Beach Eats, Cape May, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor, Strathmere, The Wildwoods, Townsends Inlet, Uncategorized

Come for the Food, “Fall” for the View

With temps still hovering in the high 70’s over the next couple days, it is hard to think about putting an end to your shore plans. The good news is, you don’t have to – lucky for us shore lovers, many restaurants, shops and businesses will remain open well into the holiday season.

We recently published a list of our “Top 10 things To Do at the Shore This Fall” and #8 on our list was “Go Out to Eat”. While some restaurants have already closed for the season, many others will remain open on weekends. Among these are dining establishments that will continue to offer al fresco dining (weather permitting), or at least stunning views to make you feel like you’re dining outdoors. Here is a list of our favorite restaurants in each town that are still open this fall.

Ocean City – Hula Restaurant

Hula Restaurant, Ocean City

Say Aloha! to the vibrantly colorful and unassuming Hula Restaurant, tucked back off the main boardwalk between 9th and 10th Streets. The Hula is famous for its Hawaiian Chicken, sticky rice and other tropical-inspired delights. The food is fresh, healthy and delicious and will make you feel  like you’re surfside in Maui. Take home a bottle of their famous Hula Dressing, Hawaiian Style Barbeque or Teriyaki Sauces (or all three!) Gift cards are available for purchase in the restaurant and will make a great holiday gift for Hula Restaurant fans. Outdoor seating available as weather permits; now open weekends until Thanksgiving.   940 Boardwalk.

Strathmere – Deauville Inn

deauville inn (2)
The Deauville Inn, Strathmere

Overlooking the bay between Ocean City and Sea Isle in beautiful Strathmere is the Deauville Inn, which has been delighting diners for decades. Boasting of an expansive dining room, a sports bar, an outdoor patio and bar area and, in the summer season, the bayside barefoot Beach Bar, the Deauville offers robust entertainment throughout the summer season. Their extensive menu ranges from burgers to fresh seafood and appeals to every taste. Now open weekends through December. 201 Willard Road.

Sea Isle – Carmen’s Restaurant

Carmen’s Restaurant, Sea Isle

Noted as Sea Isle’s first waterfront restaurant, Carmen’s has been serving up delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner since 1981. Their large menus offer something for everyone, not to mention the delectable bay breezes and authentic nautical ambience. This restaurant also offers endless waterfront entertainment – watch fishing vessels come back with their catch in the morning, wave to paddle boarders in the afternoon and enjoy a beautiful sunset in the evening. While the restaurant is open air, clear shades are used when necessary to keep out the weather and cool breezes while still allowing for the beautiful view. Now open through Saturday October 20th.   343 43rd Place.

Townsends Inlet – Sunset Pier

Sunset from Sunset Pier, Townsends Inlet

Come here any evening and you’ll see how this waterfront restaurant got its name. But the Sunset Pier doesn’t just delight in the evening – during the day, visitors can enjoy an acai bowl or freshly made smoothie from the juice bar, visit the tackle shop and rent back bay boats for crabbing, fishing, or joy riding. A 20-foot pontoon boat is also available for party rentals. If you’re just coming to eat, you’re in for a real treat – their food is delicious, their menu appeals to all tastes and the sunsets are free of charge. Indoor and outdoor seating available (weather permitting). You’ll have to wait until next year to enjoy a sunset here, though…the restaurant is now only open for breakfast and lunch on weekends (Friday – Monday) through Thanksgiving.

Avalon – Sea Grill

The Sea Grill, Avalon

One of three restaurants owned by the wildly popular Princeton Bar and Grille, the Sea Grill offers the finest in steak and seafood in a gorgeous romantic setting. The Sea Grill gives diners a unique experience as they walk up to a window to order or their main and side dishes, and then help themselves to a salad bar amply stocked with fresh ingredients. Although not a waterfront venue, the Sea Grill’s candle lit, cozy ambience is a perfect place for date night or to celebrate an anniversary or birthday. Looking for lunch, a casual atmosphere or some lively entertainment instead? Head next door to the Circle Tavern (or in the summer head around the corner to the Princeton Bar and Grill – sadly, it is closed for the season). The Sea Grill and Circle Tavern are open year-round; Sea Grill (225 21st Street) opens at 5:00 pm daily and the Circle Tavern (2008 Dune Drive) opens at 11:00 am daily.

Stone Harbor – Stone Harbor Bar and Grill 

Stone Harbor Bar and Grill, Stone Harbor

The Stone Harbor Bar and Grill offers a fun and casual dining experience in the heart of the shopping district – a perfect place to take a break from shopping and have a drink or a bite to eat. Catch a game on one of 25 big screen TVs and enjoy a cool ocean breeze in summer when the large front windows are opened. Their menu offers top quality meats, freshly baked breads, locally-sourced seafood and refreshing signature cocktails. Now open Thursday through Sunday, 12:00 noon – 10:00 -m (8:00 pm on Sundays). 261 96th Street.

Wildwood – Two Mile Landing

Two Mile Landing features the Crab House and Two Mile Restaurant and Bar, Wildwood Crest

On the way to Cape May from Wildwood, nestled back by the bay in Wildwood Crest and offering expansive waterfront dining and stunning sunset views is the Two-Mile Landing dining and entertainment complex featuring two restaurants – the Crab House and the Two Mile Restaurant and Bar. The Crab House has been specializing in All-You-Can-Eat Blue Claw Crabs since 2012 and offers a raw bar, “Crabatizers”, burgers, tacos and entrees that will appeal to both landlubbers and seafoodies alike. In 2013, Two-Mile Restaurant and Bar opened to offer upscale casual dining featuring 21 beers on tap, a wide selection of wines and delicious entrees. These waterfront establishments feature two decks with a stage and plenty of live entertainment throughout the summer. The Crab House remains open 7 days a week starting at 11:30 am, and Two-Mile Restaurant and Bar is now open Thursday – Sunday at 4:00 pm. Both restaurants will remain open through October 27 and will also be open on Thanksgiving. Gift cards are available.   1 Fish Dock Road.

