Two of the best-kept secrets of the Jersey Shore are Asbury Park and Ocean Grove. Just one hour (55 miles) from New York City are some of the best beaches and one of the friendliest gay communities on the east coast. Asbury Park hosts 4 bars catering to lesbians and gay men within its one square mile and they’re all within a few blocks of the beach. Once known as the “Duchess of the Jersey Shore,” its fine Victorian homes, wide avenues and parks fascinate the large crowds that visit during the summer. Now rainbow flags fly from just about every fifth residence. Like Miami Beach before it, this once grand resort town is being resurrected by a pioneering band of gay men and lesbians. Asbury Park’s mile long boardwalk adds to its downtown atmosphere.
And…the state of New Jersey has empaneled a board to oversee a $780 million renovation of the boardwalk. Preliminary plans for entertainment include pavilions, luxury condos and even the reintroduction of the swan boats in the lake that separates Asbury Park and Ocean Grove.
The downtown of Asbury Park is humming with restoration projects, as a flurry of new shops and restaurants prepare to make it their home. Over on the beachfront, Convention Hall and the Paramount Theater are alive with concerts, operas, sporting events and more. And the legendary Stone Pony is rocking with exciting lineups of live music.
Best of all, record numbers of visitors (many of them from Manhattan) are buying -- and restoring -- fabulous historic homes as weekend retreats or as year 'round residences.
So spread your beach chair on the virtual sand, and take a leisurely tour of the best that Asbury Park has to offer.