Shore Guide 2015
We’ve got you covered in our annual rundown of the latest and coolest coastal fun.
Stone Harbor’s 96th Street // photos by Jared Castaldi
Avalon and Stone Harbor
Summer weekends in Avalon arrive a day early with the popular Thursdays on Dune event series. Starting July 3, family-friendly activities—think Disney characters, face painters, crafts and giveaways—take place throughout Avalon’s shopping district. Enjoy live music at Veterans Plaza at 7 p.m.
Kick off the season in a delicious way June 1-7 at 7 Mile Restaurant Week. More than 30 restaurants throughout Avalon and Stone Harbor will participate in this weeklong event, which offers discounted menus from breakfast to dinner.
Last summer, Stone Harbor hosted the Festival of Lights to mark its 100th birthday. The event was so well received that they’re bringing it back Aug. 15. The nighttime celebration features a boat parade, and the Yacht Club hosts a lively after-party.
Cape May’s Washington Street Mall
For the Lighthouse Full Moon Climb on July 2, guests can ascend the 199 stairs to the top of the Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May Point State Park for lunar views.
The Emlen Physick Estate hosts the first Jazz Brunch at the Estate on July 12 and Aug. 16. Linger over a Sunday buffet under the tent, while listening to live music.
On Aug. 8, find out why the Craft Beer & Crab Festival, held on the grounds of the Physick Estate, has been named one of New Jersey’s top summer festivals. The event features craft beer, a seafood buffet, live music, a farmers’ market and more.
Need a break from the surf and sand? Spend the day tasting at Cape May Winery & Vineyard. Tours provide a behind-the-scenes look at winemaking.
Margate, Ventnor and Longport
Get those bikes prepped for Le Tour de Downbeach on June 7. The leisurely 14-mile bike ride begins at Newport Avenue and the Boardwalk in Ventnor and ends at Tomatoe’s restaurant in Margate, where a barbecue celebration awaits.
The sixth annual Margate Beachstock returns June 27, offering 13 hours of kids’ activities, live music and dancing, a food court and beer garden, a free surf clinic, volleyball tournaments, paddleboard races, and more.
Long weekends are worth it in Margate, thanks to Thrilling Thursdays. July 2-Aug. 27, one-day-only perks include a farmers’ market, sidewalk sales, a family movie under the stars, and—best of all—no beach tags.
Have a tween or teen grumbling about leaving friends behind for the family vacation? Drop them off at the new $1 million Cape May County Skatepark and let them blow off some steam.
It wouldn’t be summer in OC without a Night in Venice. Held this year on July 11, the annual boat parade isn’t as elaborate as it used to be, but it’s still a Shore tradition that shouldn’t be missed.
Cuteness alert: The 106th Annual Baby Parade—one of the oldest events of its kind in the country—is set to stroll down OC’s boardwalk on Aug. 13.
Long Beach Island
Don’t know the difference between a privateer and a pirate? You will after the Privateers & Pirates Festival on June 6 at the Tuckerton Seaport. Big and little kids alike can participate in a treasure hunt, games and crafts.
The Lighthouse International Film Festival returns June 4-7, spotlighting screenings of independent movies and offering chances to meet with the filmmakers.
The same weekend, check out the Pour Into Summer Wine Festival in Beach Haven. Some of New Jersey’s best vintners, including Renault, Coda Rossa and Tomasello, will offer tastings, paired with gourmet bites from local restaurants.
Morey’s Piers on the Wildwood Boardwalk
Every Thursday night July 2-Sept. 3, you’ll feel like it’s New Year’s Day on Broad Street, as you cheer on various string bands strutting down the boardwalk for the Philadelphia Mummers Parade Performances.
Suds aficionados will want to set aside June 13-14 for the inaugural Wildwood Beer Fest, featuring more than 100 different craft brews, live music and food.
And if there’s a dining spot you’ve always wanted to try, Wildwoods Restaurant Week is the ideal time to do it. June 21-26 and again Aug. 23-28, many of the area’s best eateries will offer four-course meals at discounted prices.
The Harlem Globetrotters descend on the Wildwoods Convention Center July 29-Aug. 1 for nightly performances of their crazy on-court antics.
SEA ISLE CITY
No fewer than 400 vendors are scheduled to showcase their wares during Skimmer Festival Weekend on June 20. The craft market includes a food court, sand-sculpting and more. On Sunday, car fans will delight over the vintage rides at the Skimmer Antique Auto Show & Parade.
June 26-28, more than 12 mobile eateries will roll into the parking lot of Kix McNutley’s for the Sea Isle City Food Truck Festival,
offering everything from lobster rolls to milkshakes. Live music, too.
Excursion Park is the place to be for family fun all week long. Family dance parties happen Monday and Thursday nights. Tuesdays feature free movies under the stars, and catch Sea Isle City’s Got Talent on Friday evenings, starting June 26. Saturday nights are reserved for live music, with free shows from cover bands and tribute acts.