3. ASBURY PARK, NJ
Where to play: Embrace the rich music and arts scene in this coastal city. See a show at the historic music club, The Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi jumpstarted their careers. Or check out the well-known concert hall, Paramount Theatre, and the two theatre companies that call this beach city home: Premier Theatre Company, a classic Broadway spot, and ReVision Theatre, which showcases more modern performances.
Where to stay: The Asbury, housed inside a former Salvation Army building, is the town’s first new hotel in 50 years. The 110-room property reflects Asbury Park’s music and arts culture through its vintage design, from the Soundbooth bar with its wall of vinyl LPs and cassettes to The Baronet, a rooftop bar decorated with the historic Baronet Theater sign. And the comfortable ground-floor hangout spot, The Pit, is filled with oversized couches, classic board games, and bookshelves stacked with good reads.