Cape May – Lobster House 

Lobster House / Schooner American, Cape May

Located on the Cape May Harbor and situated right next to the dock where freshly caught seafood is offloaded every day, the Lobster House offers a unique nautical dining experience. For decades, the Lobster House has provided elegant waterfront dining consisting of five dining rooms, casual dockside dining, a raw bar, a take-out window and a fish shop where fresh seafood can be purchased and enjoyed at home. It also includes the permanently moored Schooner American, a 130-foot long sailing vessel which provides the perfect setting for an outdoor drinking and dining experience and features a full bar, luncheon menu and specialty appetizers in the evening. The Lobster House, Take-Out Shop and Fish market are all open year-round; the Raw Bar and Schooner American are only open May – October. Hours are as follows:
Lobster House – 11:30 am – 3:00 pm and 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm. (Year-round)
Take-Out Shop 11:00 am – 7:00 pm during winter months (9:00 pm in summer) (Year-round).
Fish Market 8:00 am – 7:00 pm (9:00 pm in summer) (Year-round)
Raw Bar 11:30 am – 10:00 pm (May – October)
Schooner American 12:00 noon – 10:00 pm. (May – October)

Avalon, Cape May, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Special Events, Stone Harbor, The Wildwoods, Uncategorized

Fall…for Food and Fun!

As much as we may love summer, there’s no stopping the fact that on Saturday September 22, at precisely 9:54 p.m. Eastern Time, we will officially say goodbye to Summer 2018 and usher in Fantastic Fall. While it is always bittersweet to bid farewell to our carefree beach days and (oh!) those summer nights, fall itself can be pretty cool – in more ways than one. Especially now that shore officials, local businesses and event coordinators have planned a plethora of events to keep us coming back to the places we love the most. Foodies and wine lovers will particularly delight in knowing that, beginning this weekend and extending well into the fall, several coastal culinary events have been planned to tickle their taste buds. Here, we break down the events by category and follow up with a chronological listing of these gastric galas so that you won’t miss a chance to fall for food and fun down the shore.

If you savor seafood, you’re in luck – several festivals featuring ocean delicacies are being held in the upcoming weeks. On Saturday, September 22, head to the Seafarer’s Celebration at Sunset Lake in Wildwood Crest. This bayfront street festival includes live music, craft vendors, food, family entertainment, and children’s activities, with a fireworks show at 9:00 pm at Centennial Park. On September 29, plan to come to the Sea Isle Harborfest at Marina Park to celebrate Sea Isle’s fishing and nautical history by featuring delicious seafood, live music, a clam eating contest, crafts and specialty vendors.

During the first weekend of October, seafood festivals will be held in Ocean City (October 6-8), Avalon (October 6-7) and Wildwood (October 7). If you’re not sure which one to attend, why not plan a cruise down the coast on Sunday October 7 and enjoy all three? Start in Ocean City at the Music Pier where the Indian Summer Weekend features seafood venders and boardwalk table sales. Then head to the Avalon Community Hall for the Avalon Chamber Seafood Festival, offering delectable treats from fresh seafood vendors, a chowder contest, live music, vendors and more. End your day at the Seafood and Music Festival hosted by the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce on Atlantic Avenue between Wildwood and Schellenger Avenues. This festival features two stages of live music, crafters, food vendors, a pie eating contest as well as a “Kids Korner” with activities including pumpkin painting, face painting and bounce houses.

Several upcoming heritage fests will provide you with an opportunity to sample fare from Ireland, Italy and Germany. Wildwood’s popular Irish Weekend begins September 21 and runs through the 23rd. The Celtic city-wide event includes entertainment, Irish dance lessons, a 5k run and 1-mile walk, golf tournament, pipe exhibition, food court stage, beer garden, food and craft vendors and so much more, with bus service available to the various events throughout the weekend. While you’re in the ‘Wood this weekend, head to Mariner’s Pier to take part in Oktoberfest, where you can sample Bavarian pretzels, bratwurst, German potato salad, schnitzel and other German treats, as well as a wide selection of beers and tasting flights at an outdoor biergarten, as you enjoy live entertainment by The Oompah-Delics. If you’re just getting adjusted to September and aren’t quite ready to usher in the new season just yet, Oktoberfest at Mariner’s Pier continues on the weekends of September 28-29 and October 6-7.

But Wildwood isn’t the only place to grab a pretzel and a beer and Prost! to good times. Cape May will host an Oktoberfest on September 29 where several streets will be transformed into a German promenade with authentic music and food. Enjoy a famous Bavarian tradition by visiting the beer gardens, food courts and artisan tables selling crafts, antiques and collectibles. And on October 20, Sea Isle City will host an Oktoberfest at Excursion Park, featuring live German music, vendors, free hayrides on the beach, magic acts, pumpkin painting, children’s entertainment and a pie baking contest.

If pasta is more your thing, then you’re in for a real treat. The Olde Time Italian Festival will be held on the weekend of September 28-29 at Fox Park on Ocean Avenue between Burk and Montgomery Avenues in Wildwood. This family festival includes a Procession of the Saints, delicious Italian food favorites, merchandise vendors, games, and continuous live entertainment. A grape stomping contest and spaghetti eating contest will take place as well. On October 6, Kix McNutley’s in Sea Isle will follow up with an Italian Festival of its own, offering a variety of great Italian food, an Italian market with craft and specialty vendors, a cannoli eating contest and live musical entertainment. Finally, Avalon gets in on the fun with the Avalon Lions Club Pasta Night at the Windrift Hotel.

