Newest Adventure Park in Cape May

An Amazing Aerial Adventure

Tree2Tree Adventure Park opened spring 2016 on the grounds of the Cape May County Zoo.  It took the entire summer for me to gain the courage to try it out.  This September I climbed my first tree, jumped from mini platform to mini platform, got good at clipping and un-clipping safety latches, and ended the day courageously jumping out on five increasingly descending zip lines.

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Photo Credit: Tree to Tree Adventure Park

It’s not an experience for the faint of heart, but it is a bucket list experience for sure.  Having never done zip lines, Outward Bound, or even 5K runs, this relatively sedentary gym rat (I limit myself to seated weight machines rather than treadmills), learned that it’s never too late to unleash your inner Tarzan or Jane.

I am thankful that I’ve spent the last two years at the gym gaining a minimal level of fitness to at least attempt the park.  The park is made up of five fitness courses labelled blue, green, red, silver and zip line, with each colored course increasingly harder, higher, or more challenging. Many first timers like myself stop after the blue course, however after seeing my younger compatriots take on the green course, I am somewhat regretful I didn’t move on, but someone had to get the water bottles!

Park guides state that you know when it’ time to quit. I stopped after the blue more from thirst and heat than the course, and I do recommend that older participants take breaks to find water.  It’s likely not smart to sit down on a lovely park bench, because once down, it’s hard to convince yourself to not only get up, but climb up a 10 or 20 ft. tree again.  Wisely, the park guides state that once you say you’re done and take off your harness, they don’t let you gear up again. They intrinsically trust your own initial body intuition.  If you even once say “enough is enough,” they take you at your word.  Don’t cry “uncle” unless you’re 100% sure you’re done for the day.

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Photo Credit: Tree to Tree

Even if you opt out of the other colored courses at any time, if you keep your harness on, you can always still do the zip line at the end of the park.  Calling it a zip line is somewhat of a misnomer as it’s five separate zip lines. Having my only prior zip line experience been the very low training course at the beginning of the park, I was not prepared for the amazing height of the first line.  It took lots of coaxing by my guide and one of my tree swinging partners already on the far platform to take the leap into the air.  I had to close my eyes to push off. There was just no other way for me to take flight.  However, by the third platform, I could jump off with eyes open. It helps to know that each zip line is ever lower to the ground. Once you’ve done the first, you’ve done the “worst,” or highest, longest and best depending on your personal point of view.

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Photo Credit: Tree to Tree

I didn’t know that an adventure park experience was on my bucket list, but it now is and has been crossed off. That said, I could easily be convinced to go again.  The green course is calling my name as again the zip lines.

Tree2Tree is a seasonal adventure park that will stay open in the fall as long as the weather allows.  Spring and Fall are great times to try the park as a cool breeze is very welcome while you work up your own inner heat from the high wire balancing act you didn’t know you had in you.  Reservations are required as you must have guides assigned to watch, coach and encourage you along.  All equipment is checked twice daily, and all wires are said to be military grade.  It’s a small, but much needed comfort when somewhere during the course your fear center kicks in and you wonder if you’re truly safe.  You are.  My moment came when I was afraid of holding on to my carabiner on the zip line, not trusting my own upper body strength.  Chris, my guide, then informed me that I really didn’t need to hold on at all.  The carabiner clip and zip line would hold my body weight for me, and could even hold a car. I don’t know if the latter is true, but the first was and by the fifth line I was arms out while zipping away for the true flying experience!

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Photo Credit: Tree to Tree

Author: Rhona Bronson, Director of Marketing, DRBA

A Guide to Delaware Wineries

Any wine connoisseur knows that in order to find impressive wineries with stunning views they must travel west to California or across the Atlantic to Italy…. or do they? A quick trip across the Delaware Bay will change your mindset while saving you money on airfare. Whether your taste buds crave a nice dry Chardonnay or a sweet Moscato we’re here to point you in the right direction.

