I think I speak for most New Jerseyans when I say that summer is our favorite time of the year. Whether you’re a benny or someone who mocks bennies, everyone loves the good ol’ Jersey shore. From Sandy Hook down to Cape May, everyone has a favorite spot within the eastern coastline. I will admit I have gotten into fights with people on why Long Beach Island is the best beach, but that’s beside the point. But if you’re willing to expand your horizons to see what else other Jersey beaches have to offer, here’s your ultimate guide to the Jersey Shore.
Long Branch’s Pier Village
Long Branch is the go-to place for easy one-day beach trips. Along with having the only beachfront parking in town, Pier Village is a well-known hotspot along the Jersey Shore. Filled with restaurants like Stewarts and even upper-scale dining like Mcloone’s, Pier Village has a menu for every taste palate. Though a heavy favorite among these beach front shops are the clothing boutiques. It’s very hard for me to go to Pier Village and not stop in at Jenna and Molly or Nirvana. This is the perfect spot for anyone who is looking for something other than lounging on the sand.
Ahhh land of the infamous “Jersey guidos.” MTV’s “Jersey Shore” may have put this location on the map, but the reputation they gave it doesn’t do it justice. For anyone who is a huge kid at heart like myself, the Seaside boardwalk is a dream come true. From go-karts to a Kohr’s ice cream stands every 100 yards, you really can’t go wrong by coming here. After superstorm Sandy, the boardwalk was essentially non-existent, but within the past couple of years, it has developed into a great hangout spot along the coast. And who knows, you may even see Snooki.
Where to get your next bite
Surf taco: This is a common favorite among the average benny and most South Jerseyans. Located up and down the coast, you’re bound to drive past one on the way to the beach. If you like Chipotle and seafood, Surf Taco is the perfect combination. And the best part is, chips are included in the meal.
Big Dipper: No, not the constellation. Located in Surf City, LBI, this is by far the best ice cream shop. It is one of the Jersey Shore’s most hidden treasures. A size small here is a large size elsewhere, so make sure you come here on an empty stomach and stretchy pants.
Playa Bowls: If you’re a foodie, like myself, I’m sure you’ve seen the latest smoothie bowl trend blowing up Instagram. Well, if you’re looking to test one of these bad boys, Playa Bowls is the place to go. With locations in Belmar and Manasquan, this is the perfect treat for anyone looking to hop on board the health bowl hype train.
Located on the most southern point on the Jersey Shore, you won’t regret making the trek down here. With Wildwood as it’s neighbor, Cape May offers a much more laidback and quaint setting. From antique hunting to fine restaurants and even a zoo, this seaside gem has everything for everyone. Known for their Bed & Breakfasts and horse-drawn carriages, Cape May is the perfect relaxation getaway.
Food trucks? Lobster rolls? Street Vendors? Yes, yes, and yes! What better way to soak up the sun than taste-testing local clam chowder and browsing through handmaid jewelry? These festivals run throughout the summer and are located up and down the Jersey Shore. Skip the beach and work for a day and c’mon down. Don’t miss out on the first annual Surf and Turf Seafood Fest, located in Monmouth Park Racetrack, on July 16.
What do you like to do at the shore? We’d love to know!