Jersey Shore An-ti-ci-pa-tion

Treat your winter-weary self to some seaside anticipation. There’s still time to plan your week or two at the Jersey Shore. And while you’re at it, why not take a quick trip down the Shore just for fun? Scope out vacation rentals and accommodations, try out new restaurants or bring along your four-legged buddy for a romp on the beach. Here are a few ideas to help you spring forward into summer at the Shore.
 
Swap Your Beach
With 130 miles of Atlantic coastline and over 60 designated beaches, New Jersey offers so many variations for Shore getaways—whether you’re feeling nostalgic for the beach of your childhood or want to try something new. If you like the peace and quiet of Avon-by-the-Sea, try Lavallette or Sea Girt. Already a fan of surfing on LBI? Check out Manasquan. Prefer a more natural beach setting like Barnegat Light? You’ll like Stone Harbor, too. Got to have a boardwalk? Ocean City and Wildwood could be your new go-to spots. Anglers who like Belmar and Brigantine will understand the allure of Island Beach State Park. And if you’re keen on Cape May’s dining, check out Asbury Park.
 
New for ‘19
Every summer at the Shore brings great traditions, novel experiences and new rides. Casino Pier in Seaside Heights is on track with the return of the indoor scrambler Centrifuge and the arrival of Mermaid Parade, Elephant Express and Crazy Cars. Over at Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, fun-seekers will be shouting “Watch the runaway tram car, please!” as they take off on this new family-friendly coaster. Steel Pier’s Demo Derby is coming soon to the Atlantic City boardwalk. (Be sure you add a ride on Steel Pier’s 227-foot-tall Wheel to your 2019 summer list.) And it’s not new, but Jenkinson’s Boardwalk 2-for-1 Easter Sale is back April 19-21 for families looking to double their summer fun at Point Pleasant Beach.
 
Sync Your Calendar
Don’t suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) this summer. Add the Shore’s top events to your calendar now. The Wildwood Beer Festival is on tap for June 8. Margate’s Beachstock, the planet’s biggest beach party, makes a comeback June 29. Fans of fireworks won’t want to miss New Jersey’s longest, largest 4th of July display at Oceanfest in Long Branch, now in its 29th year. Belmar’s beloved Sandcastle Contest returns July 17. Dig in to the 25th Annual Clam Festival August 1-4 in Highlands. And see who’s performing this summer on Asbury Park’s Stone Pony Outdoor Stage or the Ocean City Music Pier.
 
Menu Previews
Ready for a taste of what’s new for the Jersey Shore’s dining scene? If you heard that the WindMill closed in Long Branch last year, you'll be glad to know that this Jersey Shore institution has reopened in a new location. Cheese fries for everyone! Eager to try something new? Restaurateur/musician Tim McLoone is adding another restaurant to his popular offerings. The seafood-forward Iron Whale is set to open at the redesigned Fifth Avenue Pavilion on the Asbury Park Boardwalk in April. In Sea Bright, celebrity chef David Burke has transformed the former Ama Ristorante into Drifthouse, a hip-casual oceanfront bar and grill offering “Maple Bacon on a Clothesline” and a daily Angry Hour. And raising the spirits of Wildwood vacationers is MudHen Brewing Co., featuring outdoor dining, live music, craft beer, the Jersey Man burger (topped with Taylor Pork Roll, of course) and more in a former Harley-Davidson dealership.
 
Spring for more Jersey Shore getaway ideas 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.