USA Travel

Jersey Shore Vacation

Every year in July or August we take a week long vacation with my in-laws to the Jersey Shore.

This was the first year we actually rented a house. Usually, we use my Aunt’s house located in the Villas, NJ. It is a great location near all of our favorite spots. We decided to rent a home in North Wildwood with second bathroom… well another toilet, and overall more space. My sister-in-law found some great homes and we all decided this particular home really fit all of our needs the best. She used Airbnb to book the house.

About the House

It was overall beautiful and very spacious. It was built in the 1950s (that is my unprofessional guess). The hardwood floors and doors were gorgeous! It was nicely decorated too. I really enjoyed sitting on the porch with a drink or tea in the morning. We did not rush anywhere and took our time, so we spent a lot of time in the house. The bonus/toy room had a daybed and chair. You could find my youngest son napping during the day and me sitting in there during the evenings.

House details

– 4 bedrooms

– 1 full bathroom

– 1 toilet room

– Kitchen (fully furnished)

– Dining room

– Living room

– Bonus room/toy room

– Big covered porch

– Big backyard

– Off-street parking

– Bed linens and towels

– 1 block from boardwalk and beach

– Washer and dryer

Stone Harbor

Cute little Shore town with lots of good shopping and places to eat. Everything is on or right off of the main strip with the ocean at the end. It is nice being able to take the afternoon and walk around.

My son (ok we all enjoyed it) loves the arcade and we spent a decent amount of time in playing. He even got to ride a vintage, miniature, two horse carousel. It was adorable! The current owner told us her father gifted it to her when she was just three years old. She also told us in order to get it in the arcade they had to take out the window, because it was too big to fit through their double doors.

Peace, Love, & Little Donuts – Located on 96th Street

They were a hit with all of us! So many flavors to choose from and they were all freshly made. They accept cash and credit.

Bread & Cheese Cupboard – Located on 96th Street

Jason and my in-laws get their sticky buns every year. It is a little tradition they have and they love them. I am not a huge sticky bun fan, but I usually just have a small bite of Jason’s and it is tasty. They accept cash only.

Harbor Burger Bar – Located on 96th Street

I was not hungry, but Jason ordered their bacon mac n’ cheese burger. He thought it is was a good burger and clearly hand-pattied. The meat was well seasoned and the mac n’ cheese had a good flavor. Overall everyone else enjoyed their meal too. They accept cash and credit.

**They are literally in a movie theater. Our table was next to the ticket counter/concessions.


Castaway Café – Located on Bayshore Road

My family and I have been going here for years, actually since before they became Castaway Café. Their food is always good. Service has been slow in the recent months, so make sure you are not in a rush to be anywhere.

I ordered their chicken florentine over pasta. The portion was huge and I enjoyed every bite of it. Jason ordered the twin tails and was extremely impressed with the price, quality, and taste. They accept cash and credit.


“Love those Wildwood days,” I have gone to Wildwood and their beach my entire life. The boardwalk is fun, huge, and complete beach bum style.

Lots and lots of arcade games, some rides, and simply walking the boardwalk. Off the boardwalk (and down the street from our rental) was Hassles miniature golf. I am pretty sure this was my son’s favorite part. He literally did not want it to end. Our last night we did have some much needed beach time. We did not want to go during the morning or heat of the day. We decided to go after dinner and we had such a good time. Our son loves playing in the sand and being in the water. He would live in water if he could! Also, the beaches are free here!

Britton’s Gourmet Bakery – Located on Pacific Avenue in Wildwood Crest

Who does not like donuts for breakfast? Delicious fried empty calories, but just have some fresh berries with it. It is all about balance, right? The donuts really were good. They accept cash only.

Mack’s – Located on the boardwalk

This is Jason’s favorite pizza place on the boardwalk. They are not my favorite, but still taste good. They ONLY make pizza. They accept cash only.

Curley’s Fries – Located on the boardwalk with locations and both Morey’s Piers

Getting Curley’s Fries has been a boardwalk tradition in my family since I was a little girl and Jason is addicted to them too! They are always fresh cut and cooked in peanut oil. We have seen them on many occasions wheeling up boxes and boxes of potatoes to restock. They are not cheap, but they have different sizes available. Also, they have fresh lemonade! They accept cash or credit.

