When considering a Jersey Shore vacation, thoughts typically turn to sand, surf, and sun.
But those aren’t the only things the New Jersey coast has to offer. The winter offseason is as good a time as any to check out the best Jersey Shore beaches, small towns, big attractions, and hidden gems that are normally packed the rest of the year.
Looking for a restful but also exciting winter escapade? Here’s what’s worth checking out during a Jersey Shore winter.
Head to a Show at the Stone Pony
The Stone Pony in Asbury Park is legendary as the launching bad for Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, but it’s not just a great place to rock out during the summer.
The winter season attracts some great acts, too, such as G. Love and Donavon Frankenreiter in February. Plus, there are great holiday shows and parties to attend.
Winter in Brigantine
But for those who want to stay in town, Brigantine Beach is gorgeous and devoid of tourists during the winter. It’s almost like having the beach to oneself. For those brave enough, the Brigantine Polar Bear Plunge raises money to help wounded military veterans and their families.
For those looking for a more permanent spot – check out Brigantine homes for sale and snag your new home away from home.
Get Pampered at the Borgata
Of course, there are a lot of casinos to choose from in Atlantic City, but for those looking to spend cold winter days relaxed and refreshed, Borgata’s renowned spa is open year-round.
Spa Toccare offers everything from facials that integrate light therapy and jade stones to unrivaled foot massages. There is even an option for a 100-minute couple’s massage.
Go Back in Time at Historic Smithfield
Located in Galloway, this old-fashioned town is pretty picture-perfect, replete with footbridges, streets lined with cobblestones, and over 60 unique shops.
Historic Smithville was established in the late 17th century and now includes a charming colonial inn, toy, and collectible shops, and an adjacent 312-acre park. It’s also just 20 minutes by car from Atlantic City.
Go Fishing in Ocean City
A longtime beach vacation destination, Ocean City also happens to be a great place to spend the winter, especially if fishing is on the agenda. December is prime ling, blackish, and cod season and winter is also a perfect time for birdwatching, especially in the Back Bay area.
There are many other winter options, too, including visiting the Ocean City Historical Museum and checking out the over 100 restaurants and ships in the Asbury Avenue shopping district.
Take it Easy in Cape May
Cape May is one of the most beautiful spots not just on the Jersey Shore but in the entire state of New Jersey.
Be sure to stop by the Cape May Brewing Company and Willow Creek Winery and get a bite of food while you’re at it at the acclaimed Peter Shields Inn and Restaurant. And for those into Victorian architecture, the town’s famous painted ladies are definitely a must-see this winter.