THE SECRET IS OUT:
‘SECOND SEASON’ OFFERS FIRST-CLASS EXPERIENCES AT THE JERSEY SHORE IN SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER
Soon we’ll be saying goodbye to the official summer season, but fall is when the REAL fun begins at the Jersey Shore.
So now the secret is out. For those in the know, the “Second Season,” those weeks immediately following Labor Day, is a fabulous weekend family getaway. It’s the best time to enjoy all that the fabled beach towns of Monmouth and Ocean County have to offer.
From Atlantic Highlands to Long Beach Island, the beach season extends well into September. It’s a wonderful time to discover the Jersey Shore, when the ocean water is still warm and inviting, the blue skies are clear, and miles of pristine beaches can be enjoyed without huge summer crowds or beach tag fees. With the air getting crisp, walks on the beach can take on new meaning, and kite flying is at an all-time high – especially in Belmar, where people flock to the beach on Columbus Day Weekend to celebrate the wonders of kite flying at the Belmar Kite Festival and then hit the intimate Main Street shopping district for holiday sales.
There’s still plenty of bustle on the boardwalks as well. Not only are most of the shops open for business, but there’s an abundance of deals to be had on summer closeouts in stores of all stripes. And the bike riding on the boardwalk keeps rolling, too! Jenkinson’s Boardwalk and Aquarium, the entertainment anchors of the Point Pleasant Beach boardwalk, are free of the long lines.
New Jersey’s renowned agriculture thrives in the fall, making the Second Season ripe for exploring the bumper crop of “Jersey Fresh” farmers markets. Red Bank, Freehold, Atlantic Highlands, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Bradley Beach, Millstone, Keyport, Lakewood, Forked River, Point Pleasant and Toms River, are just some of the numerous towns whose farmers markets feed the needs of fresh fruit and produce lovers from all over the East Coast.
As always, it’s all attainable for less than a tank of gas from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. For an even more economical and stress-free option, many Jersey Shore destinations are easily accessible by train or bus.
New Jersey Transit has created more Special Packages to make sure you get to the hot spots of the Second Season in less time, and with more cash in your pocket, by riding the rails. The Monmouth Park Racetrack Package lets you board a train from anywhere and save $5 off your round-trip ticket, grandstand admission and official program through the end of the season in late September. You still can save up to $38.18 when you ride NJ Transit to Six Flags Great Adventure, Wild Safari or Hurricane Harbor, as the summer’s same bus, shuttle and admission packages have been extended deep into the fall. For complete schedules and pricing, go to http://www.njtransit.com.
For a fall weekend or extended escape, the Jersey Shore is the place to go.
SECOND SEASON JERSEY SHORE CAN’T-MISS EVENTS:
SEA BRIGHT SKIM BASH/BONFIRE ON THE BEACH
The Sea Bright Skim Bash (watch 2008 video) is the annual skimboarding contest that brings Skimboarders from around the country gather for this action-packed two-day event to show off their skills, and compete for prizes and cash. The Skim Bash wouldn’t be complete without the Bonfire on the Beach, held Saturday night (Sept. 12) at Donovan’s Reef with live bands around the fire and food and drink specials served all night. This is a great way to relax and hang out with your fellow skimboarders. Everyone is invited, bring your friends too!
