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Day Trip: Red Bank

Plentiful antiquing, high-end shopping, a smorgasbord of fine food, and cultural events await in this jewel of a town in Monmouth County.

Posted October 20, 2009 by Linda Longo

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Red Bank
Courtesy of wikipedia.org.

Thrill of the Hunt: Situated along Front Street, the Antique Center of Red Bank (226 W. Front Street, 732-842-4336) encompasses two buildings and 100-plus dealers offering vintage glassware, china, furniture, silver, pottery, jewelry, and collectibles. Here, you’ll also find specialized services such as vintage toy repair, furniture refinishing, caning and wicker repair, clock and jewelry repair, and antique textiles. There are also approximately a half-dozen individual antiques galleries sprinkled throughout the historic district.

Alluring Couture: If unique chic clothing and luxury goods are your Holy Grail, there are plenty of options all within walking distance of each other on Broad Street. Fashionistas will gravitate to Coco Pari (17 Broad Street, 732-212-8111), where handbags, footwear, and clothing from haute designers such as Alexander McQueen, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Versace, Hervé Léger, Vivienne Westwood, and Dolce & Gabbana, and many more are showcased on three floors spanning a total of 10,000 square feet. Visit Hamilton Jewelers (19 Broad Street, 732-741-9600) for top names in jewelry, watches, and accessories such as Baccarat, Cartier, Fabergé, Mikimoto, SteubenGlass, Tag Heuer, Hermés, Bulgari, and Lalique. Tony tots will achieve fashion nirvana at Lavish Kids (15 Broad Street, 732-212-8490), where labels such as Versace Young, Juicy Couture, Sonia Rykiel, Diesel, Burberry, and Dolce & Gabbana are sold. Red Bank even has its own upscale department store–Garmany (121 Broad Street, 732-576-8500)–where labels for women include Stella McCartney, Escada, Marc Jacobs, Prada, and Robert Cavalli, plus styles from Paul Smith, Armani, Ferretti, Briony, and Hugo Boss for men. On Friday and Saturday nights, the area takes on a South Beach club-like vibe with high-energy music playing and a party atmosphere that continues into the night.

Novel and Niche: In the market for a bed? Red Bank is one of only three locations in the state where one can visit a Duxiana store (37 Broad Street, 732-450-9011) and try out the premium Dux bed. For a trip down memory lane, no visit is complete without a stop at the Funk & Standard Variety Store (40 Broad Street, 732-219-5885) to rediscover those long-forgotten gag gifts, games, and toys, from childhood (no matter what your age). Dog lovers will give two paws up to the Dog Spaw at Paw Palace (16 Monmouth Street, 732-747-9744), featuring upscale dog duds, collars, beds, bowls, spa products, treats, toys, and a sizable bakery.

Multicultural Cuisine: Foodies hankering diverse choices should have Red Bank on their radar. Authentic German, Mexican, Italian, French, Thai, and Asian fusion eateries abound. Among the more unusual standouts are Melting Pot fondue restaurant (2 Bridge Avenue, 732-219-0090), Ashes Cigar Club Steakhouse (33 Broad Street, 732-219-0710), and the historic Dublin House Irish Pub (30 Monmouth Street, 732-747-6699).

Music and Theater: You’ll find highly touted dramatic, comedic, and experimental performances at Two River Theater (732-345-1400, trtc.org) under the direction of artistic director Aaron Posner. At the newly renovated Count Basie Theatre (732-842-9000, countbasietheatre.org) recent attractions have ranged from political comedian Stephen Colbert to singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Seasonal Sensations: If you are visiting Red Bank in November and December, get into the holiday spirit while browsing downtown as carolers, choirs, bands, and musicians perform festive tunes throughout the main business district from noon to 3 pm every Saturday through December 19. Then complete the Currier and Ives experience with a free horse-and-carriage ride on Saturday afternoons from 1 to 5 pm starting on November 28. The rides leave from Bridge Avenue (across from the Galleria) and in front of the Murphy Style Grill on Broad Street.

Getting There: Red Bank is easily accessible by car (Exit 109 on the Garden State Parkway), train (NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line to Red Bank station), and bus (NJ Transit.com). Parking is free on Saturdays and after 6 pm on weekdays.

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