I rose out of bed this morning and realized it was going to be one of those perfect beach days. Out went the texts to family and friends, Who wants to go to the beach? Let’s head to the Jersey Shore!
So many beaches; so many options. How is one to choose? Let me help…
Let’s start with Spring Lake, my home base and renowned as one of our most prestigious towns. Tree-lined streets, classic homes with wrap-around porches, a vibrant downtown with upscale as well as cafe restaurants, charming boutique shops, a theater and library, many lovely bed-and-breakfasts, and of course, a pristine beach with a two-mile boardwalk. Spring Lake has so many historic homes they make events every year: House Tour, Kitchen Tour, Garden Tour.
Sea Girt, a charming community by the Sea is just south of Spring Lake and is a square mile of absolute charm. It boasts beautiful homes, manicured lawns, a small downtown, the infamous Parker House Restaurant, two B&Bs, a handful of restaurants, and a pristine beach and boardwalk. Sea Girt prides itself on the ambiance you see as you drive in, the family makeup of its residents, and the quiet atmosphere.
Changing courses, we head just north of Spring Lake to Belmar. Here is where the families and young adults come to life. There are plenty of activities going on at the beaches, a number of restaurants along Ocean Avenue, and a downtown filled with restaurants, breakfast options and boutiques. An active marina with inlet access to the ocean and bars for enjoying the beautiful sunsets can also be found. Want a place for the kids too? This is it!
Shifting gears once again, we drive into Bradley Beach. Bradley is a very popular town for families. It’s a little quieter than Belmar with some of the charm of Spring Lake, and downtown also offers quite a few dining options. A testament to its appeal is that houses sell in just days after hitting the market. The boardwalk even has a mini-golf and evening movies.
A final tour takes you to two of our most eclectic towns, Ocean Grove and Asbury Park. Ocean Grove was developed many years ago as a religious retreat. The Great Auditorium not only features religious programs, but also popular concerts and speakers. It is something to experience. The community is filled with Victorian-style homes in colors of pink, purple, green, and blue. The main street is tree-lined and filled with shops and restaurants. Events go on all year long. Of course, there is a beach too! Asbury Park has become a dining destination; I could give you a list of my favorites. Not only do they line Cookman Avenue, but a few are right on the boardwalk. The new Asbury Hotel Oceanside has a rooftop bar. Like Springstein? Well, he often drops in to The Stone Pony to play!
As you can see, each town has a charm of its own, and I only touched on a few. There are many towns north and south of us worth experiencing. Consider putting a trip to the beautiful Jersey Shore on your bucket list––you will not be disappointed!