Postcard from the Shore

We spent a total of 10 days at The Shore, kicking off with Cape May over the Memorial Day weekend followed by six days at Long Branch which gave us an insight into the Shore’s various areas.

Cape May

Cape May was named for Dutch captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, who explored and chartered the area from 1611 to 1614. Considered the US’s Oldest Seashore Resort, it’s located at the southern tip of the Cape May Peninsula in New Jersey and is designated a National Historic Landmark due to its concentration of delightful Victorian buildings.

Cape May might be the second-largest fishing port on the East Coast but tourism, including ecotourism, dominates the area.

File:Cape May NJ map.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

We stayed in a small hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and enjoyed a few days of decompression after all the sightseeing in Philadelphia and Washington. It was a good place to recharge our batteries.

We spent our days cycling around the area, enjoying all the beautiful historical properties, feasting on the local shellfish, admiring its flora and fauna, and just chillin’. We drove around the coast to Wildwood one morning and very quickly drove back – way too commercial for us! Although Cape May was busy, it was good to see the resort thriving after, no doubt, a difficult period during the pandemic.

Three nights was just enough to be able to enjoy everything Cape May had to offer before we drove to Long Branch via the scenic route, by way of the spit which runs from Beach Haven to Lake Como. We hadn’t appreciated just how much water frontage there is along the shore.

Jersey Shore Illustrated Map – LOST DOG Art & Frame

Long Branch

While Long Branch wouldn’t necessarily have been our choice of place too stay – bit too Club 18-30 – it was an ideal location for my husband’s business trip. Again, we stayed in a hotel overlooking the Atlantic and, having located a nearby branch of Barnes & Noble, I was happy to wander, read and chill while he worked.

Fortunately, he wasn’t working all the time and we spent time out on the water with colleagues, pottered around the more picturesque and historic towns, such as Red Bank, and attended a day-long BBQ at a marvellous waterside property in Mantoloking where our entire 200m (2,000 sq ft) flat would have happily fitted into their family room.

By the way, Red Bank, on the Navesink River and just a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, is the Garden State’s own Greenwich Village, filled with trendy stores, coffee shops, a vibrant arts scene and eclectic cuisine.

Back in the 1800s Long Branch was a premier Jersey Shore resort destination which fell into disrepair in late 20th century as suburban shopping malls siphoned customers from local businesses. To cap it all, a 1987 fire destroyed its amusement pier.

The city began its comeback with new investments in the 1990s, and rebuilt the boardwalk after it was all but destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Now it’s lined with lots of new condos. And the pier that burned in 1987 has become Pier Village, an upscale mixed-use development but the town sadly lacks a historic heart. Its popularity is no doubt due to its proximity to NYC, just 80km (50 miles) away.

We didn’t see any notable Jersey Shore inhabitants though we did pass service stations named after Jon Bon Jovi and Frank Sinatra. No doubt The Boss has one too.

31 Comments on “Postcard from the Shore

  1. Great post again thanks for the memories probably won’t see them again as life goes my relatives (aunt cousins) for visits is in Florida now and even there no plans. however, the Jersey Shore was my hangout, did I tell you I wasted all my money in the Atlantic City casinos soon after they open? All part of my blog history too. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In all the years growing up in Jersey, I don’t remember ever going to Cape May. The parkway traffic was killer enough going to Seaside Heights from where I lived.
    We have great people from NJ!

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. I have not had the pleasure to visit seashore towns in the northeast. It was wonderful reading about your visit. The descriptions and the photos made me want to take a trip to see for myself. I absolutely love the beach! Any beach! I love exploring beach towns.

    Liked by 1 person

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