There are many great seashore destinations in New Jersey for spending summer days on the beach or splashing in the surf. Further, if you really need more than those pristine activities, some beach cities offer other diversions. Of course, at the top of many action-seeking visitors’ lists has to be the glitzy resort city with casinos.
1. Atlantic City: This seaside haven for tourists and its famous Boardwalk and Steel Pier amusement park have been favorite summer destinations since 1870. Then, by the early 1970s, Atlantic City was losing its vacationers to other seaside towns and sinking into near oblivion.
However, the legalization of gambling there in 1978 gave it a rebirth that including building of glitzy new high-rise hotels, posh casinos and a new rush of tourism. An old Atlantic City tradition is still rolling on the Boardwalk.
It’s the venerable wicker rolling chairs, and they provide a great way to see all the sights of the city while chewing on the famed Salt Water Taffies. As you go along, you’ll see hotels and restaurants on one side, and the ocean on the other. For information, check with rollingchairs.com.
2. Wildwood: It’s just about 30 miles along the beach south from Atlantic City, but a much smaller, less glitzier town. It has a five-mile boardwalk that features all kinds of amusement rides, quick food stands, restaurants and souvenir shops.
For both adults and families, Wildwood boasts the Ocean Oasis Waterpark (moreyspiers.com). It offers an enormous ferris wheel, boat rides and other thrills intended for kids and people who want to behave like kids.
3. Asbury Park: Is Northern New Jersey’s version of the oceanside vacation town with the typical boardwalk. It looks similar to Atlantic City and Wildwood, but is much smaller and shows its years. It was also founded in the late 19th Century, and for most of the years since, it was a family-oriented summer destination for tourists from Philadelphia and New York.
Today Asbury Park attracts many young people because of its eclectic nightlife. A famed bar, The Stone Pony, still offers current rock music that began in the 1960s, when Bruce Sprinsteen emerged with his E Street Bank and went on to national fame. Nearby is Asbury Lanes, an old bowling alley that features live music, dancers and, still functioning, its bowling alleys.
There are many other tourist towns along the 127-mile New Jersey shorelines on the Atlantic Ocean. The places to choose for visits this summer depends on whether you like gambling, bright lights and glitz, or a quiet, uncrowded stretch of sand where you can enjoy the sun and surf with your family, alone or with that certain special someone.