New Jerseys Atlantic Shore: From Sandy Hook to Atlantic City & on to Cape May

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In case you are looking for some relaxation and peace, head out to the lovely Ocean Grove Beach. There are also sandcastle building contests and inner tube races during the summer season. This pet-friendly beach features a badge system, which means that all visitors need to pay a small fee to enter.

The small town of Ocean Grove is only a few blocks away from the boardwalk and offers a variety of restaurants to choose from and many branded department stores. Featuring 2 white-sand beaches that are great for swimming and a mile-long boardwalk, Lavallette Beach is patrolled daily by trained lifeguards and operates on a badge system where guests need to purchase daily, weekly, or seasonal passes in advance. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed to walk on the beach itself, but if you are visiting Lavallette Beach with a canine friend, you can always take them for a walk on the boardwalk.

Head out to the small town that features a yacht club, dozens of shops, and several great restaurants. It also hosts an annual truck fest in June. When it comes to parking, there are plenty of parking spots on the streets surrounding Lavallette. One of the reasons why Sandy Hook is one of the best beaches in the area, is that it is easily reachable. Take the Seastreak ferry that runs from Manhattan to this Jersey Beach in approximately 35 minutes.

Once you arrive at Sandy Hook, you can choose to visit one of the four beaches, including the family-friendly E and D beaches, a nudist beach called the Gunnison Beach, or the popular North Beach. A pristine 5-mile-long stretch of coastline, Wildwoods is home to several free beaches which are ideal for a bunch of water activities, including boogie boarding, kayaking, jet skiing, swimming, and surfing.

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You will also find many entertainment venues, shops, bars, and restaurants along the boardwalk. There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from. For instance, you can stay in a s mod motel or rent an upscale condo for a week. Seven Mile Beach, also known as the Avalon Beach, is located between the two small towns of Stone Harbor and Avalon and offers water activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, surfing, and windsurfing.

Families with children will be happy to hear that there are 9 parks and playgrounds. Located close to Asbury Park, Avon by the Sea is a popular beach destination that is open year-round. Children surrendered to the magic of the carousel. Asbury Park was also a rite of passage for newly minted teenage drivers who lived near the shore. Girls flirted with the boys. Boys mooned the girls. And everyone gawked at the bikers hanging out in Mrs.

Jay's Beer Garden. Nostalgia has many guises. Some of us turn misty at the memory of the fried clams at Howard Johnson's. The restaurant, still standing, looks as if one of those flying saucers in a s sci-fi movie had soared right out of the screen and landed next to the boardwalk. Others hanker after the lost taste of the popcorn and ice-cold Stewart's root beer sold at the Mayfair Theatre. That was then. This is now. Race riots in tore up part of Asbury Park, accelerating a downward spiral that kept going. Property values plummeted. Slumlords moved in.

Visitors stayed away. There was a brief sighting in the late s, when the city sold its beachfront property to a developer who had Big Plans. But he went bankrupt, leaving behind the skeletal remains of an unfinished condo complex. Now oceanfront Asbury Park is an urban wreck of empty lots and decayed buildings.

New Jersey Geologic History

But wait. In the past few years a new developer with deep pockets has materialized. Plans have been submitted and approved. This time, people say, it's going to happen.

At long last Asbury Park is on the rebound! The gay community has moved in, snapped up Victorian properties, and renovated them to within an inch of their gingerbread lives. Restaurants and home furnishing boutiques are sprouting. Hopes are high. He's the first openly gay member of the Asbury Park Board of Education. But first she had some business to settle. As for Asbury Park: "Milt and I don't come here now," she began.

Don't you go walking around at night. Too dangerous. I had the crowd all whipped up. Little me on the microphone. Aunt Alice was sad. The Casino, where she had delivered her pitch, was pocked by broken windows and peeling paint. We peered inside the building that had housed a carousel, but there wasn't much to see—merely a cavernous ruin of a once glorious space. Now he lives in ritzy Rumson ten miles sixteen kilometers north , but he never forgot Asbury Park.

And Asbury Park has never forgotten him. Frank's is a deli on Main Street, and on the wall behind the counter is a photo inscribed: "To Frank's.

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Where the elite meet to eat," with Bruce Springsteen scrawled across the top. Surely Bruce has his eggs over easy at Frank's? Nearly everyone in Asbury Park has a six-degrees-of-separation story about Bruce.

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Facts About the New Jersey Shore

Often it's a tale about how someone's cousin-in-law's daughter went to school with Bruce's cousin-in-law's son's next-door neighbor once removed. Helen-Chantal Pike tells the best story. Bay Head is shipshape. It is as neat and tidy as the knife-edge crease in an admiral's trousers. Shippee, who owns a gift shop in town called the Jolly Tar, drove me around in her mint green Jaguar to prove the point.