For a different global experience, head to Around the World Social on September 28 at the Sand Bar in Sea Isle City. This event features soft music, butlered hors d’oeuvres, a wine sampling and cash bar.
Food…with a side of FUN!                                                                                              For those not sold on seafood or international fare specifically, several seaside events pair food with just plain fun events – and in some cases, wine and spirits as well. Let’s start with this weekend and work our way into October.

Celebrate the first day of fall on September 22 at the 7th Annual Stone Harbor Savor September Food, Wine and Beer Festival which will be held at the 96th Street Shopping District. Enjoy the best of local wineries & breweries, food, artisans & live music. Festivities include a grape stomping competition, hay slide and more. Heading further south down the coast on the same day, you’ll find the Fall Food Truck & Music Festival at Fox Park across from the Wildwoods Convention Center. This festival features delicious and unique food trucks, music, vendors, and entertainment as well as a Kids Zone with fun and activities to keep the little ones busy. On Sunday, September 23, enjoy a Jazz Brunch at the Inn of Cape May. This Sunday morning brunch buffet features live jazz from The Great American Songbook by renowned jazz musicians.

Ocean City ushers in the first weekend of October with a fantastic Fall Block Party and Fireworks Spectacular on Asbury Avenue from 5th – 14th Streets. Here you will find crafters, food vendors, music and more. In the evening, fireworks will dazzle in the night sky over the boardwalk from 6th – 14th Streets. On October 6, legume lovers may want to head to the cape for the West Cape May Lima Bean Festival at Wilbraham Park to enjoy an array of recipes, crafts, and products featuring the lovely Lima.

On October 14, be a spicy bivalve and help out the Ocean City Firefighters Charitable Foundation by purchasing a ticket to Ocean City’s 3rd Annual Chili Chowderfest at the Music Pier, where you can partake in chili and chowder tastings while enjoying music from a DJ and watching your offspring enjoy the planned kids’ activities. For an “Evening to Die For”, come enjoy a Murder Mystery Dinner at the Inn of Cape May on October 20 and try to solve a murder mystery as you enjoy a four-course dinner.

November kicks off with the Cape May Restaurant Weekend (November 1-4; various times and locations), a four-day event that offers your choice of an appetizer, entree, and dessert for $35 per person at participating restaurants.

Wine and Chocolatewineandchocolate
Of course, no celebration of food is complete without a little wine and chocolate. This fall’s wine events include the Cape May Wine Trail on September 21 which begins at the Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom at the Emlen Physick Estate with lunch. Then hop aboard a Trolley and enjoy a brief tour and wine tasting at Willow Creek Winery, a tasting at Hawk Haven Winery, and wine tasting, cheese and crackers (complete with a souvenir glass) at Natali Vineyards. If the wine tours and tastings whet your appetite for more, join the Cape May Wine School class on October 7 at the Washington Inn to learn about wines. Of course, don’t forget to check out all the local wineries to see the events they have planned as well.

For a sweet ending to your tasty “tour de shore”, check out the Cape May Chocolate Lovers Feast on September 22 at The Blue Rose Inn where you will enjoy seven courses of delicious chocolate desserts and hear how each was created from the chef who prepared it. Can’t make it this weekend? No worries – the chocoholics among us will be happy to know that this event repeats October 27 and December 1, as well as other times during the year.

So, as you’re digesting the end of summer and considering what fall has in store for you, we hope we’ve given you enough to chew on. Bon Appetit!

Oh…but first…here’s a listing of all these wonderful events in chronological order so you won’t miss out on any of them.

September 2018
21 – Wildwood Irish Festival (runs 21st – 23rd)
21 – Cape May Wine Trail
21 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest (runs 21st – 23rd; 28-30th; October 5-7th)
22 – Wildwood Irish Festival
22 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
22 – Wildwood Crest Seafarers’ Celebration
22 – The 7th Annual Stone Harbor Savor September Food, Wine and Beer Festival
22 – Cape May Chocolate Lovers Feast at The Blue Rose Inn (repeats October 27th and December 1st)
22 – Fall Food Truck & Music Festival
23 – Wildwood Irish Festival
23 – Jazz Brunch at the Inn of Cape May
23 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
28 – Sea Isle City Around the World Social
29 – Sea Isle City Harborfest
28 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
28 – Olde Time Italian Festival
29 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
29 – Olde Time Italian Festival
29 – Cape May Oktoberfest
30 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest

October 2018
5 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
6 – West Cape May Lima Bean Festival
6 – Sea Isle City Italian Festival
6 – Avalon Chamber Seafood Festival (runs 6th – 7th)
6 – Ocean City Fall Block Party and Fireworks Spectacular
6 – Ocean City Indian Summer Weekend (runs 6th – 8th)
6 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
7 – Avalon Chamber Seafood Festival
7 – Ocean City Indian Summer Weekend
7 – Cape May Wine School
7 – Seafood and Music Festival
7 –  Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
8 –  Ocean City Indian Summer Weekend
14 – Avalon Lions Club Pasta Night
14 – Ocean City 3rd Annual Chili Chowderfest
20 – Cape may Murder Mystery Dinners
20 – Sea Isle City Octoberfest
27 – Cape May Chocolate Lovers Feast at The Blue Rose Inn

November 2018
1-4 Cape May Restaurant Weekend


Special Events, Stone Harbor, Uncategorized

Free Weekly Summer Events in Stone Harbor

Ever summer, Stone Harbor hosts free weekly events as listed below.

Stone Harbor Family Night (7:00 – 7:45 p.m., Stone Harbor Firehouse). Fun entertainment for families including magic shows, puppet theater, animal adventures, story time and more.

