One of the biggest perks I share with my clients about relocating to the Philadelphia area and the surrounding suburbs is the close proximity to beautiful beaches and shore towns. Within about an hour or so you can take a quick trip to local beaches up and down the coast of New Jersey with little to no added stress. Each shore town has a fantastic local history, unique flair, and fun activities for the whole family. Even though summer is winding down, there is still plenty to do and see at our lovely shore towns. Starting in the northern part of the state with Asbury Park and working your way down to the tip of NJ in Cape May for a gorgeous sunset, I promise you will have the most amazing experience. Keep reading for my carefully curated list of your must see Jersey Shore towns on your last minute beach trip, and let me know if there are any beach towns you think should be added to my list.
The first stop on your last minute beach adventure will be beautiful , which is known for its ties to music legends, venues, and amazing entertainment. Arriving at the eclectic beach town, you will want to spend some time exploring the great boutiques and well known music stores like or , a fantastic record store. Next up you will want to stop by or for a tasty brunch before checking out iconic music venues like or to see where some great shows have been performed. On your way out, spend some time enjoying the beautiful Victorian homes and vibrant decor that this quirky little beach town is famous for.
Just a quick fifteen-minute drive down Memorial Dr. to NJ-35 S will take you to the quaint beach town of , which visitors would say takes you back to a time of grace and elegance in beach living. The gorgeous beach town, which is known for having the longest non-commercial boardwalk in the state of New Jersey, is the perfect place to take a walk, enjoy some lunch, or play in the sand. With its nickname for the lush manicured lawns, Spring Lake is home to historic Victorian homes and a small-town charm. Consider stopping by or for a relaxing lunch with beautiful ocean views.
Hop back in the car and head onto the Garden State Parkway to travel to and spend the rest of your afternoon soaking in the sun on the amazing beaches. Park in the spacious parking lot or on the street at 28th Street beach to enter on a quieter side of the boardwalk. From there you can enjoy rides and games at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, shopping at local favorites like 7th Street Surf Shop, Ocean Treasures, and Barefoot Trading Co. 1995, and grab a slice of pizza for a late afternoon snack at . Then, No OCNJ trip is complete without a stop at serving the BEST scones, la Colombe coffee, and amazing fresh salads, and more.
After you have enjoyed a great afternoon on the Ocean City beach and boardwalk, a wonderful next stop is Sea Isle City to spend time at The Ocean Drive’s legendary “no shower happy hour.” If you can secure yourself a comfortable seat within the Sandbar section of the OD, you can enjoy great live music throughout the evening, grab a vodka lemonade (if you’re of age), and share an appetizer with your friends or family. When you’ve finished relaxing, you can walk around the local boutiques that line Landis Ave and even grab a scoop of handmade ice cream at Marita’s Homemade Ice Cream, which serves dozens of specialty flavors.
If you’re still awake and ready for one last adventure, Cape May’s famous Sunset Beach is only about 35 minutes away. This well-known beach is one of the most beautiful places to watch the sunset in the state of New Jersey, and visitors love to take photos of the sunken SS Atlantus (aka the concrete ship), which famously sank off the coast of Sunset Beach in 1926. You may also want to visit Exit Zero serving comfort foods, local craft beer, and cocktails. Finally, if you want to turn your trip into an overnight adventure, one of the picturesque bed and breakfasts on the island will be perfect for you and your family. Consider checking into The Harrison, a Victorian dream with charming amenities, or The Queen Victoria, with cozy gas fireplaces for you to relax by at the end of your fun day.
After your whirlwind adventure, if you are heading back to Philly from the southern shore points, consider taking route 40 and stopping in at for lunch and goodies to bring home. Kids don't eat oysters? Not to worry there is a great ice cream stand right next store called The Purple Penguin.
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