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jersey shore hotels

A South Jersey History Tour

Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking to pass the time during a rainstorm, South Jersey has several interesting museums worth exploring during your next visit to ICONA Resorts. Many of our oceanfront cities, including Cape May, NJ, played a crucial role in World War II. All three of our oceanfront Jersey Shore hotels are minutes from a historic naval air station, a WWII lookout tower, and timeless lighthouses. South Jersey is also home to preserved 140-year-old estates and even one of the world’s only doo-wop museums. So, take a trip down memory lane this spring during your stay at one of our deluxe hotels in New Jersey.

Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum

The Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in nearby Rio Grande, NJ, is hands down the best historical stop in South Jersey, only minutes from ICONA Cape May, one of the highest-rated Jersey Shore hotels. This non-profit museum is located inside historic Hangar #1 at the Cape May Airport. This air station served as a dive-bomber squadron training facility during WWII. It has been restored into a 92,000-square-foot regional aviation museum. Stroll past dozens of beautiful 1940s air crafts and learn about the unique role this timeless station played in our country’s history.

Emlen Physick Estate

Another engrossing stop is the Emlen Physick Estate, less than a mile from ICONA Cape May, one of the newest oceanfront Cape May hotels. Interestingly enough, the Emlen Physick Estate is New Jersey’s only Victorian house museum. Turn back the clocks by embarking on a private tour through this 140-year-old estate. Well-known Philadelphia architect Frank Furness built the house. It was saved from demolition in 1970 by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities and also appeared in The Prowler, a 1981 cult classic slasher flick. The estate is believed by many to be haunted, not unlike many other 140-year-old homes. Tours can be combined with trolley rides by visiting their website.

WWII Lookout Tower

Whether you’re staying in the Wildwoods, Cape May, or Avalon, NJ, we highly recommend visiting Cape May Point State Park, Sunset Beach, the South Cape May Meadows, and the WWII Lookout Tower. “Fire Control Tower No. 23” was one of 15 lookout towers built around 1940 to help aim batteries of coastal artillery during the war. Tower No. 23 is the last remaining of these WWII relics. The tower is only a short stroll from beautiful Sunset Beach and the remains of the SS Atlantus.

Oceanfront Jersey Shore Hotels

jersey shore hotels

If you’re still looking for an interesting page in South Jersey history, visit the Doo Wop Experience in the Wildwoods. The doo-wop museum is only 2.5 miles from ICONA Diamond Beach, one of the premier Wildwood Crest hotels. To learn more about our beautiful four-season slice of South Jersey, give us a call today at 1-609-454-6484.

jersey shore hotels

New Year’s Eve Celebration at ICONA

Ring in the new year on the beautiful South Jersey Shore with family and friends. ICONA Resorts is currently offering New Year’s Eve packages starting at just $145 per person. Depending on which resort and package you choose, you and a significant other can enjoy a comfortable overnight accommodation, open bar, dancing, four-course dinner, and breakfast buffet. ICONA is one of the only South Jersey Shore hotels to offer all-inclusive packages on New Year’s Eve. Watch the countdown at Diamond Beach or Avalon with friends, family, or a spouse. Both of these oceanfront hotels will be celebrating the New Year with premium open bars, music, dancing, and fine cuisine – you don’t want to miss out on the fun!

Celebration Packages at Diamond Beach

jersey shore hotelsICONA Diamond Beach is one of the few Wildwood Crest hotels offering New Year’s Eve dining and dancing to the general public. You don’t have to book a room to enjoy a four-course dinner, the open bar, and the three-hour dance. Guests at Diamond Beach have the choice between two unique New Year’s Eve packages. Both packages include an elegant accommodation, three-hour open bar, DJ, dancing, champagne at Midnight, and breakfast buffet. The New Year’s Eve Dinner & Celebration for Two also includes a four-course dinner for two and a bottle of fine wine. After the ball drops, retire to your elegant ocean-view suite. Make sure to wake in time for the delicious New Year’s Day breakfast buffet.

Ring in the New Year at Avalon

ICONA Avalon is the perfect median between elegance and grandeur. Watch the sun rise above the Atlantic Ocean in a stylish oceanfront suite, explore the beautiful Wildwoods, and sip on a refreshingly spicy witbier at Avalon Brew Pub before the six-hour premium open bar begins in the Seaglass Ballroom. Depending on which New Year’s Eve package you choose, two guests will enjoy a cocktail hour with hors-d’oeuvres, three-course surf and turf, six-hour open bar, live entertainment by Central Park Band, dancing, champagne, dessert, and breakfast buffet. There will also be an interactive photo experience, balloon drop, and breakfast sandwiches after Midnight!

