Jan 23rd
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New Jersey Shore Resorts

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New Jersey Shore Resorts
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Family Fun Resorts
New Jersey's Ocean Grove & Wildwood

    Just one hour from Philadelphia or New York City, travelers can find a one square mile seaside haven of rocking chairs on long porches and a boardwalk bandstand along with old-time penny candy and homemade ice cream, free parking and quiet streets, and more Victorian houses than the famed Cape May.  New Jersey's best-kept secret for more than a hundred years, Ocean Grove is becoming one of the hippest getaways for urban professionals, artists, families, and those in search of refuge, rest, and renewal.
    A Shangri-la of seagulls with a non-commercialized boardwalk, the village of Ocean Grove boasts a dignified row of eateries and shops on the tree-lined Main Avenue. Visitors will see no tacky T-shirt shops, no bustling arcades, and no water slides or noisy rides in this idyllic community.
    To explore the small town of one square mile you and the kids can rent old-fashioned bicycles, the kind with no gears or handlebar brakes, at Ocean Grove Hardware.  The shop also boasts creaky wooden floors and also offers a selection of antiques on the second level. Among nearly a dozen cafes, coffee shops and restaurants in Ocean Grove you’ll find Nagle's Apothecary Cafe with its collection of old pharmaceutical bottles.
    One of those small towns that time forgot Ocean Grove is now designated a National Historic district; the community was Ocean Grove, a seagull Shangri-la for families.founded by Dr. William Osborn, a Methodist minister. The location was just what the doctor ordered: a high beach; thick groves of pine, cedar, and hickory trees; and no mosquitoes. Natural boundaries were made by two lakes and the ocean, with gates across the remaining side. Until 1980 the town gates were closed from midnight on Saturdays through midnight on Sundays.
    Dr. Osborn and a group of other religious-minded folks joined together in 1869 to form the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, which continues to this day. The town is dry, with no alcohol served within the one-mile radius of Ocean Grove. The center of activity in the town is the Great Auditorium, an impressive structure that's almost football-field in size. Featuring speakers and statesmen, opera stars, and orchestras the Great Auditorium has been visited by presidents and personalities from former president Ulysses S. Grant to band leader and musician Guy Lombardo and evangelist Billy Graham. Boasting a huge pipe organ, the Auditorium offers free organ concerts on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the summer months; see www. oceangrovenj.com for current information.
    Nestled around the Great Auditorium are 114 tent structures, with fireproof canvas in the front and small cabins built onto the back. Many of those who own the tent cabins are fourth and fifth generation families, relatives of the original Camp Meeting Methodists.
     The sandy beach, named by USA Today as one of the best in the world, is clean and thong-free. The beach badge, at $6.00 per day, is well-worth the cost.
      Stroll along the Asbury Park Boardwalk and find venues for music, film, events, dining and shopping including the Stone Pony, Convention Hall, and Paramount Theatre. Other popular attractions are the Historical Society Museum and Centennial Cottage, guided walking tours, Thornley Chapel, Beersheba Well and the Tent City - all nestled around the Great Auditorium campus. You and the kids can also check out Ott’s Restaurant with its delicious seafood, which is perched at the far end of Ocean Grove's boardwalk and bordering the shell of the once-thriving Asbury Park.  
    An excellent example of a 19th century planned community, Ocean Park was laid out so that the buildings nearest the ocean were built farther back from the street. This created a funnel to capture sea breezes and channel them westward. This clever plan also allowed most porches along the street to capture the ocean views. Today’s savvy innkeepers have lined their open porches and balconies with comfortable rocking chairs. Even a loud car radio seems out of place here, where most of the bed and breakfast establishments lock their doors at 11 p.m.
    Claiming one of the country's largest collections of Victoriana, Ocean Grove offers many preserved and restored guest houses and bed and breakfast inns.
     Among friendly inns visitors will find the Carriage House Bed & Breakfast at 18 Heck Avenue (732-988-3232) with a warm welcome from innkeepers Kathi and Phil Franco; the Bellevue Stratford Inn at 7 Main Avenue (732-775-2424) with a warm welcome from innkeepers Gus and Diane Apiar; and the family friendly Circa 1894 Albatross Hotel at 34 Ocean Pathway (732-775-2085, www. albatrosshotel.net) with warm welcomes from innkeeper Bill Reilly.

For more information:

Ocean Grove Visitors Information Center


Where is Lizzy?

Lizzy relaxes in a hammock at one of the more popular tropical resorts. Where is she?
Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

Vacation Packing
...get it right the first time

At one time or another we all have packed too many clothes for a vacation, perhaps never even changing from a favorite pair of jeans or sun dress.  The more we travel, hauling our belongings with us, the more we realize how little we really need.


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