“Cause down the Shore everything’s all right.” Those lyrics, from Bruce Springsteen’s classic summertime cover of Tom Waits’s ballad “Jersey Girl,” are spot on. There’s something about the Jersey Shore that just feels so right. There are so many reasons to love the Shore—below are just a few.
A favorite for many families since it is a dry town, it also has a music pier, a great boardwalk with rides for all ages, and Manco & Manco Pizza, which is a favorite among locals.
BARNEGAT LIGHTHOUSE STATE PARK
Situated on the northern tip of Long Beach Island, in another family-oriented town, this is a popular destination for picnicking, fishing and crabbing. The park also has recreation areas with tennis courts, a skate park and a dog park. For a breathtaking view, climb the 217 steps to the top of the lighthouse.
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Known for its Victorian houses, as well as its shops and restaurants, the town is also home to Cape May Stage, an intimate theater that features nationally recognized performers. On the drive down, don’t miss a stop at the Cape May County Zoo.
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THE BAR SCENE
In Belmar alone, we have all partied once or twice at Bar Anticipation—or Bar A, as it is known to anyone with Jersey roots—and D’Jais, one of the Shore’s most talked-about venues since 1959. And let’s not forget the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park and the Irish Pub in Atlantic City.
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Among the best of the countless ice cream and custard options are: Strollo’s Lighthouse in Long Branch, Red Bank and Point Pleasant Beach; Hoffman’s in Point Pleasant; Skipper Dipper in LBI; Kohr Bros. on the boardwalk; and Custard Hut in Somers Point and Upper Township.
Try your hand at some mini golf at Barnacle Bill’s Amusements in Ortley Beach or Harbor Light Golf in Wildwood Crest. Island Golf in Surf City, LBI, is a gem, and Castaway Cove in Point Pleasant offers two state-of-the-art, 18-hole courses.
Debuted by the Showboat resort in Atlantic City in June, this massive beachfront, indoor water park boasts more than a dozen water slides, plus a lazy river, lounge areas, a party room, an adult pool and cabanas.
What New Jerseyan hasn’t enjoyed a concert at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park? And while it’s not at the Shore, it just wouldn’t be summer without a trip to PNC Bank Arts Center (to most of us 40 and over, it will always be the Garden State Arts Center). Year-round, the Count Basie Center for the Arts is simply spectacular.
BEACHES, BOARDWALKS AND PIERS
The Shore means wide, sandy beaches unlike anywhere else in the world. Everyone has their favorite, whether Belmar, Point Pleasant, Sandy Hook, Wildwood, Keansburg—you name it. And those beaches would not be complete without their boards and piers, where we enjoy rides and ocean views.
Instead of 10 reasons to love the Shore, I only included 9. What have I missed? What is the 10th reason you love the Shore? Email me at [email protected].
Steve Adubato, PhD, is the author of five books including his latest, Lessons in Leadership. He is also an Emmy® Award–winning anchor on Thirteen/WNET (PBS) and NJ PBS. Check out steveadubato.org. Steve has appeared on CNN, FOX5 in NY and NBC’s Today Show, and his “Lessons in Leadership” video podcast with co-host Mary Gamba airs Sundays at 10 am on News 12+. Steve also provides executive leadership coaching and seminars for a variety of corporations and organizations both regionally and nationally. For more information, visit stand-deliver.com.
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