Sunday, October 9, 2011


Sights & Sites
New Jersey Birding & Wildlife Trails – 142 West State Street (Trenton, New Jersey Audubon Society); 609-392-1181; or; driving trails along South Jersey Bayshore, Skylands, Pine Barrens & Hackensack River Watershed.

Atlantic City
Revel Atlantic City – 500 Boardwalk; 609-340-0003 or 855-348-0500;; lavish; all rooms have ocean view; ask for 1103 (kingsize bed and floor-ceiling windows.

Zeppole – 618 Collings Avenue; 856-854-2670;; intimate, romantic, and small 35-seat BYOB; classic Italian cuisine with strong focus on Sicilian; name “Zeppole” (or “Zeppoli”) refers to “fried dough”; try coniglio pizzaiola (rabbit with tomato sauce).

Cape May
Bars & Nightclubs
Boiler Room – 251 Beach Avenue (at Congress Hotel, with separate entrance on Perry Street); 609-884-8421;; drinks and live music; industrial feel.
Schooner American – 906 Schellengers Landing Road (moored alongside Lobster House); 609-884-8296;; sailing vessel turned cocktail lounge.
Angel by Sea – 7 Trenton Avenue; 609-884-3369 or 800-848-3369;; flat-screen tvs.
Beach Shack – 205 Beach Avenue; 609-884-8463 or 877-742-2507;; clean, efficiency-style, pleasant rooms with ocean views; outdoor pool and deck.
Congress Hall Hotel – 251 Beach Avenue; 609-884-8421 or 888-944-1816;; old Grand Dame; ocean views; beach tents; yoga.
Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast – 102 Ocean Street; 609-884-8702;; block from beach; 34 rooms and 9 suites; period antiques.
Southern Mansion – 720 Washington Street; 609-884-7171 or 800-381-3888;; lovely but pricey bed & breakfast.
Star Inn – 29 Perry Street; 609-884-4590 or 800-297-3779;; small, upscale motel with 10 brightly painted, one-bedroom suites, each with king-size bed, pull-out couch, kitchenette, and flat-screen tv; also, 9 standard rooms and couple 2-room condos.
Black Duck – 1 Sunset Boulevard (West Cape May); 609-898-0100;; off-beaten-path in quaint, old house; creative & excellent seafood-focused menu; also perfect namesake duck; BYO & early-bird prix fixe menu; good value.
Blue Pig Tavern – 251 Beach Avenue (at Congress Hall Hotel); 609-884-8422;; American fare; open for breakfast.
Ebbitt Room – 25 Jackson Street (at Virginia Hotel); 609-884-5700;; sourced from own local farm; attentive, formal service; Victorian-era house features expansive front porch for cocktails & elegant" dining room; superb & worth special trip.
George’s Place – 301 Beach Avenue; 609-884-6088; try Cheese Steak or Lemon Chicken Salad; also good for breakfast; cash only and BYOB.
Lobster House on Fisherman’s Wharf – 906 Schellengers Landing Road; 609-884-8296 or 609-884-3064 (take-out);; own fleet of commercial fishing boats catches much of seafood; doesn’t take reservations so, if crowded, got to Raw Bar and order lobster platter and eat on shaded table outside; offers take-out.
Rusty Nail – 205 Beach Avenue; 609-884-0017 or 877-742-2507;; for beer and peel-&-eat shrimp; fire pit and picnic tables.
Uncle Bill’s Pancake House – 261 Beach Avenue; 609-884-7199;; traditional diner fare.
Y.B. – 314 Beach Avenue; 609-898-2009; run by George’s Place relatives; sandwiches and salads; cash only and BYOB.
HomeStead Real Estate – 846 Broadway (Cape May); 609-884-1888 or 888-309-7454; capemayshorerentals.
Shields Bike Rentals – 11 Gurney Street; 609-898-1818; will outline best routes for you on complimentary map; flat roads, wide shoulders, and little traffic.
Steger’s Beach Service – 1151 Indiana Avenue; 609-884-3058;; rents chairs and umbrellas from 12 Cape May beach locations.
Yoga – 251 Beach Avenue (at Congress Hotel, either on beach or lawn); 609-884-8421;
Sights & Sites
Boardwalk –; runs parallel to beach for 2 miles; concrete.
Cape May Bird Observatory – 600 North Delsea Drive; 609-861-0700;; founded in 1976 by New Jersey Audubon; leader in research, environmental education, bird conservation & recreational birding activities.
Cape May Lighthouse – Lighthouse Avenue (Cape May Point, at Cape May Point State Park); 609-884-2159;; climb 199 steps to top.
Cape May Point State Park – Lighthouse Avenue (Cape May Point); 609-884-2159;; good bird-watching.
Cape May Winery – 711 Townbank Road; 609-884-1169;; pretty.
Emlen Physick Estate – 1048 Washington Street; 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278;; Cape May’s only Victorian house museum.
Family Fun Arcade – 732 Beach Drive; 609-884-7020;; for Skee-Ball and photo-booth pictures.
Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area (including Hidden Valley) – New England Road (follow Garden State Parkway south to mile 0, exit right for Route 109 North, take to Route 9 South, left on Route 626, cross bridge & turn right onto New England Road, which dead ends at Higbee Beach); 609-628-2103 (Tuckahoe Field Station);; plays vital role in bird migration, providing stopover site as they increase their fitness before continuing their sojourn south; roughly 1.1K-acre area offers several different habitats, including dune, forest, scrub-shrub & early successional fields; dune trail runs through forested dunes with views over expansive Delaware Bay; make sure to check out Hidden Valley, which once was 92-acre farm between Bayshore Road & Pond Creek Marsh; fields, swamps & trails well-known to birders.
South Cape May Meadows – Sunset Boulevard (take Garden State Parkway South to end where merges into Lafayette Street in Cape May, continue straight on Lafayette Street, bear right onto West Perry Street, which turns into Sunset Boulevard, drive west 1 mile, preserve on left just past Bayshore Road);; 200 acres critical habitat in globally renowned birding hot spot; dunes, freshwater wetlands, meadows, ponds & full mile protected beach; acts as funnel for birds migrating along Atlantic Flyway; loop trail provides visitors with wildlife viewing opportunities in both freshwater wetland & undeveloped beach.
Washington Street Mall – between Ocean and Perry Streets;; 3-block pedestrian concourse.

