New Jersey is a small state that is packed with culture. Many people think of New Jersey as the opening credits from the Sopranos, with endless traffic-filled highways that lead from factory to factory. If you travel a few miles south of the Newark Airport, you will find NJ is quite a beautiful place. Every square mile can be a mix of all different types of scenery. There are mountains, lakes, farms, gardens (the Garden State), and woods. New York City to the north, Philly to the south, but it’s what is to the east that makes New Jersey a cut-above.
New Jersey has “the beach” aka “The Jersey Shore”. Looking out on the Atlantic Ocean are large well-kept beaches. It is often incredible to people not from the area, the first time they see snow pile up on the beach in the winter. In the summer, the Jersey Shore awakens and becomes the leisure destination-of-choice for all the surrounding areas. The mellow climate also makes it a destination spot for people living closer to the equator to visit during the summer.
We will now break down the high points in Monmouth County, New Jersey, aka “the best county in New Jersey”:
Rumson: Yes my Colts Neck friends may get upset at this first one, but Rumson is a town like no other. The houses are enormous and amazingly beautiful. Rumson is located in between Red Bank and Sea Bright beach. Inter-coastal waterways run up to some of the backyards in Rumson, and if you are ever lucky enough to be hanging out at one of these houses, take a mental picture. Sea Bright is an exceptionally peaceful beach. On clear nights you can see New York City from Sea Bright. There is even a ferry that takes you into the city. This area is one of my personal favorite places in New Jersey.
(Sea Bright Beach)
Asbury Park: Heading south along the ocean, you will eventually end up in Asbury Park. AP has always been an interesting place. Many of the songs by Bruce Springsteen are about Asbury Park. It was the first major stop of the classic Jersey Shore Boardwalks. There was a casino and endless attractions for families and young people. Asbury Park had an economic downturn which lead the town to collapse. Throughout most of my childhood, Asbury was known as a “bad area,” and you never went there, unless you were trying to by some crack or heroin. Over that last 15 years it has come back in a big way. There are countless bars, restaurants and clubs for all types of preferences. Establishments like The Stone Pony, a great small-venue live-music club and The Wonder Bar have persevered through the years and have helped Asbury Park maintain its authenticity.
(Stone Pony - Summer Stage Asbury Park, NJ)