Tuesdays at the Tower Concert Series (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, 95th Street Water Tower Plaza). Features live bands and a Beer and Wine Garden, sponsored by the Stone Harbor Chamber of Commerce. Snacks are provided by the Stone Harbor Museum.

Cornhole Nights (7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Stone Harbor Elementary School Field). A fun family night of cornhole games, free for all ages and skill levels.

Thursdays on the Lawn (7:30 pm – 9:00 pm, Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church). Bring your beach chair and enjoy a live band on the lawn. Refreshments and cookies provided.

Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Tours (10:00 am, Egret Espy Trail entrance at 114th Street and 2nd Avenue). Experienced docents lead guided tours and teach visitors about the natural history and wildlife of the Bird Sanctuary. Tours are one hour long.

Stone Harbor Farmer’s Market (8:00 am – 12:30 pm, 95th Street Water Tower Plaza). Weekly farmer’s market features fresh produce, organic coffee and tea, crepes, gourmet foods, flowers and much more.

Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Tours (10:00 am, Egret Espy Trail entrance at 114th Street and 2nd Avenue). Experienced docents lead guided tours and teach visitors about the natural history and wildlife of the Bird Sanctuary. Tours are one hour long.

To learn more Stone Harbor, please follow the links below:

Find out why Stone Harbor is “The Seashore At Its Best”
History of Stone Harbor
Stone Harbor Beach Information
Where to Stay in Stone Harbor
Where to Eat in Stone Harbor
Upcoming Events in Stone Harbor – Fall/Winter 2018

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page

Stone Harbor

Upcoming Events in Stone Harbor – Fall/Winter 2018

November 2018

November 11  Stone Harbor American Legion Veterans Day Ceremony (12:00 noon, 11617 2nd Avenue).

November 23-24  Stone Harbor Island Holiday (Various times and locations). Holiday festivities include a Pet Parade, Merchants Hospitality Friday Night, Small Business Saturday, Scavenger Hunt & Family Activities and Annual Christmas Parade Saturday at 6:30pm.

December 2018

December 5  Stone Harbor Caroling & Tree Lighting (4:45 pm – 7:00 pm, Borough Hall, 9508 Second Avenue). Everyone’s invited to join us for a trolley ride as we sing songs of the season. Then gather in front of Borough Hall for the ceremonial tree lighting, followed by donuts with Frosty at the Firehouse.

If you own a business or belong to an organization and you have an Upcoming Event that you would like us to feature, please contact us.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a great New Year!

To learn more Stone Harbor, please follow the links below:

Find out why Stone Harbor is “The Seashore At Its Best”
History of Stone Harbor
Stone Harbor Beach Information
Where to Stay in Stone Harbor
Where to Eat in Stone Harbor
Free Weekly Summer Events in Stone Harbor

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page

Stone Harbor

Where to Eat in Stone Harbor

Stone Harbor’s culinary offerings are primarily centered around the 96th Street shopping district. Whether you are seeking a quick coffee, a place to grab lunch while you shop or a fancy feast at sunset, Stone Harbor has many options from which to choose. Here are the establishments that we think are best in categories that are important to us when we travel. Bon Appetit!

Coffee Shop

eatctCoffee Talk (299 97th Street) Coffee Talk is a popular morning hangout where coffee and tea drinkers can choose from a large selection of hot beverages, as well as breakfast sandwiches, baked goods, bagels and smoothies. “Juice Girl”, a juice and wellness bar, is also located inside the cozy coffee shop environment where “coffee…comfort…conversation…” flows smoothly. Open daily 7 am – 9 pm.


eatcrepeCrespella Gourmet Creperie (261 96th Street) One of the most unique culinary offerings in Stone Harbor, Crespella Gourmet Creperie is a walk- up window snuggled in between boutique shops in Stone Harbor’s famous shopping district. The business started as a mobile operation in 2012, and even though it became a permanent establishment in 2016, the owners continuing to serve at farmers markets and they also provide a catering services including an on-site crepe station. Crepes are made to order from batter made fresh daily as customers watch on, and a wide variety of fillings and toppings are available. Open daily 9 am – 10 pm.


eatubUncle Bill’s Pancake House (304 96th Street) First established in 1962 in Stone Harbor, Uncle Bill’s expanded to several locations along the South Jersey coast over the years and is a popular breakfast destination for vacationing families and locals. Awarded as being the Best Breakfast at the Jersey Shore, Uncle Bill’s serves up breakfast all day long with over 15 different types of pancakes, waffles, French toast, omelets, farm fresh eggs and meats. Several locations also serve lunch and dinner. The staff tends to return each year, which is another mark of their success. Open daily 6:30 am – 1 pm.


bucketsBuckets Margarita Bar and Cantina (9631 3rd Avenue) Buckets is a taqueria style restaurant that offers delicious fare in a colorful dockside atmosphere. “No Shower Happy Hour” is offered daily 2-5 pm. Other specials include Margarita Mondays when classic margaritas are offered for $7 and Taco Tuesdays, when tacos are $5 each. Beautiful atmosphere overlooking the harbor and entertainment is offered each night in the summer. Open daily 8 am – 1 am.


eat7mileSeven Mile Pies (261 96th Street ) Seven Mile Pies is considered by many visitors and locals to be the best pizza on the island. Their pizzas are made from homemade sauce and dough and the crust is thin and crispy. They also offer chicken wings, french fries, cheesesteaks, hoagies and salads. Open daily at 11 am.


eatsaxSax (Reeds at Shelter Haven, 9601 3rd Avenue) SAX is located off the lobby of the Reeds at Shelter Haven Hotel in a comfortable, contemporary fireside environment. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Sax food is deliciously fresh with an extensive offering of appetizer selections, salads, handhelds, flatbreads and entrees. Open daily 7 am – 11 pm.


eatquahogsQuahog’s Seafood Shack (206 97th Street) Featured in The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”, Quahogs looks like a tiny beachside shack but their small plate and main course offerings are both creative and classic. It features an amazing collection of seafood dishes including BBQ Pacu, Fish Tacos, Oysters, Clams and so much more, all prepared fresh. The restaurant offers inside and patio dining, the vibe here is laid back and casual. Open daily for take-out 11:30 am – 8:30 pm; dinner begins at 5 pm.

