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Guide to the Jersey Shore for summer 2020: What’s new, things to do indoors and rules of the beach

The exterior of Doo-Wop Drive-In in Wildwood, New Jersey - Original Credit: Courtesy of Jason Kramer
The exterior of Doo-Wop Drive-In in Wildwood, New Jersey - Original Credit: Courtesy of Jason Kramer (HANDOUT)

Doo-Wop Drive-In: The Art Deco aesthetic along the Wildwood boardwalk is evident at this new drive-in. Since it has expanded from a coffee shop to a full-fledged restaurant, you can now drive in and enjoy diner staples like loaded waffles and omelettes. Don’t want to sit in your car? Don’t fear, there’s plenty of seating inside. 6200 New Jersey Ave., Wildwood, New Jersey. 609-305-4807. facebook.com/doowopdrivein

Playa Bowls: This chain of acai and smoothie establishments recently expanded beyond its current roster of New Jersey locales into Sea Isle City. Come for fresh fruit products and lighter fare than you might expect along the Jersey Shore. 33 42nd St., Sea Isle City, New Jersey. 609-478-3471. playabowls.com

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Exterior of The Chillin Pineapple on the Wildwood boardwalk
Exterior of The Chillin Pineapple on the Wildwood boardwalk (Courtesy Of The Chillin Pineapple)

The Chillin Pineapple: Stop by this provider of frozen treats and you’ll feel as chilled out as the anthropomorphic pineapple on its marquee. Indulge in goodies including soft-serve ice cream and whipped coffee while you stroll the boardwalk. 3800 Boardwalk in the Boardwalk Mall, Wildwood, New Jersey. 609-408-7780. facebook.com/ChillinPinapple

Capt’n Jacks: This celebrated island bar and grill recently set up a new outpost in Wildwood’s Boardwalk Mall. The adventurous should try the infamous fishbowl — a giant cocktail of vodka, rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice, sour mix and Sprite. 3800 Boardwalk in the Boardwalk Mall, Wildwood, New Jersey. 609-554-3183. captnjacksislandgrill.com

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An AC Jokes performance at a drive-in venue in Atlantic City, New Jersey. An extension of AC Jokes will open up in Wildwood this summer.
An AC Jokes performance at a drive-in venue in Atlantic City, New Jersey. An extension of AC Jokes will open up in Wildwood this summer. (Courtesy of Ray Vazquez)

Things to do indoors

After a few days of sun, taking a break inside a cool museum or fun attraction may be just what you need. As of press time, it was unclear when museums and attractions would be permitted to open. But we have compiled recommendations for when they do. Because of frequently changing orders and policies related to the coronavirus, check each venue before you go for up-to-date information about its operations and social distancing requirements.

Wildwood

Doo Wop Preservation League Museum

In Wildwood, doo wop is more than a musical genre: It defines the pop culture of an era (mid-1950s to early ’60s), evidenced by the museum’s displays of retro furnishings and fashions that celebrate transistor radios, poodle skirts and 25-cent gas. Tap those feet to “Rock Around the Clock” on the jukebox in the malt shop in the museum.

4500 Ocean Ave., Wildwood. 609-729-4000. doowopusa.org

The Wildwood Insectarium

What’s the buzz at the beach? See the bug house, a gallery of thousands of live and mounted insects, interactive exhibits and activities that will have visitors itching for more. Play arthropod games, where you can create your own bug (not live). And learn the roles that these necessary critters play in the ecosystem.

5216 Boardwalk, Wildwood. 609-488-6939. sites.google.com/site/wildwoodinsectarium

Cape May

Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum

Dedicated to the 42 airmen-in-training who perished here in World War II, the huge wooden hangar — also from that era —-features 26 aircraft as well as hands-on exhibits pertaining to the science of flight. There are prop planes, jets (one a supersonic F-16) and helicopters, including a Huey like those used in the Vietnam War. Visitors can also helm a real air traffic control tower.

