What's new at N.J. beach resorts
The century-old marina district Fish Alley, in Sea Isle City, N.J., has undergone a revival. (Sea Isle City Photo, Baltimore Sun / May 16, 2012)
Cape May, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay on New Jersey's southernmost tip, is the nation's oldest seaside resort. This storybook Victorian town is laden with beautiful beaches, paving stone alleyways and quaint shops and restaurants. Info: Go to capemay.com and capemaymac.org.
YB Restaurant, 314 Beach Ave., 609-898-2009. The new eatery serves up creative American fare, including innovative vegan options. Entrees start at $15. YB stands for "younger brother"… of John Karapanagiotis, of George's Place, featured on Food Network's TV show "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."
What's tried and true
The Virginia, 25 Jackson St., 800-732-4236, virginiahotel.com. This grand 1879 landmark mansion, a half-block from the ocean, includes breakfast and valet parking. Rates start at $209.
Washington Street Mall, a charming, outdoor concourse of multi-generational shops and cafes. Info: washingtonstreetmall.com
Summer Concert Series. Pull out your tie-dyes and love beads. These weekly concerts feature retro-1960s bands like Dave Mason and Jay and The Americans at Cape May's new oceanfront Convention Hall, 8 p.m., Fridays, July 9 to Aug. 20. Tickets: $30. Info: capemayconventionhall.org
Generations have long-flocked to Wildwood's tag-free beaches and family-friendly boardwalk, filled with nostalgic confections, sundry shops and amusement parks. Bike trails crisscross everywhere. Remember to check out that glitzy Doo-Wop architecture. Info: wildwoodsnj.com
Downtown Wildwood, 26th Street to Cresse Avenue, dowildwood.com. This downtown district is a mix of boutiques. nightclubs and restaurants, including the delish new Irish steakhouse, Cattle and Clover (3817 Pacific Ave., 609-522-3800, cattlenclover.com). Don't miss free downtown tours on Dolly The Trolly.
Boardwalk Central, between Schellenger and Cedar Avenues, is home to a collection of new eateries, attractions and shops. Daredevils can ride the mechanical Super Bull. Also new is Five-Mile Marketplace, Philly's famous Chickie's and Pete's and Potitos Italian American Pastries.
Water park deals: Early-bird thrill-seekers can head to Morey's Piers water parks, mornings until 12:30 p.m., where unlimited passes are just $20-$26 and $88 for a family of four. Info: moreyspiers.com
What's tried and true
Reges Oceanfront Resort, 9201 Atlantic Ave., 609-729-9300, regesresort.com. An award-winning family resort with rates starting at $199 per night.
The Insectarium, 216 Boardwalk, 609-488-6939, wildwoodinsectarium.com. Bugged? Check out creepy-crawlies on display at this branch of the Philadelphia original.
Good Night Irene's, 2708 Pacific Ave., 609-729-3861, goodnightirenes.com. This bar has dozens of popular, craft and imports on tap, and scores more in the cooler. Don't miss Beer Geek Thursdays for Video Quizzo, with 35-cent wings and steamed clams.