Nassau Valley Vineyards-Winery

32165 Winery Way, Lewes, DE 19958

(302) 645-9463

http://www.nassauvalley.com/

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Nassau Valley is Delaware’s first winery, located just miles from Delaware Beaches. It is tucked away on a country road between Route 9 and Route 1. This farm winery offers any wine enthusiast an array of choices between red and white. Visitors can even test their vinification knowledge at their “history of wine” museum. This award winning vineyard was founded in 1987 by a father-daughter duo on a family farm site in Lewes. The daughter, Peg, had spent years traveling for a wine oriented publication until her passion shifted from writing to wine making. The 14 wines in their product line—which consists of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot—are made using local fruit. They are now open to visitors Tuesday-Saturday from 11am-5pm for self-guided tours through their facility. Tastings are only $5 per person and available during hours of operation.

Harvest Ridge Winery

447 Westville Rd, Marydel, DE 19964

(302) 804-1329

http://www.harvestridgewinery.com/

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Harvest Ridge offers an escape to a simpler time when you step onto their secluded property. On a trip to South Carolina for his son’s wedding, Chuck Nunan was inspired to turn his hobby into a full-blown career choice. This beautiful dream grew into reality in 2011 with the planting of his first vines, Chardonnay, Viognier, Malbec, and Merlot. Harvest Ridge gives credit to the advantageous growing conditions such as warmer growing seasons and shallow waters. Can’t get enough? Become a Wine Club member and receive 3 bottles every three months and discounts off full case purchases. Tasting and tours are made available everyday from 12-5pm!

Pizzadili Vineyard & Winery

1671 Peach Basket Rd, Felton, DE 19943

(302) 284-9463

http://www.pizzadiliwinery.com/index.html

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Two brothers from Italy brought a little piece of home with them to Felton, DE when they opened up in Felton in 1993. Now they currently offer 12 different grape varieties that range from a sweet dessert white wine to a dry red wine. They grow their own grapes and make all their wines on site. They also have large venue facilities that can accommodate large party tastings with friends and family. Their facilities are open to the public daily from noon to 5pm. Tasting and tours are open during the hours of operation. You are even able to take a piece of the vineyard home with you after a tasting with one of their keepsake wine glasses. 

 

New to the wine world and want to learn what to wine to pair with your meal? Or maybe you’re a trained professional looking to expand your palate. Be sure to join us for our Wine Lovers Sunset Cruises running all September and October long! To learn more or book your ticket today click here!

 

South Jersey Wineries

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Are you a wine enthusiast who loves tasting different wines from all over? Then what better place to visit and taste fine wines other than the Garden State itself! South Jersey has multiple vineyards and wineries all within miles of each other! Most of these wineries are located only a few miles away from the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal, so next time you are traveling over on the ferry, make sure to stop and check out these amazing wineries and vineyards.

Cape May Winery & Vineyard

711 Townbank Road

Cape May, NJ 08204

This winery named after a very historical town has started to make their own history themselves. Over the decades it has grown up to four different vineyards acquiring over 70 acres and many different varieties of grapes. Take a tour of this beautiful winery and learn the creative process as they take you behind the scenes. After the tour, experience and taste the wonderful selection of wines in one of their three tasting rooms. Their wine associates are there to help pair your taste buds with the perfect wine, so sit back and relax as you take in the breathtaking views. For more information about their wine tasting hours and prices, visit their website.Cape May Winery

Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery

600 South Railroad Ave

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The Hawk Haven Winery was established in 2008, but the land has been in the family since 1940. Take a tour of the vineyard and learn their background story. Witness their vast steel tanks and barrels as you go behind the scenes of their wine making process. Savor any of their award winning white, red, or cellared wines in their tasting room. They host many events from spring through fall that are family and pet-friendly. For more information about their tours and tasting room hours, visit their website.

 

Jessie Creek Winery

1 North Delsea Drive

Cape May Court House, NJ 08210

This winery, located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay, has a Mediterranean ambiance that makes you feel as though you were in Italy! Its eight acres of land have the perfect soil for growing the best grapes. You can either take a tour to learn the hand making process of their wines, or taste one of their 14 wines (including their new fruit wines). If a day isn’t enough for you, stay at their Bed and Breakfast Inn right at the winery! This beautiful farmhouse was renovated into an inn for guests to enjoy right on the vineyard. To host an event here or learn more about their tour and tasting hours visit their website.