500 Forrestal Road Rio Grande, Cape May. 609-886-8787. usnasw.org

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The Colonial House

Not everything is Cape May is Victorian era —-- to wit, this smallish dwelling, built around 1730 and thought to be among the town’s oldest buildings. First a tavern and then home to a Revolutionary War patriot, it’s now bedecked with period furnishings and a costumed tour guide to take you through the snug surroundings. Growing outside is an Eastern White Pine that germinated from one of the seeds taken into orbit on the space shuttle Columbia in 1997.

653½ Washington St., Cape May. 609-884-9100. capemayhistory.org

Ocean City, N.J.

Ocean City Historical Museum

Each year, more than 10,000 visitors tour the building and its keepsakes from the town founded in 1879 by a quartet of Methodist ministers. Trace the history of the Boardwalk and view artifacts from a Japanese vessel that wrecked here in 1901 and now lies beneath the beach at 17th Street. There’s also a tribute to Grace Kelly, the actress-turned-princess of Monaco who spent her childhood summers here with family .

1735 Simpson Ave., Ocean City, N.J. 609-399-1801. ocnjmuseum.org

Discovery Sea Shell Museum

More than 10,000 shells from around the world are on display and for sale at this Ocean City landmark for 40 years. Also oodles of barnacles, coral, dried sea life (starfish, sea urchins) and jewelry, candles and picture frames made of shells. Kids will enjoy the shark jaws and shark-in-a-jar exhibits. And where else can you find an alligator head ($19.95) or a queen conch horn ($49.95)?

2721 Asbury Ave., Ocean City, N.J. 609-398-2316. shellmuseum.com

Atlantic City

African American Heritage Museum

Two blocks from Caesars Casino sits this gallery of cultural history, a chronicle of the lives of African Americans in southern New Jersey. Displays range from artifacts (washboards, ice boxes) saved from the homes of local black families to the original Club Harlem door and sign from the Atlantic City night spot where Ella Fitzgerald and Sammy Davis Jr. performed. Guided tours also touch on racial sterotypes; note the life-size likeness of Aunt Jemima.

2200 Fairmount Ave, Atlantic City. 609-350-6662. aahmsnj.org

Atlantic City Aquarium

An interactive adventure for all ages, it highlights “touch tanks” filled with marbled sharks and stingrays (you can feed them) plus exhibits of moray eels, piranhas and jellyfish. There’s a 25,000-gallon tank swimming with sea life of the Mid-Atlantic, from cownose rays and porkfish to a lovable loggerhead sea turtle named Groman. Also, take a close-up look at the flora and fauna of a tropical rain forest with tarantulas, boas and bullfrogs.

800 N. New Hampshire Ave,. Atlantic City. 609-348-2880. acaquarium.com

Rules of the beach

Atlantic City

1. Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone outside your household while on the beach.

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2. Beaches closed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

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3. No alcohol on the beach.

4. No ball or Frisbee throwing on beach or boardwalk between June 15 and Sept. 15.

5. Roller skates and skateboards prohibited on beach and boardwalk.

6. No sleeping under the boardwalk at any time.

Cape May

1. Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone outside your household while on beach.

2. Beach tags required (age 12 and above) to access all beaches during lifeguard hours.

3. Pets are not permitted on the beach, with the exception of verifiable service animals.

4. Alcohol prohibited on the beach.

5. Smoking prohibited on the beach.

6. Bicycling, skateboarding and rollerblading prohibited on Promenade.

Wildwood

1. Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone outside your household while on the beach.

2. No glass containers, alcohol or barbecues on the beach.

3. Dogs not allowed on beaches from May through September, or on the boardwalk at any time.

4. Beach access restricted from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. from May through September.

5. Surf fishing prohibited.

6. Ball playing, Frisbees and kite flying allowed in designated recreation areas only.

Ocean City, New Jersey

1. Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone outside your household while on the beach, and avoid large groups.

2. No smoking on the beach.

3. Dogs not allowed on the beach from May 1 to Sept. 30.

4. Beach tags required (age 12 and above) to access all beaches during lifeguard hours.

5. Alcohol prohibited.

6. Bicycling on boardwalk restricted to between 5 a.m. and noon from June 17 to Sept. 7.

Check on each city’s website for the most up-to-date rules.

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