Marriott’s Fairway Villas was my destination for this mini vacation and I was excited to see all it had to offer.
Nearby Cape May NJ
Day One Arrival
The journey for me was not a long one. I had already been staying with my family visiting on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, which would save me about two hours from my normal drive to New Jersey. So, I was happy about that bit of planning.
The resort is near Atlantic City but in a truly picturesque setting. Driving up it feels like you are going to a stately southern mansion. As you might have figured out from the name, this resort is located with two championship golf courses. Golfers get your bag and clubs sent with one of those services, you are going to want them handy even if you fly in to the area. (Reference a service like ship sticks where you can ship golf clubs cheaply to anywhere in the country starting at $39.)
I am not much of a golfer, more of the kids mini-golf guy, but I do plan to drive into Atlantic city and have some gambling fun while I am here. But for the golfers the two courses are at the Seaview Gold Resort close by. There are two courses here and another course at the Atlantic City Country Club. Historically, the Atlantic City Country Club claims that the term “Birdie” was originated on their course in 1903. That is a rich part of golf history for sure.
When you stay in the area, you are also close to Cap May, which is yet another amazing local tourist area.
After checking in I did more normal tour of the resort to get myself oriented. This location offers a great deal of on-site options. With a restaurant or grill, a juice bar, and many pools, hot tubs, and recreational options. I loved the pool room or billiards room. There is also a game room for the kids which is nice to play those full-size arcade games again. They also have several of the now almost standard Marriott resort features like the marketplace express, fitness center, and indoor and outdoor pool options for year-round fun. This was one very well-appointed resort.
I was going to be staying in the two-bedroom villa, which was why tomorrow I had a friend driving up that could not make it on the first day of this short trip for work reasons.
The rooms here are large at 1,150 sq ft which is about the same size as my little two-bedroom home. The kitchen was laid out well and had a full stove, microwave, dishwasher, and fridge. If you have read any of my blogs before you will know I also like the in-villa washer and dryers because when I hit the pool, I love being able to clean and dry my bathing suit for another trip back to the pool the following day. Saving that cool wet feeling if you hang them in the bathroom. Also, it is nice to be able to wash something on longer stays or when you spill something on a favorite shirt or outfit. On other trips, when changing from one resort or location to another, it makes life easier and you do not have to pack nearly as much for a trip.
After checking in and getting set, I was ready for some dinner. I did not feel like getting back into the car for any reason, so I went to the onsite Mulligan’s Grill for dinner. I grabbed a burger, fries, and desert and was a happy man.
Afterwards I hit the indoor pool since it was summer and the outdoor pool was full of many people having a great old time. I felt the indoor pool would give me more of a retreat, and it did.
Day Two at Marriott’s Fairway Villas
Video Credit to Wildwood Video Archive
I woke to the sun peaking in from the window, and my stomach reminding me the meaning of breakfast. (Literally breaking the previous nights fast).
I wanted to get going for the day, so I jumped in the shower and planned to eat somewhere on the way into Cape May. Today I was going to go there to visit some of the spots my mother used to talk about years ago. I was feeling nostalgic and also realized I had never been to Cape May having passed by the area many times when going to and from Atlantic City.
Cape May is only about 1 hour from the resort. I took the toll road because it is a strait shot and makes the trip less than 1 hour. I was hungry but decided to wait until I arrive in Cape May to grab breakfast.
I am a simple guy. I like all things touristy and fun, and I am a sucker for historic tours and museums. Another thing that pulls me in is places with my first name. So, I pointed my car towards Harry’s Ocean Bar and Grill for breakfast. I had the Lifeguard Special and even took part in a morning cocktail. I like the idea of a place that was not only called Harry’s but one that had a morning cocktail menu. That is fun! It is so fun here that I was not the only guest trying a morning cocktail at 10:30am. I had a cold brew of white Russian, and I was a happy man.
I followed that cocktail up with fresh orange juice to keep my morning to a dull roar.
After a very good breakfast “thank you Harry” I went to check out a few of the beaches in the area. They do a bit of an odd thing in Cape May related to the beaches they require you to get a tag to visit the beach. Now I am sure some city counsel member thought this was a great way to pay for lifeguards and other needed things during summer but it just seems odd. It is not that it is the expense which is not much, it is the hassle of getting tags to visit a beach that it seems like it should be open and available for anyone staying or visiting the area.