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Willow Creek Winery

160-168 Stevens Street

West Cape May, NJ 08204

This beautiful 50-acre winery will leave you in awe. As you walk through the garden you will come across their beautiful handcrafted winery where you can take a guided tour, or sit on their patio by the fireplace to taste some of their fine wines. They also host larger wine tasting events and Farm Festivals that you won’t want to miss! For more information about their wine or tours, visit their website.

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Natali Vineyards

221 North Delsea Drive (North Route 47)

Cape May Courthouse, NJ 08210

The start of this vineyard came in 2001 when Alfred Natali fell in love with the delicate process of creating fine wines while in Italy. He was amazed that you were able to grow Vitis vinifera, which is the grapevine of French and Italian wines, in Cape May. He began his experiment by purchasing 22 acres, and has been successful ever since. Their tasting room is open daily for you to try one of their grape or fruit wines. To find out more about tours and wine tastings visit their website.

Turdo Vineyards & Winery

3911 Bayshore Road

North Cape May, NJ 08204

This winery is saving the planet one wine bottle at a time! Turdo Vineyards and Winery is the only one in the state of New Jersey running on 100% solar energy. it all began when a North Jersey man had a dream and determination to turn 5 acres into a beautiful vineyard. Sal and his family work together to operate and create some of the best fine wines around. Their wines have been honored with many medals and awards. Tour their beautiful vineyard and see how it is all made in an energy efficient way and give their wine a try in the tasting room! For more information on their hours, or to schedule a private tasting, visit their website
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To get a chance to try some of these wines and enjoy the beautiful bay views, take the Cape May-Lewes Ferry’s Wine Lovers Sunset Cruise! Join us for a wonderful night on the ferry with different wines that will satisfy anyone’s taste buds while watching the sunset from the best place around. The cruises will be every Friday and Saturday departing from both Cape May and Lewes until late October. Don’t miss out on this wonderful experience!

** We encourage all passengers to consume alcohol safely and responsibly on and off board. We would be happy to arrange a taxi or help you schedule your next shuttle bus!

Delaware Bay Wildlife: Mammal Edition

The diversity of wildlife in the Delaware Bay is amazing, and on board the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, you can experience a 360-degree view of much of the marine life it has to offer! It isn’t unusual to see dolphins, so be sure to keep your eyes on the water, and pay attention to the loudspeaker as the captain will typically announce where to see them in the water.

Seals

There are three different types of seals in the Delaware Bay: Gray Seals, Harp Seals, and Harbor Seals. The Delaware Bay remains a popular site for seals tomblog1.jpg migrate during the winter. The most popular time to see seals along the Delaware Bay is during the colder months. Seals usually come out of the water to rest after they have eaten. If you catch sight of one of these amazing mammals, contact Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation at 302-228-5029. 

Gray Seals: These seals can grow to be up to 10 feet long and 800 pounds! They are gray in color, although pups have white fur for the first three weeks of their lives.

Harp Seals: Adults range between 5 to 6 feet and can weigh up to 300 pounds. They eat small fish and migrate towards the arctic during the summer months.

Harbor Seals: Adults are about 6 feet and weigh over 200 pounds. They are blue-grey in color. These seals love to be on land, and will typically give birth to baby seals during the spring and summer months.

For more information, visit the MERR Institute.

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The most popular times to see dolphins are during the spring and summer months. They are gray in color and easy to spot from the deck. There are 43 species of dolphins that are recognized. In the Delaware Bay, we typically see 8 species of dolphins including the Atlantic Bottlenose, Striped, and Atlantic White-Sided. 

For pictures and more information on each species click here.

Dolphins are incredibly friendly, intelligent and can live as long as 60 years! When dolphins sleep, half of their brain stays awake to keep them breathing so they don’t drown? Their diet usually consists of fish, squid, and crustaceans. Generally, mating season is in the spring and result in mothers giving birth to one calf. Each calf stays with their mother for the first three years of its life.

