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Asbury Park, New Jersey: Where to eat, hang out and stay

Mention Asbury Park, and most people associate the Jersey Shore beach town with one person — Bruce Springsteen. The Boss may have gotten his start at its famed Stone Pony club, but there is much more to the city than its music heritage.

Dubbed the Brooklyn of the Jersey Shore, Asbury Park attracts a mix of families, hipsters and the LGBT crowd. The town is in the midst of a renaissance, thanks in part to the new Asbury Hotel — the first hotel to open there in 50 years — and a revitalized beach boardwalk includes chic design stores wedged up against old-school booths selling fried Oreos.

As summer winds down and the crowds thin out, now is the perfect time to hop on NJ Transit for the 90-minute train ride to explore Asbury Park.

Where to go in Asbury Park

Most of the action is happening on the
Photo Credit: Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce

Most of the action is happening on the mile-long boardwalk. There's a mix of restaurants, pop-up design shops and plenty of amusements. The Stone Pony has been open since 1974 (913 Ocean Ave., 732-502-0600,; it launched the career of Bruce Springsteen, and big-name bands still headline here. Or relive your childhood at the Silverball Museum Arcade (1000 Ocean Ave., 732-774-4994,, which has about 200 pinball and arcade games.

Inland, watch glass-blowing at the gallery Hot Sand (550 Cookman Ave., Suite 103, 732-927-5475,, or pick up small batch cosmetics at Red Moon Life & Home (531 Bangs Ave., 732-361-8919,

Where to eat in Asbury Park

Start the day with a stack of fluffy
Photo Credit: Mogo

Start the day with a stack of fluffy pancakes or huevos rancheros at Toast (516 Cookman Ave., 732-776-5900,

On the boardwalk, try the Korean fusion tacos at Mogo (boardwalk at First Avenue, May through October,, which serves up beef bulgogi tacos from a converted shipping container. Then toast the end of summer with a mojito and ropa vieja next door at Cubacan (800 Ocean Ave., 732-774-3007,

For dinner, grab a table outside at Porta (911 Kingsley St., 732-776-7661, for wood-fired pizzas, homemade mozzarella and grilled octopus caught that day.

Where to stay in Asbury Park

Asbury Park can be done in a day,
Photo Credit: Asbury Hotel

Asbury Park can be done in a day, but if you're looking to make a weekend out of it, consider the Asbury Hotel (210 Fifth Ave., 732-774-7100, Located just a couple blocks from the boardwalk, the hotel opened in a former Salvation Army building earlier this year with a sleek and industrial design. The lobby pays homage to the area's rock 'n' roll roots with bookcases filled with old LPs and cassettes. There's also a live music venue on site, multiple bars and rooftop area that frequently hosts yoga classes and films. Fall rates start at $125.


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