The Jersey Shore Files:  The Cape May Peninsula (Part One)

Miss Madison may need to check her settings on her iPhone….it has apparently picked up a rain filter.

With the Pennsylvania leg of our summer vacation now behind us, it was time to go about as far south in New Jersey as one can possibly go and not end up in Delaware.  The Cape May  peninsula had beckoned us with her charm for a couple of days, and we were more than happy to take part in her hospitality.

Here is a pro tip from Mr. Skipah, get engaged to a travel ninja.  You vacation like a royal at Aldi’s pricing.  If you aren’t engaged to a travel ninja, then I would suggest you hit exotic locales like New Jersey (never thought I would type that) during their “off” season.  Thanks to Miss Madison’s keen research and Groupon we got to wake up for a couple of days staring at Mother, Mother ocean.  For the cost of staying at a fleabag hotel, we were breathing fresh ocean air every morning.  That cost amazingly went up two weeks later.

If I told you I was partying it up with American Legion veterans and their families, eating some of the finest in fresh seafood, and feeling like an extra in a Mad Men vacation episode, you probably be wondering where I was?  Try Wildwood, NJ, a quaint little place with one kick ass convention center, an award winning beach amusement park, a super charming boardwalk, and a city interior decorator that graduated in 1960.  I’m all for nostalgia and old school, but golly geez most of the hotels/resorts in the area are literally stuck in 1962 with their appearance.  Our resort was thankfully modernized, but some of the gaudiness my eyes absorbed was downright comical.

Unfortunately the first day there was a tad rainy so my photography suffered.

When you are in New Jersey and half the hotels are named either for Hawaiin beaches or Las Vegas resorts Elvis played at back in the day, you already know that maybe a facelift might be needed.  Or maybe that is the charm of Wildwood, I’ll have to reach out to my native Jersey friends for an answer on that.  Whatever the reasons for the aesthetics of Wildwood, this guy has zero complaints about anything while there.

Our first stop, once we were squarely stowed away at the Adventurer Oceanfront Inn, was a quest for sustenance.  This would mean only one thing for this Midwest land lubber that has been known to sport a chub when near certain types of food.  Try fresh seafood for my palate!  Even better, it was apparently Wayne Newton night at Schellenger’s Restaurant that evening and he was playing up to the American Legion vets like a master showman.  The Legionnaires were in town for a convention and were some of the coolest people I’ve ever interacted with.  Throw in arguably the greatest waitress I’ve ever dealt with in my life (even called the manager to brag on her) and our first impression of Wildwood was five anchors on the Skipah ranking system.


I inquired about his availability for my upcoming wedding.

In case you were wondering that is flounder with a crab stuffing, no photos of me licking the plate!

Except for the beach!  Good lord some entrepreneurial young mind needs to start a shuttle business to get to the beach!  I have been fortunate to stay on the beach many times in my life, I’ve never had to walk 10 minutes to get to the water!  Wildwood, NJ has to have one of the largest beaches in the country.  Massive can’t even describe it, more like ginormous on steroids.  Since it was the off season in those parts, the beach was more abandoned than Sarajevo Olympic venues and we took full advantage of it!  Except the water temperature had to be about 21 degrees Fahrenheit, so that meant only the kids would partake in such shenanigans of actually setting foot in the water.  Also, as a master Midwest shellcomber, I was very disappointed in the shell selection that washed up on the sands of Wildwood.  I saw more Shell gas stations while in the area than actual seashells.  Apparently horseshoe crabs were staging their own convention that day as they were plentiful.  

Apparently Uber hasn’t launched a beach taxi app yet.

We wrapped up the day by touring the boardwalk.  The boardwalk is beautiful, but since it was the “off” season a few of the places weren’t open for the year yet or were working on winter hours since half of it was closed.  Another bonus though of touring in the “off” season is major discounts on swag.  We scored T-shirts for under five bucks, made small talk with the locals, and thought I had an in with governor Chris Christie to get the left turn laws changed in New Jersey.  Then I found out he’s about as popular in Jersey as I am in Kentucky.  

With time running short, and an outdoor heated pool tantalizing the kids we spent the rest of the evening back at our temporary shelter for the night.  I have no idea what the water temperature was in the pool, but there wasn’t any reason to have a jacuzzi on site.  For the record our little Rambo kids will swim in anything as long as it looks like water.  Nothing is too hot or too cold for these little gilled ones.

About it for now, the gang had to rest up for a night before we headed into the land of all things Victorian for a day.  The city of Cape May was anxiously awaiting our visit and she didn’t disappoint at all.  Stay tuned!

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  1. Wow! This is truly an amazing place definitely worth visiting!

  2. As you know, we’re both seafood fanatics, so needless to say…….I’m jealous. And hungry, very hungry!

  3. I laughed, I cried, I shook my head! So on point. But you didn’t mention WAWA once and my fellow jersians would be offended lol

  4. Did someone say Aldi’s? Here you are in Jersey and not wearing a Rutgers swag? I mean that football of last year….talk about a powerhouse!! Only held U of Michigan to 79 points…..get a shirt!!!

  5. I’m assuming this is a driving holiday with multiple stops? I like to live through others driving holidays so it’s fun for me to see where the road may take you.

  6. Well, look at this fun little family adventure!!! I can’t wait to go on the mini vacation I have planned for my husband and I! I just love when he and I get out of our routine and explore!

  7. I like your humorous writing style. Happy travels!

  8. Thanks for the shout out Gary. When I was growing up in Atlantic City Wildwood was where all the kids went. Big party town. Haven’t been there in decades. We hit Avalon now. It’s old people quiet.

  9. I love a good Groupon special. (I know Financial Advisors who only do Groupon or Living Social vacations.). It’s especially nice when you can tie a Groupon deal with Ebates!

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