Article from The Vacationer:
Shopping at the shore:
Designer Duds, Home Décor, Bargains and More
OK, so Girls Weekend in Sea Isle City – a twice a year event – is about more than shopping. We get it – but let’s face it. Shopping is the main attraction. Of course it doesn’t hurt that restaurants, salons, gyms and other businesses offer great deals and discounts to the hundreds of women looking for a girls’ weekend out of town. About 50 local businesses participate in the April and October three-day weekends so plan ahead and you, too, could enjoy a get-away weekend hanging with your best gal pals – and sipping a cocktail while you stroll from store to store looking for bargains. www.seaislechamber.com
From a beach towel to the latest fashions, shopping in Avalon is fun, convenient ….and cooler by a mile. The resort is comfortable even on the warmest summer days, and browsing along Dune Drive includes cool deals with beautiful sidewalks, shade trees, benches, and attractive store fronts for a little self indulgence! Keep your quarters in your pocket – it’s the only seashore community where all parking is free. No parking meters, no paid parking lots.
The 7 Mile Business Community Association hosts a variety of events through the summer and into the quiet season with a “Festive Friday” celebration the day after Thanksgiving, followed by “Snowfest Saturday.” www.visitavalonnj.com
Check out Shop-A-Holics Weekend the first weekend in March. The largest winter shopping event at NJ’s Southern Shore is hosted by Avalon’s business community and features merchandise from the very best boutiques on the Seven Mile Island – all in one location and at deep discounts. You gotta love it – designer fashions, house wares, shoes, accessories and more. www.indulgeinavalon.com
Stone Harbor radiates a vibe that is utterly wholesome and decidedly upscale. A short stroll and you’re captivated by the town’s charm.
The resort is a neighborhood of unexpected shopping finds – gorgeous jewelry that’s the real deal, designer duds, and unique home decor – all within a two-block radius with more than a hundred boutiques, shops and galleries. Centered on 96th Street and Third Avenue, the area is dotted with wrought-iron flower boxes, an old town clock and dozens of highly-lacquered black benches. So relax and savor everything Stone Harbor has to offer – this is your kind of place! www.stoneharbornj.org
Leave the car in the driveway, at the hotel or in the parking lot and walk around Cape May, the nation’s first seaside resort. The Victorian architecture is whimsical, streets are lined with gaslights and the gardens are breathtaking.
The Washington Street Mall still has historic buildings from the days when Cape May was the Summer White House for several presidents. Winterwood on the corner of Ocean Street is the former First Jersey Trust Company building that dates to 1895 and a boutique at Jackson Street was once the local drug store, Central Pharmacy, for decades.
The pedestrian Mall stretches from Ocean to Perry streets, anchored on one end by the beautiful Our Lady Star of the Sea Church and on the opposite end by Congress Hall, itself an integral part of the town’s storied past – with some delightful shops inside. Small, independent shops line both sides of the 3-block mall — with additional shops on Carpenter Lane behind the Mall, as well as across Ocean Street in Washington Commons. www.washingtonstreetmall.com
In the market for diamonds? Perhaps a sparkly necklace or earrings? OK, so we’re talking Cape May Diamonds but they’re unique to this area and the faceted stones look authentic. The best selection anywhere is at the Sunset Beach Gift Shop – rings, pendants, earrings – in a variety of shapes, sizes and settings. Then pick up a few of the unpolished ones right on the beach while you get a look at the concrete ship, the SS Atlantus – or at least what’s left of it. It’s a great stop for diamonds, sunsets, flag ceremonies and even golf. Just follow Sunset Blvd. to the end – you can’t miss it. www.sunsetbeachnj.com
Bass Pro Shops Outpost is the latest addition to the dozens of stores at Tanger Outlets -The Walk and has added to Atlantic City’s appeal as a major shopping destination. The store reflects the local wildlife and rich diversity of habitats including forests, lakes, rivers, bays, estuaries, and coastal areas plus hand-painted murals, museum-quality fish and wildlife mounts, a 13,000-gallon freshwater aquarium, and other tributes to south Jersey’s outdoor heritage.
Looking for your favorite retailer? No doubt you’ll find it right here at the Tanger Outlets – The Walk – between the Convention Center and the casinos. Stores include DKNY, Nike, Banana Republic, Gap Outlet, Michael Kors, Coach, Reebok, J Crew, BCBG, Jones New York, Adidas and Polo — plus great restaurants to enjoy when you need a break. Check the website, www.tangeroutlets.com for special events, coupons and parking validation information
Asbury Avenue in Ocean City – “the Avenue” – is lined with unique shops and restaurants. Stainton’s, Asbury Ave. between 8th and 9th streets, offers a collection of over 70 distinctive shops with an array of unusual and unique merchandise — jewelry, candles, art, apparel, furnishings, pottery and more. www.staintons.com
Ocean City’s shopping district is also alive with art. Public art pieces frame the downtown so visit the art galleries, theater and classes where you can unleash your creative side. Visit www.downtownocnj.com/arts/ for a list of upcoming events and exhibitions.
Millville has plenty to offer shoppers, book lovers and art aficionados. Enjoy the Glasstown Arts District and Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts along with private art galleries and shops located in buildings with rich architectural histories. An excellent selection of restaurants, cafes and pubs are open – the Old Oar House and Winfield’s certainly come to mind.
Miss those pre-Amazon days of browsing for books in an actual brick-and-mortar store? Then be sure to check out Bogart’s Books at 210 North High Street. Bogart’s has a friendly, helpful, knowledgeable staff who can order any book not in stock, new or used. Relax over a cappuccino or espresso at their cafe. Shops along a half dozen blocks of N. High Street offer ladies wear and accessories, children’s clothing, imported goods, antiques, collectibles and more.
Shoppers at Cumberland Mall in Vineland can check out a variety of local tourism attractions from Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, the Millville Army Air Field Museum, the Cohanzick Zoo and other sites of interest in a display located near the food court entrance. The partnership between the mall and the county showcases things to do in the area and could lead to additional arts and heritage programming within the mall, a win win situation for shoppers and visitors to Cumberland County.
Downtown Hammonton offers unique, independently-owned shops and dining options along with art, shopping and theater. Browse boutiques for great finds or take the kids to Toy Market, the largest, independently-owned toy store in South Jersey and Philadelphia. It’s jam-packed with amazing toys, games, puzzles and books. Leave your quarters at home. There’s no need to feed the meter because there’s plenty of parking and it’s all free. Antiques? Take your time and looking through incredible displays of classic Americana at local shops around town.
Of course Millville has Third Fridays and Hammonton has third Thursdays, both with entertainment, food and special events.
Nothing beats a day of browsing local shops or snagging a great bargain. Toss in lunch and maybe a key lime martini and it’s pretty much a perfect vacation day.