Published August 11, 2012
Tourists have been visiting the Jersey Shore ever since explorer Henry Hudson was one of the first visitors to the area. If you're planning on visiting the area, having a good time is a sure thing. Here is a guide to the most popular destinations where you can kick back, relax and enjoy the Jersey Shore:
One of the most popular Jersey Shore destinations, Cape May is almost as sweet as its saltwater taffy. The neighborhood's Victorian mansions have decorated the town like giant gingerbread houses for the last two centuries, and many have been converted to bed and breakfasts for the overnight visitor. Cape May has stayed true to its Victorian roots and is on the National Register of Historic Places and listed as a National Historic Landmark District.Land lovers and seafarers alike will find plenty of ways to fall in love with Cape May. You can ride a bike through a converted railroad corridor or simply pedal along the beach. Afterward, cool down with ice cream at the Historic Cold Spring Village -- the cape's 30-acre living history museum. If you're looking for a wilder time, children and adults can enjoy an admission-free trip to the expansive zoo. Of course, no trip to the shore is complete without a foray into the water. Depending on the season, visitors can go swimming, jet skiing or whale watching. Tourists in search of relaxation can simply pull out their fishing rods and join locals on the docks.
If the name Asbury Park sounds familiar to you, that might be because of Bruce Springsteen's iconic album cover -- "Greetings from Asbury Park." Fans of "The Boss" can actually go on a tour of Bruce Springsteen landmarks, where his song lyrics come alive. You can stroll along the sparkling beach and enjoy hot dogs and carnival rides. Souvenir hunters can shop for antiques, vintage clothes and paranormal books just one block away from the boardwalk. Finally, jive the night away at the iconic Stone Pony -- one of the world's most well-known music venues.
Sandy Hook is exactly what it sounds like: a hook-shaped beach jutting out from the Jersey border. Stunning white sands stretch as far as the eye can see. Sandy Hook is also home to Gunnison Beach -- a popular clothing-optional locale. If you're a gourmand, the surrounding townships offer a veritable beach feast, serving up enormous hot dogs and homemade ice cream. Munch to your heart's content but make sure you wait at least an hour before hitting the waves.
The Las Vegas of the East Coast can be found at the Jersey Shore. You can test your luck at one of the many casinos lining the boardwalk, and if it doesn't turn out well, access to the beach is free. Kids can participate in carnival rides or try to hit it big at the arcade promenade. Animal lovers can feed stingrays at the aquarium or visit Lucy the Elephant, a National Historic Landmark. Every visit to the shore requires a trip to the lighthouse. Atlantic City boasts the Absecon Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in the state, where tireless sightseers climb 228 steps to witness the Jersey Shore in all its sunbathed glory.