Waterfront Dining

reedsWater Star Grille (Reeds at Shelter Haven, 9601 Third Avenue) The Water Star Grille provides a sleek, harbor-side atmosphere perfect for having cocktails, sharing dinner with friends and enjoying a beautiful sunset over the water. Serving lunch and dinner, the Water Star’s signature offering is its shared plate menu, designed to allow patrons to share larger portion dishes. Seating is offered at a bar facing the bay, at an intimate table by the water, or gather around an outdoor couch on the perfectly manicured lawn. Open Saturday and Sunday 8 am – 10 pm, Weekdays 11 am – 10 pm.

Ice cream

springersSpringer’s Homemade Ice Cream (9420 Third Avenue) Since Springer’s has been serving delicious homemade ice cream with unique flavor blends to visitors and locals alike. There are over 50 flavors, and there is always a long line snaking down the sidewalk during high summer season. Open daily 11 am – 11 pm.

Where do you like to eat in Stone Harbor? If you have a recommendation or wish to share a story about your favorite eatery, please Leave A Response below or contact us. If you own a dining establishment and would like us to feature your restaurant on this blog, please contact us and give us your name, the name of your restaurant and your email address. 

To learn more Stone Harbor, please follow the links below:

Find out why Stone Harbor is “The Seashore At Its Best”
History of Stone Harbor
Stone Harbor Beach Information
Where to Stay in Stone Harbor
Upcoming Events in Stone Harbor – Fall/Winter 2018
Free Weekly Summer Events in Stone Harbor

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page

Stone Harbor

Where to Stay in Stone Harbor


With a motto of “The Seashore At It’s Best”, Stone Harbor offers a lot to visitors, including beautiful beaches, delicious restuarants, a popular shopping district and reasonably priced options for overnight lodging.

While there is only one hotel and six motels, Stone Harbor has a wide variety of classic and contemporary condos and homes available for rent on a weekly, monthly or seasonal basis.

Here we will discuss the options for hotel and motel lodging. If you are a seeking a place to stay on Seven Mile Island, you may also wish to check out Where to Stay in Avalon since both towns are right next to each other with nothing but a nondescript street  separating them (80th Street). As a matter of fact, all of Avalon’s hotels are located between 78th and 80th Streets in Avalon, right next to the Stone Harbor border and within a reasonable walking distance to the shopping district on 9th Street.

Stone Harbor Hotels:

The Reeds at Shelter Haven – 9601 Third Avenue, Stone Harborreeds

The Reeds at Shelter Haven is Stone Harbor’s only upscale resort hotel. Located at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 96th Street, on the bay and right in the heart of Stone Harbor, the Reeds is a popular destination for those who wish to find the luxuries offered by a finer hotel. The Reeds offers 37 distinctively designed guest rooms with either town or bay views. Some rooms have balconies. Onsite indoor and outdoor dining options include the classy Water Star Grille and Buckets Margherita Bar and Cantina, both on the bay. Located next to the sleek lobby is Sax at the Reeds as well as a pizza pub and an ice cream shop. The Reeds offers full, complimentary daily beach service with attendants who are available to take guests to the beach in an electric car along with beach chairs, towels, tags, and umbrella. The resort also offers complimentary bay activities including kayaks and paddle boards. There is a complimentary daily Yoga Instruction every morning on the roof garden sun deck, and guests can enjoy a plunge pool and hot tubs. Towels and custom outdoor furnishing are provided for all hotel guests to use. The Reeds has partnered with Stone Harbor Golf Club, a world-class golf course, to provide exclusive guest access. Tee-times can be arranged before guests arrive or throughout their stay with onsite concierge services. The Salt Spa will be opening in 2018 to provide guests with signature services and treatments.

Stone Harbor Motels:

Colonial Lodge – 93rd and Second Avenue, Stone Harborcolonial

The Colonial Lodge is located in a residential neighborhood one block off the beach and close to the Stone Harbor shopping district at 96th Street. The lodge features classic motel rooms as well as one and two room efficiencies, all with refrigerators and microwaves. While there is no pool, there is a sundeck area. Beach umbrella and chair rentals are available, as are beach tags upon request. Daily maid service is provided. Golf privileges with start time at Avalon Golf Club are also available.

Dunes Motel – 9801 2nd Avenue, Stone Harbordunesmotel

The Dunes Motel is located only one block from the beach. It features three types of units, each with refrigerators. Amenities include a heated pool with spa privileges, a large sun deck, daily maid service and free Wi-Fi. Beach umbrella and chair rentals are available and free beach tags are provided during stay (with deposit).

Harbor Inn – 9700 Second Avenue, Stone Harborharborinn

The Harbor Inn is located a block from the beach and close to shopping on 96th Street. It offers classic motels rooms, all with refrigerators and daily maid service. Amenities include a heated pool & spa, a sun deck, free Wi-Fi and free use of beach tags.

Lark Motel – 9800 Second Avenue, Stone Harborlark

Located one block from the beach and two blocks from 96th Street shopping district, the Lark Motel is family-owned and offers guests a choice in classic motel rooms or efficiencies. Guest rooms include a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker and maid service. Amenities include a large pool area, gas-fired barbeque grills and a comfortable lounge area. Guests can enjoy unlimited complimentary internet access and complimentary beach tags with deposit.

