My favorite town in New Jersey is….. RED BANK!

Red Bank, NJ is one of the most unique and hip towns on the Shore. Its rests on the Navesink River next to Middletown, Lincroft, and Rumson- three middle/upper class towns in Central Jersey. NJ Transit has a train station that brings you to any town on the Shore from Bay Head to NYC too!

Red Bank is known for its fine dining, luxury boutiques, eclectic crowd, nightlife, Count Basie Theater, and Jay & Silent Bob! Because I live a mere 10 minutes down the road from Red Bank, I spend at least one day a week just walking around, shopping, or eating. It is very up-and-coming, with a large young adult crowd. Its not uncommon to see Mr.  Springsteen grabbing a smoothie from Smoothie King, your fellow high school friends hanging out at Riverside or Marine Park, or socialities having dinner on Broad Street.

My favorite SPOTS & EVENTS in Red Bank:

  • Sugar Rush (an AWESOME cupcake place)
  • The 3rd of July Fireworks (although cancelled two years ago due to funding, I spent every year f my childhood attending the spectacular show)
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Lighthouse Italian Ice
  • the Galleria
  • Brothers Pizzeria & Ristorante
  • Broadway Diner
  • Weekly farmer’s markets
  • Dor La Dor
  • The Melting Pot
  • Bueno Sera
  • Jack’s Music Shop
  • Gaetano’s

Christmastime in Red Bank is beautiful- the city is covered with wreaths, garland, lights, and snow. every Christmas Eve, my dad and I go into Red Bank to do last minute Christmas shopping and get lunch together. The marina in Red Bank is SO beautiful as well. The sunset is always gorgeous and you have an awesome view of the houses directly along the other side of the river. I have so many fond memories of Red Bank that I want EVERYONE to experience!

 

While in Red Bank, you’ll most likely find yourself going out to dinner. Some places are BYOB, so you want to make sure your wine gets there safely and intact. Check out this fashionable wine carrier by AmeriLeather

This fashionable wine carrier keeps your wine cool, insulated, and protected. Small enough to not get in the way, but large enough to hold your favorite bottles of wine. Comes in black as well! BUY IT HERE!

Learn more about RED BANK:

http://acoollittletown.com/

http://www.redbank.com/

http://www.redbanknj.org/

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Cape May

Cape May is the southern most beach on the Jersey Shore, but also one of the best. It is very unique in a sense that it is both very historical and very commercial. It is considered a National Historic Landmark due to its plethora of Victorian-style houses, as well as it’s involvement during World War II.

Cape May is primarily run by the coastguard, however the tourism is the main source of income for the town. Check out Highbee Beach & Poverty beach (voted 2nd best beach in the US in 2011), as well as the various museums, shopping centers, and aquatic activities that the Cape has to offer.

Places to visit & Things to do:

  • Washington Street Mall
  • Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery
  • The Original Fudge Kitchen
  • Turdo Vineyards
  • Natali Vineyards
  • Cape May Winery
  • Cape May Jazz festival
  • Cape May Lighthouse

It is specifically recommended that the best form of tranpsortation around Cape May is walking, so get yourself a comfy pair of sandals! Check out these sandals by Reef:

This men’s sandal by Reef is sturdy, comfortable, and as supportive as a sandal can get! Perfect for the beach, the pool, walking around the town, or hanging out. Comes in various colors- GET IT HERE! Get the female version HERE!

Learn more about Cape May here:

http://www.capemay.com/index.php

http://www.capemaycity.org/

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g46341-Cape_May_New_Jersey-Vacations.html

 

Wildwoods

The Wildwoods are divided into five different beaches: Wildwood, North Wildwood, West Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, and Diamond Beach. Majority of the excitement takes place on the boardwalk, however there are different parts with different attractions such as nature sites, golf courses, amusement rides, the Convention Center, and much more!

Wildwood is considered a family resort ton, however there are still attractions for adults such as clubs, pubs, and sports bars. It is often used as a prom weekend or senior week getaway for teens, but people of all ages are welcome. It is common to stay at a hotel or motel while visiting Wildwood, but there are many people who live there for the summer or year round! When I visited Wildwood two summers ago, my friends and I stayed at a 50s-themed motel. It had a very psychedelic ambiance and made the trip that much more fun!

