From a vintage pinball machine museum to the venue where Bruce Springsteen launched his career, the New Jersey town is nothing short of quirky.
If the Jersey Shore gives you visions of Snooki and J-Woww, you’ve been misinformed.
Vogue dubbed Asbury Park “the Brooklyn of the Beach” last year, citing its mixture of ocean breezes, Victorian-era design and rock n’ roll history as an attractive alternative to the Hamptons for city slickers looking to get away.
Located just an hour and a half from New York City and Philadelphia, the shore town is vying to be the weekend escape of choice for those with a discerning cultural sensibility.
WHERE TO STAY:
Anda Andrei, who spent nearly 30 years as the chief of design for Ian Schrager, just transformed a derelict Salvation Army building into The Asbury, the first hotel to open in town in more than 50 years. From the moment you walk into the lobby – which doubles as a tomato-growing greenhouse – it’s evident that this is not your average weekend getaway.
From the 1960s-era Volkswagen van that serves beer poolside to the rooftop garden that offers yoga by day and drive-in-style movies by night, it’s clear: This is where you go to escape the pretension of the city.
WHERE TO PLAY:
The past is present in Asbury Park. No stroll on the Boardwalk is complete without a visit to the Silverball Museum, home to more than 600 pinball machines. Shop indie merchants at summer venue The Market, and take in the polka band over a beer at the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten.
The music scene is one of the biggest draws to the city – this is, after all, the source of inspiration for Springsteen’s debut, “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” The Boss and Bon Jovi launched their careers at Stone Pony, and according to NJ.com, Bruce is known to play surprise sets at Wonder Bar, too.