Asbury Park, a Shore Town For All Seasons

With its ocean-view rooftop bars, revitalized boardwalk and The Stone Pony outdoor stage, Asbury Park is a popular summer hot spot. But this eclectic Shore town offers plenty of fun and flavor throughout the year. Explore Asbury Park’s “all season” attractions, nightlife, dining and shopping—and make your plans to visit soon.

Music Mecca
Whether your jam is indie, R&B or folk-rock, Asbury Park is always riffing with live music. Start with The Stone Pony, the legendary music club that launched Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, where you can hear The Nerds, America’s party band, on November 24. Over at the Paramount Theatre, located in a restored 1920s boardwalk landmark, you can catch Elvis Costello & the Imposters on November 6. And at the Wonder Bar, known for its dog-friendly “yappy hour,” Scott Sharrard, considered one of the country’s best guitarists, will be on stage November 30. For more intimate music venues, head over to The Saint and House of Independents.
 
Brews & Boos
Fall is prime season for craft beers and creepy fun, and you’ll find both in Asbury Park. Dark City Brewing Company brews beers that are unique and eccentric—just like Asbury Park. It’s also a shrine to Asbury Park’s creative spirit and features a rotating collection of local art. On Sundays, join in “Bottoms Up: Yoga & Beer” for a different kind of pairing. For more “dark” experiences, sidle over to the Paranormal Museum, a small, storefront attraction devoted to unexplained myths, legends and folklore. Or learn about AP’s haunted past on the Ghosts of the Boardwalk Tour—if you dare!
 
Vintage Vibes
Relive your carefree youth at the Silverball Museum Arcade, located on the Asbury Park boardwalk, where you can play classic pinball games and video games from the ‘80s. Fans of all things retro will love the Shoppes at the Arcade. Housed in an old Woolworth store on Cookman Avenue, it’s home to about 20 different vintage stores, with recycled treasures ranging from kitchenware to video games. For vintage threads, browse The Vintage Wave and Sweet Joey’s, both on Bangs Avenue.
 
Eclectic Calendar
Indie bands and classic rockers aren’t the only show in town. Asbury Park’s event calendar always offers up interesting, offbeat events. For something out of this world, see “Neil deGrasse Tyson: The Cosmic Perspective” on December 6 at Convention Hall. And coming up at the Paramount Theatre: Jackson Galaxy from Animal Planet’s hit My Cat From Hell, showcasing his “cat mojo” on November 10, plus “The Hip Hop Nutcracker with Kurtis Blow” on December 13. Yep, Tchaikovsky’s score is matched with NYC-style hip hop dance for a truly unique holiday outing.
 
Bowled Over
On the outside, Asbury Lanes looks much the same, but inside, be prepared to be bowled over! After 50 years of bowling, more than a decade of punk and indie-rock performances and two years of renovation, Asbury Lanes is back. Featuring six bowling alleys with custom equipment from Brunswick, a larger stage with vintage speakers from Nashville and a jaw-dropping art piece (300 fake bowling balls arranged and painted to look like the American Flag), this music venue also features the Diner, with glammed-up grub ranging from Avocado Toast to Pork Roll Waffle Sandwiches.
 
With its cool dining/bar scene and variety of places to stay the night like Hotel Tides Restaurant & Spa and The Empress Hotel, Asbury Park is always in season for a quick escape. Learn more at visitnj.org, where you can also download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.