Oceanfront South Jersey Shore Hotels

ICONA Resorts has three elegant, oceanfront South Jersey Shore hotels within minutes of premier South Jersey hidden gems, craft breweries, and the best Wildwoods attractions. New Year’s Eve is fast approaching, and these party packages won’t last long. Reserve a suite on New Year’s Eve by dialing 1-609-454-6484 or visiting ICONA.com. We cannot wait to send 2018 off with a bang!

wildwood crest nj hotels

Top South Jersey Hidden Gems

Most tourists who visit the Jersey Shore arrive with beaches, cocktails, and cabanas on their mind, but our lively slice of New Jersey is also home to some of the most diverse and unique habitats on the East Coast. When you choose to vacation at ICONA Resorts, you’re always minutes away from a beach, ocean, or boardwalk adventure. ICONA Diamond Beach has firmly placed itself as one of the premier Wildwood Crest NJ hotels thanks to our prime beach access, great dining, and pristine hotel suites. We know you’re in town to sunbathe on Diamond Beach, stroll down the Wildwood Boardwalk, and soak in our lavish heated pool, but don’t forget to visit these three South Jersey hidden gems during your visit to beautiful Wildwood Crest NJ.

Sunset Beach / SS Atlantus

Most people visit South Cape May Meadows and Cape May Point State Park to explore the tall, pearly white lighthouse and surrounding natural beauty without thinking twice about stopping at nearby Sunset Beach. Not only does this underrated South Jersey beach offer the best sunsets in the state, but it’s also the final resting place of the SS Atlantus, the most famous concrete World War II ship in the United States. The last remains of the SS Atlantus stand high above the azure blue Delaware Bay. Snorkelers and kayakers often visit the site to pay tribute. The beach itself is quiet, pristine, and utterly beautiful.

Strawberry Avenue Boardwalk

Very few South Jersey attractions are as undervalued as the Strawberry Avenue Boardwalk near the charming port town of Bivalve NJ. It’s only a matter of time before Philadelphians and Jersey Shore tourists discover this genuine hidden gem. The 3.6-mile out-and-back boardwalk begins at the end of Strawberry Avenue and meanders through serene New Jersey wetlands. You’ll stroll past dying trees, tall grass, sluggish creeks, and rare fauna.

The Wetlands Institute

The Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor NJ beautifully encapsulates the spirit of the Strawberry Avenue Boardwalk: natural habitats, lush wetlands, and thriving fauna. They’re only open on the weekends during the cozy season, but there’s still plenty to learn and explore during your visit to this underappreciated institution. Visitors can “adopt” a baby terrapin, horseshoe crab, or oystercatcher by donating to the non-profit. The money goes directly toward the hatching, head-starting, and releasing of these often forgotten animals. The Wetlands Institute hosts festivals, events, lectures, programs, and so much more! This non-profit features an aquarium, marsh walkways, nature trails, and a lush garden.

Wildwood Crest NJ Hotels

ICONA Resorts has three year-round beachfront hotels that are steps from sandy beaches, great dining, lavish pools, and popular South Jersey attractions. Finish each evening at Coastal Blue Oceanside Bar & Grill inside ICONA Diamond Beach, one of the premier Wildwood Crest NJ hotels, for a delicious seafood dinner that you won’t soon forget. Dial 1-609-551-0102 to book an overdue escape to lively South Jersey!

jersey shore restaurants

5 Premier Restaurants on the Jersey Shore

Over the years, the Jersey Shore has become one of North America’s foremost destinations for beach relaxation, luxury hotels, and fine cuisine. ICONA Resorts is the home of three distinct, award-winning beachfront Jersey Shore hotels. Whether you’re staying in Avalon or Diamond Beach, you’ll always be steps from the beach, fine cuisine, and a refreshing adult beverage. Don’t forget to fuel up at these five premier Jersey Shore restaurants during your stay at ICONA.

