Best of the Shore 2010, Part 2

Cape May

SHORE TRADITION 
  On the last Sunday in August, the Ugly Mug Tavern will again host its annual beer-foam-blowing contest, in which the contestant who manages to deftly blow the most froth out of a mug of beer claims the (dubious) title of “United States National Froth Blowing Champion.” How long can it be before ESPN2 shows up to broadcast?  426 Washington Street, Cape May, 609-884-3459.

ODDITY   Of all places to find vestiges of the life of the King of Pop, the Cape May County Zoo wouldn’t be the first to come to mind. But there you have it: a mini flock of flamingos, shipped straight from Neverland Ranch to this modest refuge.  707 North Route 9, Cape May Court House, 609-465-5271, capemaycountyzoo.org.

BYOB   Those in the know have already reserved summertime Saturday-night tables at Sean’s, a colorful and cozy spot where the menu is chalkboard, the scallops are local, and the staff couldn’t be nicer.  314 Beach Avenue, Cape May, 609-898-0017.

WINE SHOP   Is Cape May the perfect production spot for fine Italian wine? Sal Turdo thinks so. Since ’98, the Sicilian-born vintner has worked South Jersey’s sandy soil and ideal microclimate to harvest 4.5 acres of vinifera grapes. Stop by the solar-powered tasting room at Turdo (pronounced “Ter-DOH”) to stock up on yummy nero d’Avola and rosato for dinner at Louisa’s, lunch at George’s, supper at the Black Duck. … Oh, and to be safe, call ahead; they’ve been known to sell out.  3911 Bayshore Road, North Cape May, 609-884-5591, turdovineyards.com.

DAY TRIP
   If there was ever a reason to spend a day traveling from one postcard Shore town (Cape May) to another (Lewes, Delaware, some 17 miles south), it’s the charming 80-minute ride aboard the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. There’s a snack bar. There are plenty of places to sit and play a game of cards or just chat. And there are even more places to scoot off to with a good book while hiding from your kids.  1200 Lincoln Boulevard, North Cape May, 800-643-3779, capemaylewesferry.com.

DINNER WITH THE KIDS 
  Sure, the inimitable Lobster House first comes to mind. But if your mini Julia and James turn their noses up at white-bread grilled cheese and instead request extra roasted garlic on their shrimp pizza, or politely inquire if the clams on the linguine are local (they are), they’ll adore Lucky Bones. As for you, you might also appreciate the curbside takeout.  1200 Route 109, Cape May, 609-884-2663, luckybonesgrille.com.

MOTEL   Another summer, another cool makeover by hotel developer Curtis Bashaw, of Congress Hall, Virginia, Chelsea, etc., fame. The Beach Shack (not to be confused with the Beach Haven restaurant) is the perfect redo of an oceanfront motel, complete with efficiency suites, pristine white bedding, and classic open-air surfer bar the Rusty Nail, for lobster rolls and Coronas.  205 Beach Avenue, Cape May, 877-SHACK-07, beachshack.com.

ANTIQUING   Stocked with its very own “Best Of” — French lavender soaps from Bath Time, estate smalls from local dealers, crafty to fine art, Chester County antiques, even elegantly retooled finds from Trove, Bucks County’s deservedly sought-after decorators — the West End Garage concentrates a day of plodding into one delightfully efficient stop.  484 West Perry Street, Cape May, 609-770-8261, thewestendgarage.com.

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