The Mudhen – Located on Rio Grande Avenue in Wildwood

We have wanted to try this restaurant and finally did this year. Each one of us really enjoyed our meals and definitely will go back again.

I ordered the shrimp tacos and the shrimp were cooked perfectly. Jason ordered the Swine is Fine, a 8 oz black angus patty topped with applewood bacon, pulled pork, bbq sauce, and cheddar cheese served on a brioche bun. To say he loved it would be an understatement! They accept cash and credit.

Hassles Ice Cream Parlor – Located just off the boardwalk on 21st street in North Wildwood

Small, cute, and they also have a mini golf! Perfect! Lots of flavors of ice cream to choose from (over 40!) and an entire kids sundae menu. Free parking while visiting. They accept cash and credit.

Little Italy Restaurant – Located on Atlantic Avenue in Wildwood Crest

Homemade pastas… enough said. Simply delicious. Jason ordered their prime rib and was completely satisfied with it. They accept cash and credit.

The Bagel Depot – Located on Delaware Avenue in North Wildwood

More of New York style bagels, plus they had salt bagels and blueberry bagels. Everyone was happy!

Cape May County Zoo & Park

I grew up going to this Zoo and I never get tired of going. A huge perk is that it is free! They do ask for donations when you enter. They also have multiple playgrounds, small train, carousel, places to eat, and picnic areas (pavilions must be reserved in advance) just outside of the actual Zoo entrance. The Zoo hosts various events throughout the year. They also offer animal encounters and guided tours.

**Animal encounters, guided tours, and some events are additional cost.

Ocean City

They are known for being the best “family friendly” area and boardwalk. They are a dry town.

Rides, rides, and more rides at Gillians Wonderland Pier. On certain days of the weeks, all rides are only two tickets each. We even have tickets leftover for next year. We did enjoy walking a bit on their boardwalk too.

Manco & Manco – Located on the boardwalk

Another favorite of Jason’s and my in-laws, but not my favorite at all. I did enjoy their white pizza with broccoli this trip. They used to only serve pizza but have since added a full menu of items. They take cash and credit.

Spadafora’s – Located just off the boardwalk on the corner of 9th street and Atlantic Avenue

Ok, so two opposite opinions on this place. First, best scallops my mother-in-law and father-in-law had. My sister-in-law enjoyed her fried flounder. They really enjoyed it. Second, my fried shrimp was way too over cooked and tough. Jason’s fried shrimp was also over cooked and tough. His fried flounder was too thin and dry. It is a very small place, get there early if you do not want to wait long. We did eat there on a previous trip and had a better experience. They accept cash and credit.

Ocean City Coffee Company – Located on the boardwalk

Jason stopped to try a cup of coffee (I can not stand the taste of and coffee, but love the smell!). The coffee was freshly roasted in-house and there was a good variety to choose from. They accept cash and credit.

Cape May

Cape May has a great outdoor shopping area that is completely walking friendly called Washington Street Mall. There is also all the shops along Beach Avenue and walking parallel with the ocean on the promenade. All this while being surrounded by beautiful Victorian homes.

Uncle Charley’s Ice Cream – Located at Washington Street Mall

Another tradition of my family’s! We really enjoy this small ice cream parlor that features over 48 flavors of homemade ice cream! They have soft served in addition to their hand dipped ice cream. They accept cash only.

Pretty Tasty Cupcake Boutique – They are located in Carpenters Square Mall across the street from Washington Street Mall

I am more of a cake person and my in-laws are more icing people. Well, we all enjoyed the cake and the icing! The cupcake was moist with the perfect amount of icing, and they looked so pretty too! We had the party cake, strawberries & cream, and the lemonade flavors. They are a 100% peanut and nut-free bakery. A little pricey, but worth the splurge. They accept cash only.

Carney’s – Located on Beach Avenue

We were overall disappointed in our food here. Jason thought his was mediocre. In that past we thought they were good. Maybe just an off day? I would not refuse to eat there again in the future, but I probably will not suggest them either.

The End

Our vacation ended with a beautiful fireworks display that we watched from the backyard of our rental house.



Have you been to the Jersey Shore? Tell us about it in the comment section below!