Fun Fact: Dolphins tend to leap out of the water to glance at their surroundings and even follow ships! So be on the lookout next time you’re aboard! 

Whales

There she blows! The Cape May Lewes-Ferry captains have been keeping their eyes peeled for whales in the Delaware Bay. Whales have a very large appetite and prefer smaller fish and krill for their meals and tend to swallow their prey whole. They tend to eat 4% of their body weight, with the smallest species of whales weighing 3,000 pounds that’s a lot of food! 

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For more wildlife fun on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, be sure to check out our wildlife page before you plan your trip!

Birding on the Delaware Bay

Did you know the Delaware Bay is one of the most significant shorebird migration sites in the world? In fact, the region prides itself on having the second-highest concentration of shorebirds in North America! On any journey, it’s not unusual to spot shore birds such as Osprey, Red Knots, Gannets, and Egrets. The ferry is a favorite among birders as a place to see many of these East Coast migrating birds.

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Ospreys

blog ospreyWe have an osprey family builds their nest in the same exact spot every year at our Lewes Terminal. The family has left for the winter, but they should be back next year and we have live camera coverage when they are in Lewes. The best view to catch them is from the second deck of the ferry as you approach the Lewes dock. 

Bald Eagle

You can catch Bald Eagles all year near the Delaware Bay! Theyblog bald eagle are seafood lovers who catch their prey with their talons while swooping down near the water. Their wingspan can stretch to over 7 feet and can live to roughly 20 years old!

Fun Fact: Bald Eagles have been known to fly across the Atlantic Ocean all the way to Europe! Talk about a long journey!

Red Knot

blog red knotThis medium-sized shorebird breeds in the far north of Canada, Europe, and Russia. The oldest recorded Red Knot was 15 years old. The Red Knot population along the Delaware Bay is slowly decreasing because of the limited food source our waters provide them. Their preferred food source is horseshoe crab eggs but it has become increasingly harder for these birds to find enough to sustain their hunger.

Piping Plover

These birds blend into the sand so they can be hard to spotblog piping plover.png along the shoreline. Plovers eat freshwater and marine invertebrates that wash up on shore. Generally, Piping Plovers arrive on breeding sites in early spring and begin nesting and egg-laying around May. Each mother will typically lay 3 to 4 eggs per season.

Fun Fact: Did you know that nesting piping plovers are federally protected? That means there’s no touching allowed!

Local Birding Spots

Delaware Bay: On the ferry!

Delaware: Cape Henlopen State Park is a perfect spot for birders to experience a unique perspective, with 360-degree views from their lookout tower. This park is directly left of the Lewes Terminal and includes paths for biking and walking, with wetlands, beaches, and wooded areas. Cape Henlopen is also a direct path for birds to migrate to in the spring. It is not uncommon to see multiple nests along the walking trail.

New Jersey: The New Jersey Audubon Society is a great resource for all birders, offering nature lovers the opportunity to hone their skills with birding programs, maps and more. In Cape May, Higbee Beach remains a gorgeous location for birders to watch migrating birds. The fields, trails, and swamps are where you will find most bird watchers. This one and a half mile stretch of beach on the Delaware Bay is comprised of 6 different locations, with Hidden Valley being one of the most popular bird watching sites. 

Birding Tips

1.) Bring Binoculars on board with you! Keep a lookout on the second deck while you travel with us. Our captains will announce when they see wildlife while crossing.

2.) Do not disturb the nests and make sure to watch these beautiful birds from a distance.

3.) Feel free to take photos! Captains will announce when we are approaching the Lewes Terminal so you will have time to get your camera out to take a peek at the Osprey Nest (when the Osprey family is in town).

The Cape May-Lewes Ferry provides one of the best views for nature lovers to experience wildlife from a new vantage point. This is a great activity for families with children young and old! With unique views on either side of the Bay, you’ll have to join us on board to experience them all! For more information and fun facts regarding Delaware Bay wildlife check out our website!

Explore our Dockside Grill!

