The Renaissance of Asbury Park
Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, a landmark property, is right on the beach!
Sep 28, 2018 at 8:00 AM in Things to Do by
There’s been a lot of gentrification in Asbury Park in recent years and fortunately it has all been tastefully done. Located just about an hour away from Manhattan and Philadelphia, Asbury Park enjoyed a good measure of popularity since it was first established as a resort town well over a hundred years ago. But like so many seaside destinations, many parts of it fell into a state of neglect as the years waned. That’s when people saw opportunity, and for the past decade or more it has become an exciting place where everyone comes together to enjoy happening restaurants, bars, places of lodging and shops, most of which are located within beautiful buildings that have been restored to their original splendor.
Thankfully not all is buffed and polished in this colorful resort town, which only adds to the charm and uniqueness of Asbury Park and the surrounding area. Yet as the real estate increases, there’s less and less that isn’t. But no worries, there’s still plenty of patina to preserve the authentic nature of this beloved destination.
The Asbury Hotel stands out as one of the best examples of this mixture of Victorian-era grandeur and rough and tumbling rock and roll culture that’s still synonymous with Asbury Park, New Jersey. Steal some time away at their swanky rooftop bar for the best views around accompanied by craft cocktails and grooving music day and night. They even have a rooftop theater replete with popcorn, a bar and more stellar ocean views. Pretty cool–just don’t watch Jaws in this setting.
If you’re looking for other smart and sexy accommodations in a boutique hotel yet long to be on the beach, The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel is a must. This landmark property has been a fixture in Asbury Park for some one hundred years. And it’s no surprise because not only is it beautiful but it’s also perfectly situated on the beach, just steps from the boardwalk and across the street from the legendary Stone Pony, a great music venue. To top all this off, The Berkeley boasts an outdoor pool decked out with cabanas and a Tiki Bar. It’s all so grand that you might not want to leave but if you do, at least you don’t have far to go to immerse yourself into the many Jersey Shore happenings.
The music scene in Asbury Park is indeed still smoking hot. Check the local calendar listings for concerts and events year-round and most especially during the summer. You’ll find a lot of it in downtown Asbury Park, a postage-stamp-sized area chockfull of restaurants, bars and cool shops. (No big box stores here.) If you’re into firsthand, in-person info., go to the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce to find out all you need to know about Asbury Park and the surrounding area.
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten has become one of the most beloved establishments of downtown. Often packed with hundreds of folks into having a good time over beers, brats and good ‘ole oom pah pah music, this authentic Austrian-Hungarian biergarten is a great place to gather with friends and family for memorable celebrations or just a fun meal out. You’ll also find a nice ambiance–this time with views–at the rooftop bar, which features tasty eats from their food cart as well as music late afternoons on the weekends. It’s open spring through fall and during December as well when you can experience the Biergarten’s own version of igloos, just one more way to amuse yourself at this oh-so happening place.
Leave your wheels behind and book a ride with Asbury Pedalcycle, a fifteen-passenger vehicle entirely powered by your own pedal prowess. It sounds like a party!
Now back to the music because it’s never out of reach in Asbury Park. Consider taking in a concert at the recently refurbished Paramount Theater in the town’s convention center. Music aficionados may already know that The Doors once played here making this historic venue near sacred ground. And just a rolling stone’s throw away–you guessed it, the Rolling Stones graced this place as well–at The Stone Pony. Here you can also take in some great acts. (Bruce and his E Street Band first made this place famous in the mid seventies and he still comes around here today.) The Wonder Bar is another classic Asbury Park music venue and highly recommended even if it’s just to pass by and take a gander at its iconic grinning face mural. Indeed, it’s all about the fun.
Many feel that some of the best games are ones from the past. Remember Pac-Man? The Silverball Museum on the boardwalk showcases this gem along with a slew of great pinball machines, foosball and other arcade games from days gone by.
Can you take all this fun?