When planning my trip to New York I intended to do things that I had not done of my previous visits. One of them was to go out of town for the weekend to visit a beach resort. Of course the Hamptons would have been my ideal destination but to be honest it just wasn’t within my budget to do so.
Upon more research I found that the Jersey Shore has several resorts dotted along the coast line. With Manhattan getting so hot during the Summer it makes perfect sense to get out of the city and visit the beach for the weekend. At random we decided to visit Asbury Park which is a beach resort on the Jersey Shore. I didn’t really know what to expect from it as I couldn’t find out too much information about it online. With visiting during the Independence Day weekend though I expected it to be busier than normal and some parties and events going on.
We traveled by train from Penn Station to Asbury Park. Considering it was only 30 miles away the train took an hour and a half. It went slow! The train station is only a short cab ride to the main area of the city. Asbury Park has a strong link with music with many famous musicians playing the infamous The Stone Pony music venue over the years. Most famously Asbury Park was included in the title of Bruce Springteen’s debut album. Asbury Park also has a vibrant Gay community and has the only sole gay hotel in the state, The Empress Hotel.
What makes Asbury Park a great place for the weekend is that it has a little bit of everything. Beach, nostalgia, vibrant nightlife and many great places to eat. Along the boardwalk has many independent shops and eating places you can happily browse. Not to mention the Arcade Hall which has a vast array of Vintage Pinball Machines to play on. The Wonder Bar on the boardwalk has a lovely outdoor bar with a Yappy Hour especially for dogs! Also a great excuse just to go and fawn over the cute dogs.
If you walk a little further away from the Beach you can find some great places to eat. For Brunch we tried Cardinal Provisions as well as Toast Both of which I would recommend booking in advance as there was around an hours wait for a table at the weekend. In the same area there are many independent stores which stock locally produced product. I spent most time in the antique stores where there were many quirky items for reasonable prices. If you have the time I would definitely recommend taking a break from the city and heading to the Jersey Shore to get a different feel from urban life within Manhattan.