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Leave fast food on the highway! Enjoy a local favorite right at the Cape May or Lewes Ferry Terminals. Experience casual dining with spectacular waterfront views as a passenger or local resident. So whether you’re waiting to board or seeking a night out, explore our savory menu and look out for our entertainment series this summer.

On The Rocks at the Lewes Terminal was named 2016 BEST WATERFRONT DINING in the Best of Delaware Competition. A huge honor and well earned! Come try for yourself!

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On The Rocks at the Cape May Terminal was renovated in early 2016. The area has a great new vibe and layout designed for optimal orange crush consumption and sunset watching!

Kid and Dog-Friendly: Bring the whole family and enjoy the view

On The Rocks is a perfect way for adults to kick back while kids are entertained for free. With our playground and free mini golf directly on the site, your kids will be able to play before and after their meals.  Don’t forget to look for the Osprey nest at the Lewes terminal, directly above the dock. For the pups, your dog will love the open play area. And don’t forget that we are within walking distance from the beach, if you are looking for an after meal stroll. 

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OTR Lewes
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Parking: Free

During the peak summer season, it’s hard to find free parking in the Cape May and the Lewes/Rehoboth area. It can be even more of an inconvenience if you’re just grabbing a bite to eat. At On The Rocks, we got you covered with free parking all day, every day, at both of our locations. If you are a drive-on passenger, arrive about an hour and a half early and have a sit-down meal before boarding.  Make sure that if you are a foot passenger or a local resident stopping by, to park in the foot passenger designated parking area. Follow signs towards parking and make sure to avoid all toll lanes. In Lewes take the second exit into the terminal. In Cape May, follow signs towards Cape May-Lewes Ferry and when approaching toll lane, exit towards the sign that says walk-on passengers parking.

Free Live Entertainment

Entertainment at Cape May’s On The Rocks will take place every week, Tuesday through Sunday. The live concert series at our Lewes and Cape May terminals will offer something for everyone! Wednesdays in Cape May and Thursdays in Lewes will feature the diverse sounds of the Delaware Bay. 

Drinks: Tap Takeovers

What better way to dine than enjoying a view with a brew? All summer long we host local brewery’s creations that pair perfectly with your meals. Tap takeovers will take place at our Cape May location, however, if you’re from the Delaware region, simply hop on board and we’ll get you there right in time for dinner!

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Small plates vs. Large plates: Decisions, decisions

Who says you can’t have both? Our small plates are great starters giving you something to munch on before your meal arrives. Our famous crab dip loaded with melted cheese and fresh crab meat will blow you away. Not a seafood lover? No worries! We’ve got grilled burgers, loaded fries, grilled chicken sandwiches and more! So whether you’re with the family or enjoying the night out with friends, we’ve got something for everyone. When you’re finished eating, take a walk on our dock, you may even spot some dolphins. 

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Stop by and see what all the buzz is about! And did you know we have a Cape May Facebook and a Lewes Facebook? Check us out for real-time updates and more food fun! 

Let the Ferry Games Begin!

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Meet Dylan Clark. Seriously, come meet him! At the Cape May Ferry terminal on many afternoons, you’ll see him set up in the back salon waiting to play or teach chess to anyone interested. He’s generally there from 4:30-6 several times a week after his shift at the local Acme. A native of North Cape May, this 22-year old is an eleven year veteran of the game, literally having played for half of his life!

Why does he set up at the Ferry? There aren’t that many chess players in Cape May and Dylan is always looking to challenge himself against new players, or help others get introduced to the game. Although most of his peers are currently walking around searching for Pokemon, Dylan prefers the strategic intricacies of chess. He credits the game with helping him gain strength and courage particularly in his earlier years when he was not as socially adept or verbal as he is today.

Dylan mostly plays online, but prefers real life interactions whenever possible.  He sets up with all the necessary tools, including books that can help him and other interested patrons learn desired move nuances.  Thinking of trying your hand at chess? Stop by the Ferry terminal in Cape May and introduce yourself to Dylan. He’s got an easy smile, is so friendly and really loves talking chess!