Quick Breakfast: Shimmers Bistro

Start each morning with a quick breakfast at Shimmers Bistro before making your way down to the beach for an afternoon of relaxation, New Jersey sunshine, and refreshing cocktails at The Sandbar Village Beach Bar & Lounge. Shimmers is proud to serve Starbuck’s brand coffee alongside an assortment of quick grab and go breakfast options. Start your morning with a freshly brewed espresso or a bloody mary for an early-morning kick. Shimmers Bistro, which is located inside ICONA Avalon, is also a sophisticated spot for an evening cocktail or glass of wine.

Lunch on the Beach: The Sandbar Village

Grab lunch at The Sandbar Village Beach Bar & Lounge after breakfast at Shimmers Bistro, a soak in the onsite spa pool, and a good book on the beach. The Sandbar Village is one of the most popular Jersey Shore bars during prime beach season. Sink your toes into the sand and let the kitchen staff take you on a coastal culinary journey. Not many Jersey Shore restaurants can match Sandbar Village’s fresh fish tacos topped with Asian slaw and jalapeno-lime aioli. Our guests also gush about the grilled salmon wrap, customized pizza, and the “power salad.”

Afternoon Cocktail: The Star Beach Bar

The Star Beach Bar at ICONA Diamond Beach is one of the fastest rising Jersey Shore beach bars. Guests and visitors can enjoy delicious bites and great views from the bar through October 20. This lively beach bar is known by locals for its delicious signature cocktails. We recommend “The Star of the Beach,” “Ocean’s Potion,” and “Tropical Tease,” but you surely cannot go wrong with any of our cocktails.

Elegant Dinner: Coastal Blue Oceanside Bar & Grill

ICONA Diamond Beach is also home to one of the premier Jersey Shore restaurants: Coastal Blue Oceanside Bar & Grill. You’ll notice Coastal Blue’s laid-back luxury and understated elegance upon arrival. Whether you’re a lover of top-quality seafood or steak, you’re in for an evening of fine cuisine, award-winning wine, and refined ambiance. We highly recommend the grilled swordfish, sauteed shrimp, filet mignon, and braised short ribs.

Late-Night Pint: Avalon Brew Pub

Lucky guests at ICONA Avalon don’t have to the leave the premises to experience all the wonders of the Jersey Shore. You’ll always be seconds away from the beach, a lavish pool, delicious meals, and even a brewery! Avalon Brewpub is one of the premier brewpubs on the Jersey Shore thanks its eclectic lineup of classic craft beer styles. Guests and locals alike have fallen in love with Avalon’s malty, citrusy We Don’t Play West Coast IPA and the Chill Pils, a Czech-style lager.

hotels in cape may nj

Top 4 Craft Breweries in Cape May County

New Jersey earned elite craft beer status this year as the Garden State welcomed its 100th craft brewery to the family in March. Despite being the fourth smallest state in the U.S., New Jersey ranks 21st in total breweries which had a $1.6 billion economic impact, according to the Brewers Association. A lot of skeptics believe that craft beer will be a short-lived fad, but the fact remains that beer enthusiasts are beginning to recognize that quality matters more than quantity. ICONA Resorts, unlike nearby hotels in Cape May NJ, owns and operates a microbrewery inside the beautiful beachfront ICONA Avalon. Sip on a refreshing pint of craft beer at one of these four sensational breweries when you’re not sunbathing on a sandy beach, soaking in a heated outdoor pool, or meeting adorable animals at the Cape May Zoo County Park & Zoo.

Avalon Brew Pub

The Avalon Brew Pub has five balanced flagship beers, a sleek interior, excellent cuisine, and a hip, decorative keg ceiling. The malty, citrusy We Don’t Play West Coast IPA remains a favorite among guests, though the Chill Pils, a Czech-style lager, will quench your thirst on a hot summer day. Come for a pint of refreshing craft beer, stay for a plate of mouthwatering steak, seafood, or organic chicken! Plus, you have to try the Giant Bavarian Pretzel – a guest favorite!

Ludlam Island Brewery

Operating out of a modest manufacturing complex in Ocean View, Ludlam Island Brewery has the most flavorful beer in Cape May County. Their compact taproom has eight taps, limited seating, wood paneling, and rotating local art. Ludlam Island specializes in hoppy pale ales, including their juicy, dry-hopped oat IPA, Let It Shine. Hoppy beer aficionados often taste all four of their seasonal IPAs in a beer flight.

