A Late Summer Beach Trip
If you're looking for a quick escape to a special place with a true beachy vibe, be sure to check out Ocean Grove and Asbury Park. Like any born-and-raised New Englander, I had my ideas about vacationing on the Jersey Shore versus the Yankee beach holidays of my childhood (the Cape, P-Town, Cape Ann, the Vineyard, etc.) but my family and I were so pleasantly surprised and thrilled about this little one-square mile of a beach town, about an hour south of Manhattan. Here are a few pics from our trip…
And some snaps from the little beach cottage where we stayed for the week...
- Ocean Grove has an active Lutheran community—you can't miss the outdoor Sunday church service (and accompanying rock/gospel concert) that was held right in the center of the town's boardwalk.
- The boardwalk is a fantastic place to let a child run wild (that is, no cars and no immediate threat of falling into the ocean). We would often walk back and forth between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove along the connected boardwalks (a slow ramble takes about 20 minutes). We even rented one of those family bikes one day—Sophie was pleased as punch although it was really hard work going against the wind.
- Happy, colorful Victorian architecture abounds.
- We met a lady that made the biggest bubbles I have ever seen and then spent the better part of an hour in the late afternoon light, watching our little girl chase some magic.
- As far as we could tell, and from what we heard from the owner of our cottage, Ocean Grove seemed to escape heavy Sandy damage. Everything was up and running and in good form.
- You can almost squint and imagine what these towns must have been like in their hey-day, back in the roaring 20s… I kept looking for Nucky Thompson. (Alas, no luck.)