Seaward Motel – 9724 Second Avenue, Stone Harborseaward

The Seaward motel is located one block from the beach and two blocks from the 96th Street shopping district. The motel offers classic motel rooms with one queen or two double beds, mini-fridges and microwaves. Efficiency units include kitchenettes and sleep up to six people. Amenities include a spacious sundeck and a heated pool and complimentary Wi-Fi. Beach tags are provided with a small deposit.

Sun N Sand Motel 284 102nd Street, Stone Harborsunandsea

Located 2 1/2 Blocks from the Beach in Stone Harbor, the Sun N Sand Motel offers two-bedroom efficiencies with kitchens. The motel has a barbecue and picnic area. It offers complimentary Beach Tags (with deposit), Wi-fi and free off-street parking. Beach chair, umbrella, and ice chest rentals are available as well.

Camping: CAMPER

All of Stone Harbor’s camping options are off-island along Route 9. Check websites for more information.

Home Rentals:

Most renters will go through traditional real estate agencies to rent condos and houses, however there is a growing number of options appearing online. Websites such as Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO), Home Away and even AirBNB are starting to show options for weekly and, at times, shorter stays via website.

In closing, I strongly encourage you to visit online reviews of all these lodging options to get more information and find feedback about other guests’ experiences to better make a decision about what is right for you.

Where do you stay in Stone Harbor? If you would like to make a recommendation or share information about your favorite hotel, motel, inn or rental, please leave your reply below, or contact us if you have an interesting story about where you stayed in Stone Harbor.

To learn more Stone Harbor, please follow the links below:

Find out why Stone Harbor is “The Seashore At Its Best”
History of Stone Harbor
Stone Harbor Beach Information
Where to Eat in Stone Harbor
Upcoming Events in Stone Harbor – Fall/Winter 2018
Free Weekly Summer Events in Stone Harbor

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page


Stone Harbor

Stone Harbor Beach Information

Stone Harbor’s beaches are a great place to be on a hot summer afternoon, a cool autumn morning or a balmy spring night. Whether you are a beachcomber, sunbather, surfer or sandcastle builder, you are sure to enjoy your time on these white sand beaches. To maximize your enjoyment, here is information you will want to know.

Lifeguarded Beaches
The following beaches are protected by members of the Stone Harbor Beach Patrol: 81st, 83rd, 87th, 90th, 93rd, 95th, 96th, 100th, 103rd, 105th, 108th, 110th, 112th, 117th, 120th & 122nd Streets.

Permitted Activities
Rafts – Use of rafts and other inflatable objects are permitted at 83rd, 87th, 90th, 93rd, 95th, 96th, 100th, 103rd, 108th, 117th & 120th Street beaches.
Surfing – The use of surfboards (with leases attached) are permitted at the beaches at 81st and 110th Streets only.
Kayaks –  Kayaks are permitted at 122nd Street through 126th Street only, and life jackets must be worn at all times while in the water.

Beach Tag Information
Beach tags are required for all individuals 12 years or over from the Friday of Memorial weekend to Monday of Labor Day weekend, every day from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Beach tags can be purchased at the Beach Tag Office located in the Beach Patrol Building at 95th Street the Beach. Starting in 2017, beachgoers can also download and purchase Stone Harbor seasonal tags through Viply, which can then be picked up at the Beach Tag Booth.

The 2017 Summer Season rates for beach tags are: $6 for daily, $12 for weekly $28 for seasonal tags. Discounts are offered on seasonal tags purchased prior to May 31. Veterans will be issued a special veterans tag that can be picked up at 95th St Beach Tag Office 7 days a week 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Stone Harbor and Avalon have reciprocity between their beaches, so Stone Harbor beach tags are accepted on Avalon beaches, and vice-versa. Avalon beach tags can be purchased at the Avalon Beach Tag Booth at Community Hall on 30th Street and Avalon Avenue or from any on-duty Avalon Beach Patrol Tag Inspector.

Parking for the Stone Harbor beaches is available on street, at meters and in parking lots. Metered parking includes three-hour meters on designated streets; four-hour meters at two lots on the north side of 96th Street, west of Third Avenue, and one lot between Second and Third avenues and Borough Hall. Permits for parking in permit-only lots are available in the Borough Clerk’s Office, 9508 Second Avenue, for the cost of $225 per season.

Public restrooms are available at 95th Street and Second Avenue, 95th Street and the Beach and at 122nd Street.

Ramps are available from the street to the beach at 83rd, 88th, 92nd, 95th, 101st , 103rd, 105th, 111th, 114th and 119th Streets. Access from the beach entrance to water’s edge at 95th and 119th Streets. There is access to the pavilions at 89th Street and 101st Street to the beach.

Surf Chairs
A total of six chairs are available at the Beach Tag Office at 95th Street & the Beach. There is no charge for the surf chairs but reservations are strongly suggested. Please call 368-6805 to reserve a chair.

Rules and Regs

  • Swimming, rafts and surfboards are permitted at designated beaches only.
  • Unless noted otherwise, designated beaches are for swimming only.
  • The following are prohibited on the beach: Picnics, Alcoholic Beverages, Fires, Glass Bottles, Sleeping from sunset to sunrise.
  • Sailcraft must be licensed and beached at designated areas only.
  • Vehicles are permitted on the beach by permit only from October 1 through March 31st. Permits are issued the day after Labor Day until March the following year. For information regarding permits, call 368-5102.




