Gloucester City is a classic blue-collar Camden County town tucked into the foot of the Walt Whitman Bridge, which connects Philadelphia to South Jersey – and is a main path for Pa. people headed down the shore.
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With a mix of new and established business along its downtown strip, plus eateries taking advantage of waterfront views, Gloucester City makes for a fun–even sweet–day trip.
Eat Up: For a fine sit-down seafood affair, head to Max’s Seafood Café (maxsseafoodcafe.com, 856-456-9774). The restaurant is set inside a 1890 building that was originally a shoe store, then a bar (same owner!) A 2000 renovation turned it from a sagging saloon into one of the best seafood places around.
If you’re looking for a quick bite on the go, stop in at Coffee Corner (856-742-0089), which lives up to its name: it’s a bright orange building on the corner of Broadway and Market Street. You can get burgers and fries and the like at the shop’s walk-up window. And coffee, too, of course.
Drink in the View: What better way to relax than sipping a hot or cold drink and watching summer traffic backed up on the Walt Whitman Bridge as Philadelphia heads to the Jersey Shore? For that hot drink (or dessert or caffeinated cool treat), try King Street Espresso (www.kingstreetespressobar.com, 856-456-4408), which has indoor and outdoor seating – and a dessert counter that would make any diner jealous (we recommend the cannoli). For some suds, stop in at Oh! Hara’s Pub and Restaurant (www.ohharaspub.com, 856-456-2104), which keeps your standard brews plus seasonal beers on tap. There is excellent bar food, too. This is where the local late-night crowd hangs out.
This and That Shop: Sunshine Flowers & Gifts (www.sunshineflowersandgifts.net, 856-456-0324) is more than just a one-room flower shop. The store twists and turns, and if you can find your way through (someone will help you out), you’ll discover rooms dedicated to Christmas décor (set up all year) and candles of every scent and smell. They also have a wide selection of Philadelphia sports team-themed items for that sports fan on your shopping list.
Sweet Spot: For over 50 years, Duffy’s Delicious Candies (duffyscandies.com, 856-456-2935) has been satisfying South Jersey’s sweet tooth. Not only can you pick up handmade chocolate and sugar treats, but you can also watch candy being boxed as a train runs along the ceiling of the store. Looking for a deal? Duffy’s sells boxes of candy that didn’t quite fit the mold—at a discount, of course.
Luck o’ the Irish: Sure, everybody has a St. Patrick’s Day event, but Gloucester City celebrates the halfway point to St. Patty’s day with its annual Shamrock Festival in September—instead of March. Expect live bands, a beer garden, and even the Shamrock Festival Schooner, which is available for rides. The date for the 2009 festival hasn’t been announced yet. Check gloucestercityshamrockfestival.com for updates.
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Max's Seafood Cafe