While waiting for a group of tour participants aboard his kayak on Cape Island Creek, Bob Lubberman made a new acquaintance when a 4-foot great blue heron landed on the nose of his boat. It's not an entirely new experience for the owner of Miss Chris Kayak Rentals and Tours, as opportunities to commune with nature came often as he crabbed and fished as a child from his grandmother's dock. Now he's able to connect visitors to this ecosystem as they independently paddle rented sit-on-top kayaks or as they participate in guided kayak or boat tours.
Paddlers on kayak tours often catch close-ups of ospreys, terns, and other birds, and see diamondback terrapin turtles sunning themselves on the shore or trying to hold their own ice-cream cones. Day and sunset tours let guests explore the wildlife-rich salt marshes, and night tours led during high tide let them paddle over grassy terrain to otherwise inaccessible areas. Guests explore similar territory on tours aboard the Osprey as they watch migrating shore birds or look out on the harbor's historic buildings. Kayak tour guides include an associate naturalist and a Cape May Bird Observatory field associate, and land-based staffers maintain a touch tank on the Miss Chris mooring dock, which they temporarily fill with conches, eels, and other sea life pulled up using open-sided conservation traps.
Nestled within the South Jersey Marina, the boats and charters of Cape May Lady traverse local waters under the steady hands of an experienced crew. From April to December, seafaring personnel whisk clientele away on four- to eight-hour daytime and, depending on the season and mood of the moon, nighttime voyages. During excursions, guests may see aquatic critters such as striped bass, weakfish, and drum fish. Each trek supplies guests with necessary gear, such as fishing licenses, rods, reels, bait, and tackle. In addition to fish-hunting excursions, Cape May Lady’s charters can accommodate burials at sea or private dolphin-watching trips.
Hard-rock juggernauts Five Finger Death Punch give audiences four for flinching on their Share The Welt tour, a high-octane evening of nail-driving metal and chugging aural concrete. Since bursting onto the scene in 2007 with its gold-selling debut, The Way of the Fist, Five Finger Death Punch has scaled the charts and the musical food chain, gulping its competition like a possessed Takeru Kobayashi. For the tour in support of its latest effort, American Capitalist, the gang enlists an entire posse of heavy hitters. Massachusetts metal mavens All That Remains, fresh from melting soles on the Vans Warped Tour, bludgeon audiences with an arsenal of hits, and hardcore shredders Hatebreed share unkind words as they haze the speed of sound. Adding power-chord crunch to the show, Fort Wayne’s Rains sprinkles audiences with raw and emotional sonic sleet.
Pickles Pub's culinary wizards transfigure quality ingredients into a hefty menu of pub grub enjoyed alongside billiards, sports broadcasts, and nightly live entertainment. Rev up idling jaw hinges with the three cheese pub chips, which finds Old Bay-sprinkled Pickles' chips baked beneath a mighty triumvirate of gorgonzola, cheddar, and monterey jack cheeses ($3.50). Sautéed onions and onion straws pirouette across the Bourbonzola burger's half-pound platform of Angus beef, drizzled with Pickles' signature Jack Daniels bourbon glaze and tangy gorgonzola ($9.95), while a personal pizza ($7, plus $0.50 per topping), like a studio apartment, allows the freedom to arrange toppings however you'd like within 10 inches of personal space. In addition to occupying otherwise vacant bellies, Pickles Pub satisfies brains' long-neglected sports receptors with a bevy of high-def televisions protruding from the exposed brick walls. Six pool tables provide both platforms and implements for elevated cue stick fencing matches, soundtracked by nightly live entertainment throughout the summer.
Cape May Stage’s professional-grade, seasonally themed performances match with an upscale spread from Tisha’s for an entertaining, belly-placating evening out. Couples, family foursomes, or strangers brought together by an eccentric millionaire can cover the culinary bases at Tisha's, with entrees such as veal saltimbocca ($29), a mix of veal medallions, prosciutto, spinach, and fontina cheese, or the veggie-friendly broccoli rabe and penne ($22), prefaced by an appetizer of the award-winning clam chowder ($7) or Cajun fried oysters ($12).
The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) currently preserves and oversees acres of land containing Cape May's most notable Victorian-era landmarks, relying on a staff of 160 and nearly twice as many volunteers. At its inception, though, MAC existed purely as a volunteer effort. Passionate people came together with a simple mission: preserve area history. The founding members first joined forces to rescue the Emlen Physick Estate mansion?built in 1879?from demolition. Successfully fending off the bulldozers, they went so far as to restore it through volunteer man-hours alone.
Having preserved the mansion, the MAC crew decided to transform their volunteer-only organization into a staffed outfit. The new, full-time staff members did more than just run the mansion site; they set their sights, quite literally, higher. They restored the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse, a towering landmark that had been closed to the public for almost 50 years. They also undertook the restoration, repair, and oversight of Fire Control Tower No. 23, the last uncompromised lookout tower erected during World War II. They now oversee all sites, maintaining over 100 of years of history, which is presented through tours, events, and chats with talkative ghosts.