Slack Tide Brewing Company

Eerily similar to Ludlam Island, Slack Tide Brewing has a petite taproom, but you’ll notice immediately the repurposed wood ceiling and the tap list written in colorful chalk. Their flagships range from IPA, blonde, stout, and pale, but they’ve been experimenting with the newest beer craze: the New England-style IPA. Overfalls is a deliciously juicy New England IPA plump with fruity Mosiac and citrusy Galaxy hops.

Cape May Brewing Company

Cape May Brewing is widely considered one of the premier craft breweries in the Garden State. After officially launching in the summer of 2011, Cape May Brewing quickly grew into an East Coast craft juggernaut after winning over the Philadelphia market. Their charismatic and knowledgeable staff host tours in their production facility and tasting room. Sip on award-winning beer, including the crushable Always Ready Northeast pale ale, and learn about beer techniques and the brewery’s history. ICONA Resorts, home to one of the premier hotels in Cape May NJ, is only 6.5 miles away from this award-winning brewery.

Hotels in Cape May NJ

ICONA Resorts has three beachfront properties in Cape May County, all of which are a short drive from the four best craft breweries in South Jersey. It’s never too soon to start planning an autumn beach escape to stunning Diamond Beach, Cape May, or Avalon – dial 1-609-454-6484 to book that well-deserved vacation you’ve been putting off!

Wildwood Crest hotels

Top 5 Attractions in the Wildwoods

The Jersey Shore is much more than pristine beaches, lively nightlife, and luxurious hotels. Our slice of southern New Jersey has some of the best family-friendly adventure parks, zoos, and ocean activities on the East Coast. ICONA has three award-winning hotels only steps from the beach. Other Wildwood Crest hotels cannot match our excellent service, amenities, and proximity to the area’s best attractions. Your upcoming family getaway to the Jersey Shore should include these five Wildwoods activities.

Cape May County Zoo

It’s not often you find a zoo that has free entry, free parking and is open 364 days a week. The Cape May County Zoo is easily the best place to view wildlife in the state. Unlike most zoos, Cape May is uncrowded and features some of North America’s most beloved animals. Adorable critters such as river otters, red foxes, snow leopards, and red pandas love the attention! The zoo also has popular lions, black bears, and giraffes as well as obscure bongos, oryx, and marmosets. Oceanfront ICONA Avalon is only a scenic six-mile wetland drive from the zoo! Avalon features Avalon Brewpub, The Sandbar Village, and a beautiful outdoor heated pool.

Jersey Shore Alpacas

While the Cape May County Zoo also has alpacas, Jersey Shore Alpacas offers an altogether more intimate experience. Get up-close-and-personal to this farm’s lovable alpacas. Meet, feed, pet, and learn about these furry South American creatures. Alpacas are native to Peru and are often mistaken for llamas. We highly recommend taking a private group tour into an alpaca paddock.

Thunder Cat Dolphin Watch

Thunder Cat Dolphin Watch & Speedboat Tours has an incredible reputation for providing close encounters with beautiful bottlenose dolphins via speedboat. Their ocean adventures are so unique and exhilarating that they were named “Best of Philly” in 2016 by Philadelphia Magazine (Philadelphia is a 90-minute drive away). Their speedboats are “dolphin magnets,” according to customers. Thunder Cat has a 99 percent dolphin sighting guarantee. ICONA Diamond Beach, one of the premier Wildwood Crest hotels, is only one mile from Thunder Cat.

Wildwood Boardwalk

The Wildwood Boardwalk is the perfect locale for a morning, afternoon, or sunset stroll. Grab an ice cream cone, coffee, or a walking taco and gaze out into the vast Atlantic Ocean. Remember to take home a souvenir from a local shop. Families love the boardwalk because of the three amusements piers complete with over 100 rides!

Morey’s Piers and Water Parks

The very best amusement pier on the Jersey Shore is at Morey’s. This staple has dozens of thrilling rides varying from kiddie to extreme. Morey’s Piers is also home to the Raging Waters Water Park. Raging Waters has slides, rivers, pools, and cabanas on the edge of Wildwood Crest Beach.

Wildwood Crest Hotels

ICONA strives to provide the best possible experience and service amongst Wildwood Crest hotels. Our three ocean view hotels provide unmatched service, sophisticated elegance, private beach access, and world-class amenities. Start planning your next ICONA getaway today by visiting ICONA.com.