Along East Avenue stand "cottages," each bigger than the next. Oh to sit on the back deck of such a home overlooking that pearl of an ocean with martini in hand! Evalyn is the founder of the Bay Head Historical Society, which is actually headquartered in a Victorian clapboard house that sits in Point Pleasant, the next town to the west. It seemed to me that even the historical society has been priced out of Bay Head. Through the plate glass window we watched the Bay Head Yacht Club burgee—a pennant with a five-pointed blue star on a white background—flapping merrily in the breeze.

After lunch we walked down to the dock and admired an A-class catboat, which is 28 feet 8. I think I would enjoy learning to sail such a boat. First, several members have to write letters of recommendation on your behalf. Even with a grandfather in the club you're not a shoo-in.

If you make the initial cut, you are interviewed by the membership committee, and your name is posted on the bulletin board for review. Get a load of those pecs. It's enough to give a Jersey girl palpitations.

The view from Joey Harrison's Surf Club, a popular bar in Ortley Beach, features a human landscape in all shapes and sizes. Diversity rules on the miles Should you be so lucky, my friend, to be invited to lunch at the club, you'll need to dress up a little.

Atlantic City and the New Jersey Shore Holidays

Check the code, which varies from meal to meal and day to day—and applies to anyone over the age of eight. Lime green and pink seem to be popular, but I suspect a splash of madras would not be out of place. The Enigma is one of the performers at the Bros. Grim sideshow at Funtown Pier on the Seaside Heights boardwalk.

Seaside Heights is pure honky-tonk, slightly seedy, and darker in tone than more family-oriented towns like Ocean City to the south. Enigma his real name doesn't matter, he told me is covered with blue-green tattoos, has horns growing out of his head Teflon implants , sports a pair of nipple rings, and is blessed with an amazing digestive tract.

Among other feats, he can swallow a sword with hardly a burp. Amy wanted to photograph Enigma at breakfast eating his bowl of muesli, but Enigma found that idea a total…well…enigma. Local Hangout: Gillian's Wonderland Pier has been a boardwalk fixture for more than 50 years. Best Souvenir: Pick up a box of homemade fudge or saltwater taffy from Shriver's. Stay The Night: The broad porches of the family-owned Osborne's Inn —one of the Jersey Shore's last remaining guesthouses—have been a haven for happy guests for 44 years.

Best souvenir: C. Beach bite: Dunes Boardwalk Cafe houses food vendors offering everything from smoothies and salads to waffles and ice cream. In summer, ferries from lower Manhattan whisk day-trippers over to Atlantic Highlands, where a short shuttle bus ride brings you to the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area , a protected barrier spit with more than four miles of fishing beaches, coves, and campgrounds, as well as the park's namesake lighthouse.

The one thing Sandy Hook doesn't have yet is a restaurant, so make sure to pack a picnic, or plan on foraging among the handful of food trucks lined up in the parking lots.

Tide Location Selection for New Jersey

Local Hangout: Gunnison Beach, a half-mile walk from the parking lot, has a relaxed and welcoming vibe. A onetime getaway for the New York and Philadelphia elite, Spring Lake retains the grandeur of its Victorian glory days, with homes hidden behind sculptured hedges and a sophisticated little downtown boasting bottle shops, boutiques, and a surf shop tucked into the mix. Even the boardwalk retains a genteel air, with a graceful pavilion and gently swaying sea grass, and views of the magnificent landmark St.

Catherine's Church, which sits on the town's namesake lake. Cool Event: Art in the Park June 10 this year showcases the work of local makers.

New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway

Beach Bite: Get a scoop of Jersey Monkey banana ice cream with peanut butter swirl and chocolate chips at Hoffman's Ice Cream and Yogurt , tucked into a century-old building. Stay The Night: Just three blocks from the ocean and set along Spring Lake, the Hewitt Wellington is a Victorian-era boutique hotel with a broad, inviting porch. Your brood will never grow bored in this Jersey Shore town, which packs plenty of activity into its three miles.

Foster your budding naturalists with a birding expedition along the trails at the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary. Craving an even greater adventure? Head to Island Water Sports for a fishing excursion, or to give the "water trampoline" a try. Local Hangout: After the beach, catch a movie at the newly renovated Harbor Square Theatre , which has its own burger bar and adult beverages. Stay the Night: Perfectly situated down-town, The Reeds at Shelter Haven offers playtime fun from pedal boats to paddleboards.

By Galina Espinoza May 22, Pin ellipsis More. Photo: Gately Williams. Home to America's first seaside resort, this storied shoreline is also home to stunning beaches, historic enclaves, and old-fashioned fun.

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