Romantic Shore: Spring Lake

This picturesque Monmouth County borough takes its name from a spring-fed lake in the heart of town, a few blocks from the beach. Not your typical beach town, Spring Lake is notable for its manicured lawns and stately Victorian homes. It also boasts wide beaches and a two-mile boardwalk. Third Avenue, the borough’s commercial center, buzzes with boutiques, pizza parlors and ice cream joints. It makes for great people watching.

Martin and Yolanda Rinab have been married 22 years and have three daughters. They're New Yorkers, but often visit Jersey friends at the Shore.
Martin and Yolanda Rinab have been married 22 years and have three daughters. They're New Yorkers, but often visit Jersey friends at the Shore.
Photo by Joe Polillio

WHERE TO STAY: There’s no shortage of romantic inns in Spring Lake. For simple luxury and a lake view, choose the Chateau Inn (732-974-2000). Its 36 rooms and one-bedroom suites are newly appointed and elegant. Most have a deck, patio or balcony. The Inn is a short walk from the beach along streets lined with ancient sycamores and gorgeous summer homes. High-season rates range from $229 for a standard room midweek to $369 for a luxury suite on weekends. Watch for specials and last-minute deals.

ROMANTIC EATS: Larimar Restaurant (732-359-6700) is Spring Lake’s finest dining destination. The menu offers modern Italian cuisine with a focus on seasonal ingredients. Don’t overlook Whispers (732-974-9755) for an equally romantic dining experience. The BYO is located in the Hewitt Wellington, a 19th-century lakefront Victorian hotel. For lunch, the Breakers (732-449-7700) is the place to be. Make sure to request a table on the porch overlooking the ocean. It’s one of the great locations on the Jersey Shore. For sweet treats, don’t miss the Third Avenue Chocolate Shoppe (732-449-7535).

WHAT TO DO: Focus on doing nothing! Park yourself on the pristine beach and enjoy the calming surf. The wide beach rarely feels crowded. If you crave activity, there are three great spots for a brisk stroll: the boardwalk, which extends from Sea Girt to Belmar; around the sparkling lake and across its charming bridges; or downtown on Third Avenue for its shops. For a bit of culture, take in a performance at the Spring Lake Theatre Company.

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