SEAFOOD IN SEASIDE FESTIVAL
Seafood Festival season at the Jersey Shore starts this weekend in Seaside Heights, where the annual Festival and Craft Show turns Grant Avenue into a vessel for great seafood, live music, arts & crafts and a flea market with a wide variety of items for all ages, including jewelry, wood and ceramic products, doll cloths, wind-spinners, hand blown glass art, bonsai trees, flower arrangements and clay sculptures and much more. Garlic crabs, mussels, clams, shrimp, oysters, blackened tuna, sushi, scallops, crabmeat, seafood bruschetta, crab & corn chowder and much more are on the local menu. Seafood is provided by local restaurants, including On Top of Spaghetti, Seaside Crab House, and Ryan’s Deli & Catering. Over 80 vendors flea market and craft are registered to participate in the event. Hours: 10:00am to 7:00pm
It’s the 28th anniversary of the international clown “edu-vention” – a unique weekend full of slapstick comedy, shows, and colorful clowns parading down the Boardwalk. At the “Family Fun Frolic,” your family can interact with the clowns. There will be a concert with a REAL clown brass band. The “Clown Skit Show,” is full of laughs with a clown routine and comedy on stage. New this year is a great “CARNIVAL PARTY” that will follow the boardwalk festival day on Saturday. Also new this year: Become the world’s greatest “Side show Character!” Clownfest has the world’s biggest “Clown Parade” on Sunday afternoon – marching bands and thousands and thousands of spectators! Free group photo to all Clown Parade participants.A $500 cash prize will go to one clown participant in Saturday’s fun “Boardwalk Passport“ program! Plus… Many many more additional BIG prizes for clowns in balloon, face painting and other public events! FREE T-shirt to the first fifty people who register. The events at Clownfest take place all over town and at many motels. End the day right with a free fireworks display on the beach at night! Info: Clownfest@aol.com
SEPTEMBER 17 & OCTOBER 15
THIRD THURSDAYS IN RED BANK
Twice during the Second Season, this new and exciting initiative welcomes visitors to downtown Red Bank to enjoy the special sales and promotions that Red Bank’s renowned retailers, restaurants and other businesses will be offering while performers line the streets throughout town. The Comcast Jazz in the Park series, in Riverside Park, featuring The Jazz Lobsters. Time: 5 to 9 p.m. (some later than 9 p.m.). Info: 732-842-4244
NJ FESTIVAL OF THE SEA WEEKEND
Point Pleasant Beach
The Festival of the Sea has been one of Point Pleasant Beach’s top events for years. Held downtown on both Arnold and Bay Avenues, it begins in the shopping district between Rt 35 South and Rt. 35 North and goes all the way down to the Point Pleasant Boro border. Local restaurants and vendors provide the large crowds with delicacies such as crab cakes, shrimp skewers, paella, soups and bisques, lobster, and other seafood items. Don’t like seafood? No problem, there are plenty of other varieties of food to sample! Hundreds of craft vendors featuring handmade items, and the big stage on the corner of Arnold and River Avenues hosts musicians and other acts. And all the local business bring out the rest of their summer goods to sell at slashed prices. Finish your day with fireworks on Jenkinson’s Beach.
QUE BY THE SEA (BBQ Competition)
Over $10,000 in prize money is at stake during the First Annual Barbeque State Championships, also known as Que By the Sea, a spicy and savory outdoor competition, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Grant Avenue will be smoking with contestants from all over the tri-state area showing off the intricancies of BBQ grilling, while allowing BBQ fans who come to watch are rewarded with the best options for satisfying their taste buds. Good, old-fashioned American fun at its most delectable. Info: 732-854-8000.
This family friendly festival, which marked its 20th anniversary last year by winning the New Jersey Governor’s Award for Tourism Excellence, features live music, activities and unlimited Chowder tasting with the opportunity for each ticket holder to vote for their favorite red and white chowder. The event is nestled in Beach Haven surrounded by beautiful views of the bay and plenty of year end discounted shopping. It has become a tradition for family and friends to gather together to say good bye to summer and welcome in the fall. Always the first Saturday in October for the fabulous Merchant Mart where hundreds of vendors offer the best deals of the season, culminating Sunday with the Chowder Cook Off Classic. Info: (609) 494-7211 x 100
or (800) 292-6372 x 100.
F.I.S.H. (Fishin’ in Seaside Heights)
Children’s Fishing Tournament
The Seaside Heights Business Improvement District and the Seaside Heights Fishing Club will gives kids a chance to reel in the joys of fishing at its Sixth Annual event, promoting fishing while providing an educational experience for the entire family. Festivities take place between the two amusement piers at Franklin Avenue, highlighted by a Children’s Fishing Tournament on the oceanfront, with experts manning the beach to help with instructions on supplies, rigging and tally recording. Pictures will be taken of all prize-winning catches, and awards will be given out immediately following the tournament. Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Info: (609) 635-2122.
BELMAR KITE FESTIVAL
Twice a year, once in spring and once in fall, locals and visitors alike head to the beach and celebrate the wonders of kite flying. There are single and team kite precision exhibitions, as well as kite flying lessons for those who have not mastered the activity. A great way to spend a day on the beach with the whole family during Columbus Day Weekend. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Location: Beach at 4th Ave. Info: 732.681.2900
To learn more about the fantastic travel experiences awaiting on the Jersey Shore, go to www.visitthejerseyshore.com. The Jersey Shore Convention & Visitor’s Bureau is a non-profit corporation charged with the marketing and promotion of New Jersey’s Monmouth & Ocean Counties as a premier travel destination and is supported in part by a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel & Tourism. www.visitnj.org.
Kid Friendly Family Vacations Mom says
Great Kid Friendly Vacation ideas…. I don’t think that you can go wrong with any Kids Beach Vacations that you choose.
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