Everyone knows the boardwalk is for riding fun rides and eating great eats. But there are also some amazing shops on our boards — and we’re not talking mere T-shirt stands. We mean legit fashion-forward, on-trend stores that will keep you looking hip and feeling fly.
PETE SMITH’S SURF SHOP
Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is located inside Cape May Convention Center on Cape May’s boardwalk — or technically, its promenade. They offer beachy and surf-y items like Sun Bum sunscreen; rash guards; Tommy Bahama men’s and women’s apparel; traditional surf brands like Billbabong, RVCA and Jetty, which is made in New Jersey; shoes by Olukai, Reef and Toms; accessories; bathing suits; sunglasses; surfboards; beach umbrellas; beach chairs; and more. But the top sellers are the cool, wooden ukuleles by Kala ($60 to $250).
714 Beach Ave., Cape May, PeteSmithSurfShop.com
With over 25 unique shops, Wildwood’s Boardwalk Mall has something for everyone from hot sauce to apparel and home decor to jewelry. There’s even an arcade and an old-timey photo stand.
3800 Boardwalk, Wildwood, Facebook.com
From T-shirts and posters to sunglasses and Star Wars dolls, rock music posters and Rasta apparel — not to mention an oxygen bar — the Surf Mall has everything a tweener may want or need to be super current or go totally retro. There’s even a totally hip juniors’ boho chic boutique called Birdcage.
12th and the Boardwalk, Ocean City, Facebook.com
Mermaids, those half-female/half-fish creatures known to roam the sea, aren’t real. Or are they?
Sand Jamm has been a staple on the Wildwood Boardwalk for years. This year-round shop has a large selection of your favorite surf apparel by O’Neill, Oakley and Salt Life, as well as bathing suits, hats, tees and tanks, plus sandals, coffee mugs and fun beach signs.
2701 Boardwalk, Wildwood, Facebook.com
There’s always something at The Islander, Ocean City’s go-to place for boho chic women’s apparel and shoes, great jewelry and handbags, plus unique home decor, to catch your eye.
920 Boardwalk, Ocean City, Facebook.com
TALK OF THE WALK
Talk of the Walk private labels small, boutique brands that you won't find in department stores. Categories span from daytime casual to day-to-evening to evening attire, as well as a true diversity of unique outerwear. A big seller is the “miracle dress,” which is essentially three outfits in one, as it can be worn as a dress, a tunic with tights, or even scrunched up as a blouse ($99.99). They also carry great handbags, jewelry and accessories — plus they have an in-store shoe boutique by Hot Foot Shoes out of Philadelphia, with a number of awesome brands including Bernie Mev. Sizes run from 0 to 3X. The Playground, 1 Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic City, TalkOfTheWalk.com
Renee at the Playground always has new and exciting things. To keep things fresh, they now have the entire store on sale for 50 percent off — excluding clearance items. They’ve also added quite a few new labels such as Chocolate Blue, Vince Camuto, United Nude and BCBG and a line of plus-sized clothing, due to high demand for fashionable larger sizes. Come fall they’ll carry a new line of furs from Italy that they claim will “knock your socks off.”
The Playground, 1 Atlantic Ocean, Facebook.com
Eleganza, the swanky high-end boutique loaded with fantastic Italian designer names — think Roberto Cavalli, Blumarine and Versace — recently moved back to the Playground after leaving what was the Pier Shops in 2014. Currently selling both men’s and women’s apparel in one location, it will soon break out into two shops, as the just-for-men’s Eleganza Uomo is slated to open later this summer. The Playground,
1 Atlantic Ocean, ENextDoor.com