That aside, I went to the beach after that modest tag investment and I decided to stay awhile now that I had paid my little fee. The city does provide free tags to military active duty and veterans which I think is nice. I would like to see them also do the same for seniors but hey I am not running for town counsel or anything.
The beaches here are nice, and they are wide. I can think of many locations that have equal or better beaches, but this was where I was at the moment and it was nice. I went to a small shop that my mother has mentioned to get her a gift from one of her places. Here the gift bag would likely mean as much as the gift, but I still wanted to find something nice from Whale’s Tails. I found a Cape May Candle and had that put in their nicest gift bag for the gift I would share with her on my way home.
There are many little shops like this in Cape May and many great restaurants. It is part of the draw to the area.
You will find many of the stores in these main areas of Cape May. Washington Street Mall, Washington Commons, Carpenter’s Square Mall, and Sunset Beach. There are hundreds of neat little spots so if you have a shopper with you make some time, or a plan of escape. From June to Labor Day, you will find most of the stores open from 10AM-10PM daily. The later in the season you go into early fall the stores closer earlier, and some close all together by October.
After a few hours on the beach and then more shopping, I wanted to grab a late lunch before traveling back to the resort. I chose Aleathea’s for lunch the restaurant sits in a great waterfront location and they earn the right to keep it with great tasting food. I enjoyed a Caesar Salad and some fish tacos for lunch. The dinner menu looks great, so I made a mental note to get back here for dinner sometime on a future trip, maybe even drive my mother up for dinner.
Next I drove back to the resort, choosing this time to go the alternate route not so much for the tolls but to see more of the area than I would on the expressway.
Day Three time to hit Atlantic City
Today I was going to have some fun in Atlantic City. I had some Bally’s credits burning a hole in my pocket. I have traveled more in the last year including coming to Atlantic City a few times so I had some good standing built up on my player’s card. Like all casinos these days they offer some decent benefits for tracking your playing and spending in the casinos. I hear (not old enough to know firsthand) that the comps and benefits are nothing like the days when the “boys” ran these towns but they still can get you some great meals, or tickets to shows, or even a free room. I had the room covered,, so I intended to get a nice meal in town while I was here.
When I got to the Casino, I would check in with a casino member to let them check my card and make some reservations.
If you have not been to Atlantic City, do check out the boardwalk area, and the views of the beach. For me I was headed in to play a little blackjack, maybe some slots, and get a good meal. I just needed to remember to pace myself on the free drinks and then eat that dinner before even thinking about driving back to the resort.
There are many casinos in Atlantic City and at least 8 of those are full scale casino operations that include food, games, entertainment and more. If you like the casino gaming or not there is still a great deal to do and see.
I wanted to go to a breakfast buffet first thing. I really like breakfasts and a buffet Let you try to get what you like. I went to Breadsticks Café and Grill which has an impressive buffet. The food was good, and it was a good value. There are other options in town too at most casinos. For the Bally’s company or brand, they have a location in Caesars that I would have gone too if I had remembered that it was a buffet as well.
With my stomach filled, it was time to play some video poker to wake my gambling brain up before hitting a blackjack table. Also, I have a theory that seems to hold up for me that all the machine games have a slightly better payout rate or chance of success near the high traffic walk areas. My thought is that they set the machines to be easier to win to pull other players in through the sounds of people winning and the bells and lights on the machines as those wins happen.
Well, this trip that worked as well because I was up a few hundred in about 2 hours on the machines or 3 drinks in. Next it was time for blackjack. I like blackjack as a game because even though the house always has the advantage player skill and some math ability can help you with a better chance. I think blackjack is also fun as a game.
I played for hours and had a ball. I was not going to pay off any outstanding debts with today’s winnings, but I came out ahead a little and had a few free drinks and some fun. Much better than coming into Atlantic City and losing my shirt, or putting charges on plastic.
Finally, all played out it was time for dinner that I had arranged at Jerry Longo’s which is Italian food that is road island style. I chose a veal meal that was out of this world good. That and the pasta helped absorb my free drinks and make me safe for the roads again.
I headed back to the resort for a little pool time tonight, then some sleep before my early check out and drive back to the Eastern Shore to deliver my gift.
You too can visit this amazing vacation resort in New Jersey just make sure you book through TZort.