Morey’s Piers are prime amusement locations for people of all ages. On one of the piers, there is a waterpark as well as rides, while the other is filled with thrilling rides and one of the largest Ferris Wheel’s in NJ! The boardwalk is filled with games, shopping, restaurants of every kind, glow-in-the-dark mini golf, and a tram care that rides directly in the center of the boardwalk that brings you to anywhere you would like! You will commonly hear an automated female voice repeating, “WATCH THE TRAMCAR PLEASE,” and although it can be a nuisance, it is very convenient. And lets not forget about the beach! The water is a far walk from the boardwalk due to the makeup of the beach, but it gives everyone more room to spread out and have a secluded beach day if they chose. There are various annual events that have been held in Wildwood for decades such as monster truck rallies, the Fireman’s fair, and more.

Hot spots in Wildwood:

  • Stewart’s
  • Cattle & Clover’s Irish Steakhouse
  • Doo Wop Diner
  • Hershey’s Ice Cream Shop
  • Mack’s Pizza
  • Gilligan’s Island Mini Golf

Because the trek from the hotel to the beach is so long, you’re going to want a cooler that is light weight and efficient.

This cooler by Coleman is the epitome of efficient. It’s wheels and retractable handle make it easy to move and compact. The soft outside is both fashionable and easy to pack up, and the inside has removable liners for cleaning purposes. What more could you want? GRAB IT HERE!

Want to learn more about all that the Wildwoods have to offer?

http://wildwoodnj.org/wp/

http://www.wildwoodsnj.com/

Avalon & Stone Harbor

Dubbed “7 Mile Beach”, Avalon and Stone Harbor have a LOT to offer in a small amount of space. Similar to LBI and Ocean City, Avalon and Stone Harbor are for Pennsylvania and NJ families who want to spend their summers down the Shore. Most people rent or own houses.However, there are many resorts and motels in close proximity to the beach that make your vacation as relaxing and carefree as possible- no worrying about cooking, shopping, or cleaning!

Some favorite local spots:

  • Global Pursuit
  • Brian’s Waffle House
  • Circle Pizza
  • Windrift
  • Princeton
  • Shore Break
  • Cafe Loren
  • Sea Grill
  • White Brier
  • Avalon Freeze

Looking for a little adventure? Check out the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor. Explore Cape May County through the aquarium and marsh walks. Also make sure to check out Historic Cold Springs Village, Cape May County Park & Zoo, Avalon Golf Club, and the abundant locations for water sports!

Because majority of the activities on the island have to do with water, make sure your electronics are protected! Pick up a Universal Waterproof Case by FRIEQ.

This Universal Waterproof case is perfect for any of your electronics. It has a strap so you can hang on tight to it, and it’s clear so you can still see your electronic’s screen! BUY IT HERE!

 

Want to learn more about Avalon and Stone Harbor?

http://www.visitavalonnj.com/vacation-guide

http://avalonboro.net/

http://stoneharborbeach.com/public/

Ocean City

Ocean City, NJ (not to be confused with Ocean City, MD) is one of New Jersey’s many family-oriented beach towns. However, this one is more popular among the Pennsylvania crowd. It has been dubbed “America’s Greatest Family Resort” by some and believed by all who go there!

If you’re looking for some genuine, quality family fun, check out any of the sites on the boardwalk. Like most Shore towns, the boardwalk is the center for all activity. You can ride the rides on Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, go to Playland’s Castaway Cove, or get spooked at the Zombie House. The amount of things for families to do are endless!

Some of the local’s favorite restaurants:

  • Manco and Manco Pizza
  • Kohr’s
  • Johnson’s Popcorn
  • Shriver’s Salt Water Taffy

Ocean City is very similar to LBI in a sense that most of the families either rent or own houses in OC for the summer or year-round. I recommend spending at least a week down there if possible to experience everything that OC has to offer (besides the beautiful beach of course).

If you have an older group of kids, or want a little more adventure in your life, there are still things to do! Go shopping at the Surf Mall or Asbury Avenue, rent jetskis on Bay Avenue, get lessons and go sailing at the Yacht Club, or hit up one of the many golf course, parks, playgrounds, and mini-golf attractions that OC has to offer.