To learn more Stone Harbor, please follow the links below:

Find out why Stone Harbor is “The Seashore At Its Best”
History of Stone Harbor
Where to Stay in Stone Harbor
Where to Eat in Stone Harbor
Upcoming Events in Stone Harbor – Fall/Winter 2018
Free Weekly Summer Events in Stone Harbor

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page

Stone Harbor

History of Stone Harbor

seven-mile-beachThe barrier island on which Stone Harbor is located was once a juniper forest occupied by the Leni-Lenape Indians. In 1722, the 2725-acre island was purchased for the equivalent of $380 by Aaron Leaming who thereafter named it Leaming’s Island. The Leaming family owned the island for approximately 100 years, during which time it was used as a cattle range and a source of timber. The island was sold by the Leamings, passed through several different owners and finally renamed “Seven Mile Island”.

In 1848 a coastal life-saving service was created and stations were erected along thestation Atlantic coast to assist swimmers and shipwreck survivors. The U.S. Coast Guard Station #35, known as Tatham’s Life Saving Station, was built in 1895 on what would later become 2nd Avenue in Stone Harbor. In 2008 the building, which still exists, was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today it serves as an American Legion Post and museum where war memorabilia and maritime artifacts are displayed.

In 1887 the island was purchased by the Seven Mile Beach Company with the intention of creating a seaside resort. The developers referred to it as the “Jewel of the Jersey Coast” when promoting the island to prospective, wealthy visitors.



railroadstockTwo years later, the company gave permission to the West Jersey Railroad Company to build tracks to run the length of the island, joining up with tracks that already ran from Philadelphia to Ludlam’s Island. To allow trains to continue south onto Seven Mile Island, a newly constructed railroad bridge had to be built across Townsends Inlet.

Once the bridge was completed, the tracks ran dunesto 37th Street in Avalon but stopped because, beyond that point, the remaining island terrain consisted of only sand dunes and maritime forest lands.

In 1891 a development company bought the land south of Avalon. They named it Stone Harbor after a mariner named Captain Stone sought harbor here during a storm.

The first residential building was constructed in 1892, a five-story hotel called the Abbotsford Inn. It was located near 80th Street. Shortly thereafter seven cottages were constructed from 80th to 83rd Streets.

(Click on the photos below to order these vintage postcards)



In 1907, the sand dunes that surrounded the newly developing community of Stone Harbor were levelled off, marshes were filled in and streets were paved. Dune Drive, which ran along the coast on the eastern side of the island starting in Avalon, was eventually extended and renamed “Second Avenue” at the border of Stone Harbor.


Likewise, Ocean Drive in Avalon, which runs along the western side of the island, was extended into Stone Harbor and named “Third Avenue”. Two basins were dredged along the waterway, and seawalls and bulkheads were built to protect the land. Eight jetties were also built to protect the beaches. It worked – over the next several years, Stone Harbor’s beaches

In 1910, a series of beach bungalows were built 109th to 111th Streets between 2nd and 3rdAvenues – this area became known as the “Bungalow Colony”.


The railroad was the primary mode of transportation for visitors to the island until roadways were constructed in the early 1900s. However, in 1911 it is said that then-Governor of New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson, drove the first spike in the railroad connection that was being built between Cape May Courthouse and Stone Harbor – two years before he would become a two-term President. The railroad was completed in 1912, but not before a highway at 96th Street opened, allowing visitors to arrive on the island by way of automobile.


fireThe year of 1912 was important in Stone Harbor’s history as it was when many firsts occurred in the growing community. The first lifeguard and first police man were hired and the first volunteer fire department formed. postcardfiretruck

The original Shelter Haven Hotel was built at southwest corner of 96th, and it was the first time that coastal air mail delivery was made by a Wright Brothers plane when mail was flown between Ocean City and Stone Harbor. The town saw many advancements in growth during these years, and by 1914 it was incorporated as a borough.


Within the next few years, a boardwalk was constructed with a theater and motion picture building, as well as a fishing pier at 106th Street. However, both of these structures, along with several beachfront homes, were destroyed in the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944. springers

In 1920, Springer’s began a tradition of delighting families with its famous homemade ice cream, a tradition that continues today.


In 1937, Villa Maria By the Sea Convent opened a summer retreat home for the sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary Congregation at 111th Street. The huge building faced a beautiful stretch of private beach. Years ago, noting that it would be a perfect surfing location, some local surfers approached the nuns and respectfully requested to use the beach for surfing. Since the nuns only used it for a couple hours each afternoon, they readily agreed. Today, it is known as “Nun’s Beach”. nunsbeachIn 1996, the surfers organized a surfing competition as a way to thank the Sisters for their generous use of their beach and to raise funds for the religious summer retreat. The competition, which is held each September, became so popular that its original purpose as a small-town event was lost. Now the event is by invitation only with some spots reserved for newcomers. It is a day-long event with concession stands selling food, drinks and merchandise and a dinner follows the day’s events. Each summer a new Nun’s Beach tee shirt is designed and sold. The motto of the event is “Pray for Surf”.

birdsanctThe Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary, a 21.5-acre nature preserve where birds of many species can feed and nest, was established in 1947. The area is registered as a National Landmark by the National Park Service.


In 1969, the Wetlands Institute was established. In addition to educational exhibits, classes and tours, the Institute includes more 6,000 acres of natural wetlands with a trail and observation deck. theater

In the 1940s, the Harbor Theater was built on 96th Street. It was renovated and reopened in 2016 to include food and drink service from the adjoining Harbor Burger Bar. Today, the Harbor Square Theater is only movie theater still operating on the South Jersey coast.


Throughout the years, 96th Street in Stone Harbor has developed into a popular, quaint shopping district with unique shops, boutiques and restaurants. In 2013 the luxury resort, The Reeds at Shelter Haven, opened at the corner of 96th Street and Third Avenue to provide upscale accommodations to overnight guests. With several restaurants and a beautiful location overlooking the bay, Reeds has become a popular destination for wedding parties and relaxing getaway weekends. It was built at the same location as the original Shelter Haven hotel operated for decades as a popular vacation destination.


