What’s New Down the Shore in 2021

Freshly hatched restaurants, events and attractions to discover this summer.

All illustrations by Hillary B. Sorrentino

PIER VILLAGE PUTS RETRO SPIN ON SEASIDE FUN

Take your pick among 42 wooden figurines on the nostalgic Pier Village Carousel (160 Ocean Avenue). Hand-carved animals and sea creatures bedecked with seashells and saddles decorate this colorful, family-friendly addition to the Long Branch boardwalk. The carousel operates in a heated glass enclosure in the winter, but you can ride it in the open air all summer. Rides are $4; students, $2. In season, the carousel operates noon–8 pm, Friday–Sunday.—Olivia Beach 

DAVID BURKE COOKS UP TWO MORE OPENINGS

It’s not really summer at the Shore without a David Burke opening. This summer, the Jersey native and celebrity chef has two new players in the Shore dining game. First, Burke rides into Rumson with Red Horse (26 Ridge Road), which he describes as “a modern steak house with Asian flair.” Red Horse is located in the turreted white Victorian in Rumson that once held his Fromagerie—and it shares some of the same menu items. “We still do clothesline bacon,” he says, “but now we mix hoisin sauce into the glaze and serve it with blini, cucumber and scallion. You eat it like Peking duck. We’ll also do kabobs of octopus and Chinese sausage. The menu is a little more progressive and fancy than some of my other restaurants because the building is just a boutiquey gem of a spot.” Burke’s other new Shore entry—his fifth opening in a year—is perched upstairs from Beach Haus Brewery in Belmar (801 Main Street). Belmar Kitchen by David Burke serves bistro-style fare, including short-rib pizza, spicy oven-roasted prawns, chicken Milanese and pan-seared branzino. It’s fancier than the brewery’s tavern menu—also a Burke creation—but pairs nicely with an extensive list of craft spirits (mainly from New Jersey) and Beach Haus’s own beer selection.—Eric Levin & Maggie Leenas

HAVE A RAIL GOOD TIME

Sit back and pedal your way along the Garrett Family Preserve in Cape May with this new, on-the-tracks attraction. Revolution Rail Co.’s two- or four-seater railbikes allow pedalers to make a 4-mile out-and-back ride in about 90 minutes while enjoying the marshland and native wildflower meadows that flank this stretch of previously abandoned railroad tracks. Keep a keen eye out for local wildlife, including songbirds, raptors and monarch butterflies at the preserve, which is managed by the Nature Conservancy. Rides start at the downtown Welcome Center (609 Lafayette Street) and cost $80 for a double railbike, $140 for a quad.—Shea Swenson

DINING ALFRESCO (AS THE VICTORIANS MIGHT)

Experience dinner outdoors under a striking striped tent and string lights at Vintage, a new eatery on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate—Cape May’s only Victorian house museum (1048 Washington Street). The eclectic American bistro-style BYO—which opened last summer—offers upscale appetizers like crab cakes, as well as slider duos. For mains, you’ll find an assortment of meats and seafood, including sea bass and duck confit. Vintage, open seasonally, serves dinner 5–8 pm Friday–Sunday. Plus, there’s a brunch menu available 10 am–3 pm Saturday and Sunday. Indoor seating is also available. Vintage is a partnership between the nonprofit Cape May MAC and the Kara Restaurant Group, operators of Cape May’s much-loved George’s Place and other eateries. House tours are offered daily (check schedule at capemaymac.org).—Shea Swenson

WILDWOOD GOES BAREFOOT FOR COUNTRY

Carrie Underwood on the beach in Wildwood? It’s happening this summer at the Barefoot Country Music Festival, a three-day extravaganza that promises to be the season’s largest country music event in the Northeast. Among the other big-name performers: the Zac Brown Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dan + Shay and Billy Currington—with more to be announced. Performances will run August 19–22 as the sun sets across multiple stages along the Wildwood beaches adjacent to Morey’s Piers. Three-day passes start at $199 plus fees.—Olivia Beach

Click here to leave a comment
Read more Jersey Living, Jersey Shore articles.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.