Sea Isle City, known to the locals simply as Sea Isle, attracts thousands of visitors annually for its paved promenade and five miles of white-sand beaches. Surf, sand and sunsets are not this beach resort’s only attractions, however. Whether you’re looking for nightlife or wildlife, Sea Isle City has it all for couples, college students and families.

Getting There:

If you’re lucky enough not to hit traffic, it’s a direct 1.5-hour drive from Philadelphia to Sea Isle. Take the Atlantic City Expressway to the Garden State Parkway, and get off at Exit 7S. Once you hit the bridge on Sea Isle Boulevard, a panoramic view of the city, the boardwalk and the ocean unfolds.

Where to Play

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Ocean Drive
40th and Landis Ave.
Sea Isle City, NJ 08243
(609) 263-1000

For the height of nightlife, college-age partygoers head to Ocean Drive, better known as The OD. The place shakes as DJs and live bands crank out tunes that rock the spacious dance floor. The bar is so popular that patrons pack in like sardines on weekends, especially when bands like Total White Out and GoGo Gadjet perform. Wednesdays feature two tacos for $1, and half price appetizers are available on Fridays.

Related: Guide to the Shore: Top Nightlife

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Harbor Outfitters 50th Street Rental Shop
5006 Landis Avenue
Sea Isle City, New Jersey 08243
(609) 263-0805

Prices: $50 kayak full day/$65 paddle board/$35 surfboard

There is no shortage of opportunities to experience the natural wonders Sea Isle City has to offer. Back bays, blue-green marshland and marine animals abound on Harbor Outfitter’s kayak tours. Rent a surfboard or book a private paddle board lesson from Harbor Outfitters for even more fun. Grab a life vest and paddle out with the dolphins in an ocean kayak, or enjoy the sunset as you take a relaxing stand up paddle board ride on the bay. Bike and electric car rentals are also available for land lovers.

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Bobby Dee’s Arcade
3600 Boardwalk
Wildwood, NJ 08243
(609) 263-0900

Price: $1 and up

Sea Lanes Arcade is a great place to take the family when the weather is less than ideal. Plenty of exciting arcade games ping, zing and light up here, and they spit spit out tickets to redeem for kitschy prizes. Picnic tables situated just outside make for the perfect place to relax while everyone plays, or to grab a bite to eat. Sit back and watch the waves a few steps away from the romping kids inside.

Where to Eat

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Spinner’s Pizza & Ice Cream
3800 Boardwalk
Sea Isle City, NJ 08243
(609) 263-0544

In addition to great food and prices, families love the nightly cartoons and balloons for the kids at Spinner’s Pizza & Ice Cream. Located on the boardwalk, the restaurant provides indoor and outdoor dining with spectacular views of the ocean. Owners Cecil, Judy, Bobby and Danielle make delicious extra large 18-inch pizzas, and their white broccoli pie and original French fry pie are big hits with the locals. All of the Jersey Shore favorites are served here: Philly cheese steaks, water ice, malted waffles, burgers, hoagies and cheese fries. If you’re staying for the entire summer, join the restaurant’s pizza club, which awards customers with a free pizza for every 10 purchased.

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Mike’s Seafood Market and Raw Bar
4222 Park Rd.
Sea Isle City, NJ 08243
(609) 263-3458

Mike Monicheti’s dockside dining is a casual eatery that offers great views of the back bay. Popular with the locals, Mike’s has been voted best dock dining and best seafood raw bar by Sea Isle City residents for almost a dozen consecutive years. The chef’s crab balls, jumbo lump crab cakes and steamed clams are area favorites, but the menu also offers such fare as Maine lobster, Long Island oysters, Nantucket scallops and Jersey flounder, as well as homemade soups and chowders. What’s more, the restaurant features a full bar with domestic and imported beers, cocktails, and a raw bar with flat-screen TVs.

Related: Orr at the Shore: Sea Isle City

Where to Stay

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The Colonnade Inn
4600 Landis Ave.
Sea Isle City, NJ 08243
(609) 263-0460

Price: $120 to $425 per night

Built in 1883, The Colonnade Inn is the only surviving hotel from Sea Isle’s early days. Guests congregate on the Victorian inn’s wrap-around porch and in its colorful gardens, relax in its lobby with the large-screen TV, or grab a book to read in its restored parlor with original woodwork and antique furnishings. The inn’s 19 rentable units successfully blend the past with modern amenities, featuring Victorian decor, private baths, wireless Internet access and cable TV. As an added bonus, free coffee and fresh baked goods are served each morning in the inn’s great room.

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Coast Motel
4000 Landis Ave.
Sea isle City, NJ 08243
(609) 263-1111

Price: $220 to $265 per night

The Coast Motel is located in the heart of Sea Isle City’s entertainment district, a half block from the beach and steps away from the city’s best restaurants, shops, bars and nightclubs. Part of La Costa Properties, which includes La Costa Package Goods Store, La Costa Lounge and Nightclub, La Costa Deck Bar, and Casino Pizzeria, the motel is better suited for guests who like late nights rather than early mornings. Its 33 guest rooms come with cable TVs, kitchenettes and balconies from which guests watch the sights and sounds of busy Landis Avenue.

Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey’s “Cape May County Herald” for more than a decade. A writer for numerous online publications, Susan has covered health, fitness, beauty and travel, all subjects that are near and dear to her as a married mother of seven children. Her work can be found at