With beautiful beaches, various overnight lodging options, a popular shopping district and an active waterfront, Stone Harbor has become what its original planners hoped it would – the seashore at its finest.

Do you, or does your family or business, have a history in Stone Harbor? We’re interested in hearing from people whose families were original or early settlers, or who own or owned a business, or who have other historical information to share such as living or working here in past summers, meeting your significant others, getting engaged or married here or any other human interest story. If so, and if you would like to share your story, please contact us by clicking here. The information you provide us is  through this link is confidential and we will contact you to gain more information, as well as your full permission, before we disclose any information you provide.  Thank you, and please don’t hesitate to contact us(Note: for your privacy, do not include your information in the Leave A Reply box below unless you wish others to see your information).

To learn more Stone Harbor, please follow the links below:

Find out why Stone Harbor is “The Seashore At Its Best”
Stone Harbor Beach Information
Where to Stay in Stone Harbor
Where to Eat in Stone Harbor
Upcoming Events in Stone Harbor – Fall/Winter 2018
Free Weekly Summer Events in Stone Harbor

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page

Stone Harbor

The Seashore At Its Best

IMG_9251 (2)As it’s motto suggests, Stone Harbor is a laid back beach town that offers the best in beachfront living. Like its swanky neighbor to the north, the borough of Stone Harbor is a quiet, upscale community that shares its home on “Seven Mile Island” with Avalon. This barrier island is approximately 36 miles south of Atlantic City and 20 miles north of Cape May. From north to south, it is (as its name suggests) approximately seven miles long and is roughly three to four blocks wide in most places.

As noted, only two towns occupy Seven Mile Island. Beginning at the northernmost point of the island, Avalon runs from 6th Street to the north side of 80th street. Stone Harbor extends from the south side of 80th street to 122nd Street at the southernmost point of the island.  Two major thoroughfares run the length of the island, parallel to the ocean from north to south – in Avalon, those streets begin as Dune and Ocean Drives. At 80th Street, Avalon’s Dune and Ocean Drives become Stone Harbor’s 2nd and 3rd Avenues, respectively. The only indication that one is passing from Avalon into Stone Harbor is the towns’ welcome signs at 80th Street. Other than changing street names and a welcoming sign, it is difficult to tell the difference between the two towns because they are very similar in appearance and atmosphere. As a matter of fact, the two towns were once just one town – Avalon – until 1914 when Stone Harbor was founded.


Like Avalon, Stone Harbor boasts of both older modest and newer opulent homes. Many homes along the bay have private docks and boats. The New York Times once described Stone Harbor as a place with “gleaming McMansions and elegant shops.”


Stone Harbor is just three miles long but there is something here to satisfy every taste. Its waterfront dining is spectacular at sunset and, on the other side of the island, the expansive beaches are guarded by a full-time lifeguarding staff in the summer season. beachtagLike other beach towns in New Jersey, Stone Harbor requires beach-goers to purchase beach tags.

For nature-lovers there is an impressive bird sanctuary and wetlands museum. The Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary is a 21.5-acre nature preserve that lies between 2nd and 3rd Avenues and 111th and 117th Streets near the southern-most part of the island known as “The Point”. The grounds of the sanctuary are comprised of fresh and salt water birdmeadows, sandy dunes and natural growth where many bird species rest during migration or have made their homes. Open year round, the sanctuary includes three paths that wind through lush vegetation, allowing visitors to see the feeding and nesting habits of egrets, herons and other bird species. Tours are offered throughout the summer season. Other wildlife can be seen here, including bats, butterflies and dragonflies.

Wetland-Institute-exterior-frontThe Wetlands Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of coastal and wetland ecosystems. The Institute provides a fun and interactive educational atmosphere for visitors who wish to learn more about wetlands and the many species that inhabit coastal ecosystems, such as diamondback terrapins, horseshoe crabs and shorebirds. Visitors can take classes, attend lectures, go on kayak tours, engage in interactive events such as the release of terrapin hatchlings and enjoy the Institute’s many festivals.


For water enthusiasts, plenty of watersports and boating opportunities abound on the Intracoastal Waterway (bay) which separates Seven Mile island from the mainland. From paddle boarding and climbing on oversized inflatables to chartered fishing vessels, party boats and other maritime excursions, it is hard to stay dry in this coastal town.20161014_113255

For landlubbers, Stone Harbor is filled with unique boutique shops and gourmet treats. In lieu of a beach-side boardwalk such as those found in Ocean City and Wildwood, 96th Street serves as the town’s center for retail and culinary activities. Small boutique stores and eateries line this quaint shopping district which lies perpendicular to the beach between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. This area is a popular destination for vacationers in neighboring beach towns who wish to get away from the typical boardwalk-variety tee shirt and souvenir shops to find an array of upscale fashions, coastal home décor and other specialty items. Strolling down 96th Street to duck in and out of specialty shops is also a favorite rainy-day activity for vacationers up and down the South Jersey coast. springersOn the way out of town, many visitors include a stop in Springer’s Homemade Ice Cream, an iconic mainstay of Stone Harbor for years.


Stone Harbor with its quaint streets, beautiful waterfront and sandy beaches truly does offer some of the best of everything to see and do Down The Shore.


To learn more Stone Harbor, please follow the links below:

History of Stone Harbor
Stone Harbor Beach Information
Where to Stay in Stone Harbor
Where to Eat in Stone Harbor
Upcoming Events in Stone Harbor – Fall/Winter 2018
Free Weekly Summer Events in Stone Harbor

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page