Nature Lover's Outing

Longing to get close to nature? The greater Atlantic City area is a natural choice for your next getaway. Southern New Jersey is an area rich in ecological treasures, with plenty of ways to escape the bustle of the city, get some fresh air and enjoy the earth and its wild inhabitants.

MORNING – DAY 1
Take a short drive to nearby Brigantine Island, where you can stop for breakfast at Macedonian Grill. Located at 3015 Atlantic Brigantine Boulevard, this lively eatery serves up fresh fruit, breakfast sandwiches, waffles and gourmet omelets made to order.

After breakfast, visit the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, located just up the street at 3625 Atlantic Brigantine Boulevard in Brigantine. This non-profit organization is dedicated to responding to whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles in distress along all of New Jersey’s waterways. While much of the facility is not open to the public so that the animals can be successfully rehabilitated and returned to the wild, visitors are welcome to explore the Sea Life Educational Center and Gift Shop.

The Educational Center features 25 life-sized replicas of marine mammals and fish, all found or stranded in New Jersey waters. Educational exhibits and a “Please Touch" display of marine mammal bones make for an engaging experience. The Education Center and Gift Shop are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Closed Mondays).
 
AFTERNOON – DAY 1
A sunny afternoon is the perfect time to take a 13 minute drive to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, located at 800 Great Creek Road in Oceanville, New Jersey. Here, more than 47,000 acres of southern New Jersey coastal habitats are actively protected and managed for migratory birds. The eight-mile Wildlife Drive, numerous walking trails, and boardwalk are open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. A $4 daily entrance pass covers your vehicle and all riders within it.

Ready for lunch? Our top recommendation in the area is W.L. Goodfellows, located at 10 East White Horse Pike in Galloway, New Jersey. Here you can order your favorite drink and nosh on “happytizers” like lobster mac and cheese and red pepper risotto balls. With gourmet burgers, hand-tossed pizzas, signature salads and specialty sandwiches, the diverse menu offers something for everyone.
 
EVENING – DAY 1
Continue the day’s marine theme with dinner at The Chart House inside the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, located on Huron Avenue in Atlantic City. Entrees here include Miso Glazed Salmon, Dynamite Halibut and New Wave Surf & Turf: short ribs with Cabernet demi-glace paired with your choice of seared scallops or bronzed mahi. Regardless of what you choose, you will enjoy you’re dinner while overlooking the scenic bay and marina.
 
MORNING – DAY 2
Atlantic City beaches are one of a kind. But for an interesting change of scenery, head south to Stone Harbor where you can enjoy a morning stroll on the Borough’s Blue Wave certified beaches. Stone Harbor abounds with charming places to grab a bite for breakfast or lunch.
 
AFTERNOON – DAY 2
Spend the day at the Wetlands Institute, “The Natural Place to Have Fun Learning.” Located at 1075 Stone Harbor Boulevard, the Wetlands Institute gives visitors an appreciation for wetlands and coastal ecosystems. The institute is open all winter for self-guided tours of the various exhibits and facilities. In the summer, the Institute offers complete guided tours, as well as back bay boat rides, kayaking, live animal shows, family entertainment and guided beach & dune walks. Admission is $8.00 ages 13 and up; $6.00 ages three to 12; free for ages two and under.
 
EVENING – DAY 2
On your return trip to Atlantic City, why not stop by Somers Point for dinner at Latz’s By The Bay, located at 801 Bay Avenue. This BYOB celebrates sustainable cooking. Latz’s chef develops interesting menus based on organic, locally-grown ingredients with a contemporary flair. It’s a great way to cap of your day of getting back to nature.
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