OMER KRALER, KRALER PHOTOGRAPHY
Long Branch is the ultimate destination for beach lovers looking to pair a day at the shore with shopping and dining. Less than 90 minutes from New York City, this Monmouth County city is home to a beautiful beach and bustling Pier Village’s trendy shops and restaurants.
Start your day at the beach at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, named after the US presidents who vacationed there. The park is made up of 38 acres of ocean beach, guarded swimming, surfing, fishing, boating, volleyball and a boardwalk. Then take a stroll on the boardwalk toward Pier Village. For lunch, grab an acai bowl at Playa Bowls, a burger at Stewart’s Rootbeer or a pizza or sub at Tony Boloney’s. Indulge your sweet tooth with candy from Sugar Pop Candy Bar or hit up Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for caramel dipped apples and homemade fudge.
Plan a dinner with waterfront views at 100 Ocean, an American Mediterranean restaurant with a local, seasonal menu at Wave Resort, a boutique hotel with a Miami vibe. Avenue Le Club has a Parisian brasserie feel and is home to a members-only private beach club. McLoone’s Pier House, an oceanfront restaurant with glass walls serving up steaks, pastas and homemade desserts, is another favorite. More new spots are slated to open at Pier Village this summer.
Bring the kids to the carousel across the street from Wave Resort or take in one of the free weekly outdoor concerts and movies under the stars during the summer. Oceanfest, an annual July 4th celebration, is one of the largest summer happenings at the Shore and has music, food, crafts and fireworks. Theater buffs can see a play at the New Jersey Repertory Company when it reopens. If your day trip turns into an overnight, stay at the Wave Resort or Ocean Place Resort & Spa.