boos”, so please remember to secure your designated driver or download the Uber app so you can legally enjoy fantastic local brews while safely getting to and from these ghoulish events.

Drink up, witches!

Shop the Shore

Where to Shop at the Shore

The southern Jersey coast is a great place to shop for everything, from custom-made surf boards to locally handcrafted artisan goods. From Ocean City to Cape May, the shopping opportunities are plentiful and varied, each providing shoppers with a fun shopping destination with dining . Here is an overview of the shopping districts that are found in each of the towns. Happy spending!

Avalon serendipity
Avalon’s evolving shopping district offers an enjoyable downtown location to browse through unique shops or take a break from shopping to grab a bite to eat or have a drink. Located along Dune Drive between 20th and 33rd Streets, here you will find specialty boutique shops offering clothing, home décor and beach supplies as well as surf shops, art galleries and much more. Some of the seven-mile island’s best eateries are within these 13 blocks so make sure you plan a lunch or dinner either before or after your shopping excursion. And don’t forget to check out some of the side streets where additional shops and restaurants can be found.

Cape May washingtonstreetshopping1
Cape May offers several unique shopping areas. The largest and most popular place to shop in Cape May is the Washington Street Mall located between Ocean and Perry Streets. Here, Washington Street is closed off to vehicular traffic, allowing visitors to stroll the three-block outdoor mall and find shops offering something for everyone. Nestled among the shops are restaurants, bars, ice cream parlors and two retro counter service eateries. Another popular Cape May shopping venue is right along Beach Avenue, where surf shops, beach supply stores, and other souvenir, gift and beachwear boutiques can be found. West End Garage is another favorite destination – this repurposed building is now home to over 55 artisan and craft vendors who well their unique, handcrafted and vintage wares in this creatively designed space. In addition to these one-stop shopping venues, don’t forget that there are many free-standing shops located throughout the Cape. Heading to the lighthouse or sunset beach? Check out Cape May Wicker and the Sunset Beach gifts, and then take a turn off the beaten path and head to Beach Plum Farm and the wineries, all of which offer unique items for sale as well as exquisite food and drink in a beautiful outdoor location.

IMG_8514Ocean City
Ocean City offers two main shopping areas – the Boardwalk and Asbury Avenue. The Boardwalk houses not only the typical Jersey Shore tee-shirt shops, but in recent years a few upscale clothing, jewelry and gift boutiques have been added as well. Boardwalk shopping can be accomplished between 6th and 14th Streets where, in addition to the upscale boutiques, you’ll find beach supply stores, surf shops and other stores in which to purchase beach necessities and souvenirs. A few blocks off the Boardwalk is Asbury Avenue, which offers a downtown shopping experience between 6th and 14th Streets. The old Stainton’s Department Store is now a gallery of independently owned shops offering a plethora of unique items, some of which are hand-crafted by local artisans. Other shops along Asbury Avenue include fashion boutiques, home décor and gift shops as well as other specialty stores. Both shopping venues have many restaurant options  for you to rest your weary feet and dine on anything from ice cream to gourmet meals, and everything in between – but no bars because OC is a dry town.

Sea Isle City 20160727_113824.jpg
While other shore towns have distinct shopping districts, Sea Isle City offers visitors the opportunity to browse through unique shops throughout this beautiful barrier island. Many are clustered around and near Excursion Park where JFK Boulevard meets with the Promenade, considered both the geographical and social center of  Sea Isle for the many events and activities that occur here all  year long. On the Promenade, visitors can shop for tee shirts, sweatshirts, books, gifts, beach and surf supplies at the Shoppes at Spinnaker located between 34th and 38th Streets – these are the high-rise condos you see on the left as you cross over the bridge. Going further south on the Promenade are a few shops along the way featuring beachwear and beach items. Back out on JFK Boulevard, visitors will find historic Dalrymple’s, a one-stop shopping destination for anything you may need during your vacation, including first aid products, games, greeting cards, gifts and more. Several upscale clothing boutiques can also be found here on JFK, and to the north on  Pleasure Avenue and in both directions on Landis Avenue. Landis is the main drag through town – follow it south and it will lead you past other shops to 65th Street, where you will find even more stores clustered around and near the Acme and Sands Department Store complex. Sands is another one-stop shop featuring everything from flip flops to fans. With so many shopping opportunities here, you never have to leave the island to find what you want or need.

Stone Harbor 20161014_101657.jpg
Stone Harbor is one of the quintessential shopping destinations for visitors to the southern Jersey coast. On any given day in high season, you will find scores of vacationers strolling along the 96th Street Shopping District, which is on the main drag into Stone Harbor from the mainland. It is also a favorite destination on rainy vacation days. Here you will find upscale clothing and jewelry boutiques, gift and gourmet shops, a fabulous hardware store that carries beach supplies, home décor and everything (including the kitchen sink), as well as the southern region’s only remaining movie cinema, the Harbor Theatre. Scattered among these unique shops are fabulous restaurants and bars, as well as the Reeds at Shelter Haven boutique hotel which features three restaurants, two of which are waterfront on the bay.

Currently there is are no shopping opportunities in Strathmere, which is mostly residential except for a few restaurants. But head 3 miles south on Ocean Drive and you’ll be in the heart of Sea Isle City, where shopping opportunities are plentiful.

Townsends Inlet IMG_9953
Recent mixed-use development in Townsends Inlet has led to the creation of new retail and dining opportunities in the south end of Sea Isle. This new complex consists of three buildings that house upscale condos and a couple restaurants. While currently there is only one boutique shop located in The Cove, we’re hoping more may join soon. For a more varied shopping experience, head a few blocks north into Sea Isle City or south over the bridge to Avalon (but make sure the Townsends Inlet bridge is open first – currently it is under construction until Spring 2019).

wildwoodsignsThe Wildwoods 
The Wildwoods are expansive, and so are their shopping opportunities. First stop is the famous Boardwalk, where tee shirt and gift shops, beach supply stories and other novelties can be found. Downtown Wildwood also has shops along the main drags including Rio Grande Avenue, Pacific Avenue and Atlantic Avenue. While Wildwood is an excellent destination for vacationers seeking free beaches, Boardwalk amusements and exciting nightlife, it is not specifically known for its shopping opportunities. That doesn’t mean you can’t find great shops here – you can – but not necessarily the type of shopping/dining experience you can find in other towns along the coast. If you are looking to do some serious or upscale shopping in a more defined shopping district, head north to Stone Harbor or south to Cape May.