Greetings From Asbury Park

This will be my first of many, many Asbury Park posts. Hands down my favorite Jersey Shore town. I first learned of Asbury Park as a kid from the stories my stepfather told me of this beautiful resort town at the shore that I never heard of before where he and his buddies would spend every weekend before he met my mom. Some years later, I had a record album with the mention of Asbury Park on the cover by a local musician starting to gain momentum in the industry. OK now my interest piqued.

North end of the boardwalk hosts plenty of original art from local and not so local artists. New murals are always popping up here. Photo: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.

I started coming here on Thanksgiving mornings as a teenager. Mom never wanted anyone in the kitchen while she was cooking, she just ordered everyone to be at the table at 3. So to pass the time I would jump in my Chevy Nova and head east with the help of an old fashioned roadmap. My first trip to Asbury Park was in the early 80’s, once NJ granted me my driving priviledge. There wasn’t much to see then, the town and boardwalk were pretty run down and in serious need of lots of TLC. Most people wouldn’t look twice at this town but the architecture that stood was something unlike any other in a Jersey Shore beach town. But it’s where the cool kids always hung out.

The North end of the boardwalk looking south at Convention Hall. Photo: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.

Asbury just looks different. Its progressive. Iconic. And behind a lot of the walls here, roots were planted of most of the music icons we know of today.  Most of the original rock n rollers, punk rockers and jazz, blues & soul musicians played their first shows in Asbury Park. Some still come back to do shows and new bands are also a big draw in the clubs in Asbury. There is one famous local musician (reference back to that album I had as a kid) who has been around awhile that still shows up every now and then at a venue or two to remind us just how cool Asbury is. This afternoon stroll took me to the North End of the boardwalk where the famous Paramount Theater and Convention Hall are still undergoing some facelifts. Bars, shops and unique eateries are found all along the boardwalk and throughout town.

This was a gorgeous day to be outside and take a stroll along the boardwalk. Picking a place to eat and grab a drink can be difficult as Asbury has many options from the super fancy to the artsy and unique to just a coffee and a cookie. Your choices of things to do in Asbury are not just limited to the one mile oceanfront but the downtown area is hopping also with some of the finest restaurants around. Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed and you will definitely come back. Because you are one of the cool kids.

The Wonder Bar. Besides hosting some great musical acts, you can bring your pup to Yappy Hour. An outdoor Tiki Bar for the humans to grab a drink while the four legged’s run, play, drink and sniff.  A must see! Photo: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.

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