When people rent houses in places like Ocean City, it is pertinent that you have a surplus of beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, etc. Why not save some space and get a combination beach chair and umbrella? Check out this product by Sport-Brella.

This lounge chair offers sun protection and comfort while relaxing on the beach. It’s lightweight, easy to carry, and includes a cup holder! You can’t find a better deal anywhere else so get it HERE!

Learn more about Ocean City, NJ here:

http://www.ocnj.us/

http://www.oceancityvacation.com/

Atlantic City

Majority of the places on the Jersey Shore are vacation spots for families, however Atlantic City is the perfect place for adults. You can still bring the family, however the crowd is mostly 21+.

Atlantic City is known for its casinos, beaches, shopping, and boardwalk. It is known as the “Gambling Capital of the East Coast,” due to it being home to twelve major casinos. Fun fact: Atlantic City is used as the setting for the popular board game Monopoly! It is where the Miss America Pageant is held every year, and it is directly across from the southern-most point of LBI and is always lit up like a Christmas tree. Atlantic City is known worldwide for always being open and operating. It shocked the world when Governor Chris Christie CLOSED Atlantic City during Hurricane Sandy- but it was for good reason!

Some hot spots in AC:

  • The Boardwalk (It was the first boardwalk to open in the United States!)
  • One of the four piers
  • Atlantic City Convention Center
  • Lucy the Elephant
  • Absecon Light
  • Trump Taj Mahal
  • Caesers
  • Harrahs
  • Revel
  • The Tropicana
  • The Borgata

Since the main activity in Atlantic City is gambling, I think everyone should check out this book before going there:

This book is a basic guide for all first-time gamblers, gamblers who want to strengthen their game, or those who have nothing else to read. Check it out here!

Atlantic City is the perfect place for a weekend getaway with a group of friends, a significant other, or any type of party! Although there are some family attractions, the demographic is mainly 21+ in this eclectic resort town.

Learn more about Atlantic City HERE:

http://www.atlanticcitynj.com/

http://www.visitnj.org/atlantic-city

http://www.cityofatlanticcity.org/

Long Beach Island

Long Beach Island is one of the most popular beach cities on the Jersey Shore. It is a common summer vacation spot for people who live in NJ and PA

North LBI contains the beach towns of Brant Beach, Loveladies, North Beach, Holgate and Harvey Cedar. The South part of the island has the beach towns of Surf City, Ship Bottom and Beach Haven. Beach Haven is the prime spot for activity.

LBI is the most family-oriented beach on the Shore. It is common that the majority of your friends either rent a house or own a house on LBI for the summer months. The amount of shopping and restaurants makes it a popular tourist attraction, however I believe it is one of the best kept secrets by the locals.

The Chicken or the Egg (dubbed “Chegg”) is the most popular restaurant on LBI. It is open 24/7 and the food is DELICIOUS! It is one of LBI’s many favorite local spots

Some Popular “Tourist” Spots:

  • Victorian Fantasy Island Amusement Park
  •  Settler’s Mill Adventure Golf
  • Surflight Theater
  • Thundering Surf Water Park & Golf
  • Schooner’s Wharf
  • Ron Jon Surf Shop
  • Barnaget Inlet & Lighthouse
  • ANY of the fudge shops (LBI fudge is DELICIOUS)

 

With so many people spending their summers at LBI, the citizens are very conscious of taking care of the island and themselves. It is common to see people walking, running, or biking at all hours of the day. I spent a week down in LBI with my friends’ family this past summer and every morning we went for a 6+ mile bike ride. This bike is what brought us throughout the island.

This bicycle by Huffy will be your primary source of transportation on LBI. Beach cruisers are all over the island and if you don’t have at least two in the house, you’re either walking or running everywhere. Buy it here!

 

Long Beach Island is a composite of beautiful beach towns all tied by family values and simple fun. You walk a block to the beach from your house, spend the day there, go back to the house for dinner and then walk to the nearby ice cream or fudge shop for dessert. People know each other by what street they live on and the sense of community is overwhelming. If you are spending time here during the summer, I recommend at least a week. Even then you won’t get to see all the island has to offer!

 

Want to learn more about LBI?

http://www.visitnj.org/long-beach-island

http://www.longbeachisland.com/

http://www.longbeachtownship.com/