Best Towns for Day Trips

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This shore town is worth a visit, even when it isn’t beach season. The pristine boardwalk has an artsy vibe, with stunning murals on display, upscale dining and funky shops.

A trip to the beach is a must, so reserve your space in advance during busy summer months. If you visit with the kids and need a break from the sand, head to the Silverball Museum. This arcade is filled with retro and modern pinball machines and other games, and the hourly rate gets you unlimited game play. Go downtown to Hot Sand to let the kids try their hand at making glass art. From fusing to casting to actual glass blowing you’ll leave with a truly one-of-a-kind glass souvenir. The whimsical Asbury Park Splash Park is a great way to cool off and features giant garden equipment and flowers.

Once concerts make a comeback, head to the legendary Stone Pony where icons like Bruce Springsteen got their start. With a large outdoor summer stage, take in the salty sea air during a show.

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For a sugar fix, head to Ocean Avenue to Coney Waffle for some wild takes on classic boardwalk snacks, or Betty’s Icebox for healthier twists like shave ice and vegan soft serve. Don’t miss Talula’s for homemade pizzas crafted in a wood burning oven or Lentil Tree for falafel and kebab platters. For family-friendly food, try Pop’s Garage. This Mexican-inspired restaurant has delicious twists on Jersey classics. In the off-season, you can grab some of Pop’s famed specialties at Langosta Lounge.

If you’re looking for a celebratory night out, head to Moonstruck, located in an old Victorian home with wraparound porches, lake views and seafood for days. And if you’re on a date night or out with friends, head to Asbury Park Distilling Co. for a tour of how booze is made in a beautiful tasting room, where you’ll also sample some original cocktails.