By Carissa Hickok
The New Jersey Coast, more commonly known as the Jersey Shore, has no shortage of popular summer destinations and beaches. The Jersey Shore stretches about 130 miles from Cape May in the south to Perth Amboy in the north. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy destroyed or severely altered much of the Jersey Shore. But gradually, the Jersey Shore has rebuilt.
Boasting pristine beaches, a promenade, and a rich history, Cape May is a National Historic Landmark and the jewel of the Jersey Shore. Cape May is one of the best beaches in the United States, though it is actually made up of many beaches, and is incredibly family friendly. Aside from the beaches, Cape May offers airplane tours, boating, biking, cruises, fishing, ghost tours, golfing, museums, water sports, skydiving, and water parks. In addition, specific child-friendly places include the Art Block, the zoo, the Nature Center, and the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum.
Not to be confused with Ocean City, MD, Ocean City, NJ is located in Cape May County in south Jersey. It has a boardwalk and miles of beach watched over by lifeguards. Ocean City promotes a family friendly atmosphere as it prohibits the sale of alcohol within its limits.
Asbury Park is the place to be if you want to catch Bruce Springsteen in performance. He still makes sporadic appearances at the Stone Pony bar. Asbury Park has become a hot LGBT destination. Aside from the beach and the boardwalk, check out the Asbury Splash Park or the Asbury Eighteen for a round of mini golf.
Sandy Hook is a peninsula with seven miles of beautiful ocean and bay beaches. Two notable beaches are North Beach and Gunnison Beach, where clothing is optional. Sandy Hook fills up early on weekends as it is a favorite of New Yorkers who enjoy a short ferry ride to Sandy Hook. Sandy Hook is not just a popular vacation spot, it was a former military installation, which would explain the number of military related historical sites found in the area including four ammunition bunkers, two guns stations, and one Nike Missile Base. Camping is available in Sandy Hook. If you visit Sand Hook, it is recommended that you stay in Highlands with its abundance of seafood and activities. The Twin Lighthouses in Highlands were the first twin lighthouses ever built.
Bordered by Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers and the Atlantic Ocean, Sea Bright hosts a number of restaurants, bars, and small boutiques. Sea Bright has seven free public beach access routes on Ocean Avenue. The Municipal Beach is the center of town, conveniently located just a short walk restaurants and shops. Though free beach parking is a thing of the past, the fees are still rather reasonable. Sea Bright is known for its members only beach clubs and waterfront restaurants. Depending on what you are in the mood for, Sea Bright has a variety of cuisine options – Wood’s Ocean Grille (Mexican inspired seafood), Angelica’s Restaurant (southern Italian), Ama (Italian), Alice’s Kitchen (Irish), Yumi (Japanese) – among other options. Wherever you go, you should definitely give the seafood a shot.
Visit New Jersey for a beautiful state filled with plenty to do!
Carissa enjoys traveling so much that she left the corporate world to work as a freelancer, which allows her to up and go on a regular basis. She lives with her dachshund, Daphne in central Florida.