West Orange
Sights & Sites
Thomas Edison National Historical Park – 221 Main Street; 973-736-0550;; put aside fact that this is 21-acre complex with meticulously restored stained-glass windows (make sure to see Penelope Waiting for Ulysses to Return from War, displayed prominently on former residence, Glenmont, on main staircase’s landing) and enormous attention to period detail in laboratory restoration; just forget all that; what is truly amazing is idea that, as you wander through laboratory building, one man dreamed up and fabricated so many devices: from 1st phonograph and 1st movie studio (rolling and rotatable on rails), to poured-cement houses, fuel cells, execution harnesses for elephants (yes, elephants), etc.; room after room, floor after floor; no exhibit more elegant than “New Things” pigeonhole in his desk, still stuffed with ideas he meant to get around to when he had time.

Bars & Nightclubs
Kolo Klub – 1422 Grand Street; 201-683-5465;; artisan-built space, in turn-of-century, uptown building; adventurous cocktails.
Zafra – 301 Willow Avenue; 201-610-9801;; ultra-casual, pan-Latin restaurant; sit at shared tables; try empanadas or shrimp in red mole sauce.
Zylo Steakhouse – 225 River Street; 201-253-2500;; impeccable NYC view; Tuscan steakhouse; high prices.
Carlo’s Bakery – 95 Washington Street; 201-659-3671;; Cake Boss store.
Ultramarinos – 260 3rd Street (at Willow Avenue); 201-238-2797;; latin food market that serves prepared foods.

Jersey City
Dorrian’s Red Hand – 555 Washington Boulevard; 201-626-6660;; bar and restaurant.
30 Acres – 500 Jersey Avenue; 201-435-3100;; on quiet corner, where windows wrap around dining room equipped with salvaged church pews, sturdy wooden tables, and industrial light fixtures; copper-topped bar serves beer & wine only; baked clams seasoned with togarashi & mussels in broth with Sichuan pepper and kielbasa & smoked quail with cranberry-barbecue sauce and walnut bread pudding; menu telegraphs season; terrific housemade pastas; for dessert, get “Kevin’s Mom’s” lemon bar.
Smith & Chang – 230 Pavonia Avenue; 201-420-0557;; merchandise mix spans taxidermy to vintage eyeglass frames; also, bath products.

Canal House – 6 Coryell Street; 815-777-8477;; started by Saveur editors.

Agricola – 11 Witherspoon Street; 609-681-2977;; rustic American cooking.

Schwendemans Taxidermy Studio – 119 South Main Street; 732-828-0249; taxidermy.

Asbury Park
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Teas
Cafe Volan – 510 Bangs Avenue; 732-455-3399;; airy, relaxed cafe only stroll from ocean; coffee.
Bars & Nightclubs
Asbury Lanes – 209 4th Avenue; 732-776-6160;; live music venue.
Langosta Lounge – 1000 Ocean Avenue; 732-455-3275;; beachfront.
Press Room – 610 Bangs Avenue; 732-455-5945;; intimate, sleek rock venue; Bruce Springsteen has dropped by.
Stone Pony – 913 Ocean Avenue; 732-502-0600;; live music; where Bruce Springsteen got his start.
Colonels Kissing Booth – 516 Summerfield Avenue; 732-455-3500;; small menu; brunch items.
Langosta Lounge – 1000 Ocean Avenue; 732-455-3275;; beachfront. Shopping
Sweet Joeys – 523 Bangs Avenue; 732-455-3183;; vintage clothes, as well as bespoke denims.
Sights & Sites
Asbury Lanes – 209 4th Avenue; 732-776-6160;; bowling.
Silver Ball Museum – 1000 Ocean Avenue; 732-774-4994;; 200 playable games just off boardwalk.

Long Branch
Bungalow Hotel – 50 Laird Street; 732-229-3700 or 888-784-6835;; chic, modern boutique; no water views or room service.

Sammy’s Ye Olde Cider Mill – 353 Mendham Road West (Route 24); 973-543-7675;; true roadside steakhouse; order at host station then adjourn to basement bar; 28-oz. rib eye is must, as are softshell crabs.

Burger Deluxe – 1420 Route 23 North; 973-305-0033;

Sights & Sites
Duke Farms – 80 US Highway 206; 908-243-3600;; wildlife haven for 30 endangered species and 230 bird varieties (including bald eagle and great blue heron); offers plots as America's biggest community garden; 4.5 miles of property that borders Raritan River; open space for runners, walkers, birders, bicyclists, plein-air painters, picnickers and cross-country skiers; 22 miles of trails.

Ninety Acres – 2 Main Street; 908-901-9500;; farm-to-table-style menus; try poached eggs with potato hash.

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