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Things to Do in New York during Pride Month: Visiting the Jersey Shore

If you’re planning a trip to New York for World Pride 2019 to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, there will be no shortage of things to do in the city. However, June in New York also offers perfect beach weather. So why not plan a day trip to a nearby, gay-friendly seaside destination? The Jersey Shore – with locations such as Asbury Park, Cape May, Atlantic City and Long Branch – is easily accessible to New York City, whether you get there by renting a car, taking a train, or riding a bus. Below are highlights of the 130-mile long Jersey Shore, sorted by some of its beautiful beach towns.

 

ferris wheel and boat
Photo credit: Carol M Highsmith/rawpixel
 

Atlantic City

Easily the best-known of all Jersey Shore destinations, Atlantic City might best be described as Las Vegas on the beach. Its many casinos include The Borgata, Tropicana, Caesars, Hard Rock Hotel Casino, and Bally’s. Each of these casinos offer a full slate of entertainment and dining options, including world-class comedy at The Borgata. While you’re in the area, don’t miss a stroll on the famous Atlantic City boardwalk, where you can shop, eat, ride a roller coaster, and buy some saltwater taffy. Among a wide range of restaurants, try Chef Vola’s for some under-the-radar Italian food, or White House Subs on the boardwalk. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, which also has a location in Times Square, houses weird and wonderful exhibits in its museum on the boardwalk as well.

 

Beach entry: Free

Approximate Travel Time from Manhattan: 3
 

amusement park ride
Photo credit: Ethan Hoover/Unsplash

 

Wildwoods

Several miles south of Atlantic City are the Wildwoods, the collective name for North Wildwood, Wildwood, and Wildwood Crest. These 5 miles of beaches offer all kinds of entertainment, from water sports to amusement parks like Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks. There is a boardwalk lined with food and games, traversed not only by pedestrians but by the Sightseer Tram Car. There are many resorts and hotels for overnight stay throughout the Wildwoods. Local motels are preserved Doo Wop buildings, a mix of campy, overdone styles like tiki hut and “The Jetsons”-esque futurism. The Wildwoods provide countless activities during the summer: live entertainment, fireworks every Friday night, and monster truck races on the beach.

 

Beach entry: Free

Approximate Travel Time from Manhattan: 3.5
 

boat named "cape may"
Photo credit: Peter Miller/Flickr

 

Cape May

Cape May regularly tops lists of the best beach towns—and best towns, period—in the United States. This elegant community distinguishes itself with a large number of preserved Victorian homes in an array of colorful hues. Cape May is a National Historic Landmark for this reason, and it capitalizes on its charm during the summer when many vacationers stay in the bed & breakfasts run out of many Victorian homes. There are also fine-dining options unlike others you’ll find on this list, such as the elegant Union Park and the eclectic Tisha’s Cape May. Hot Dog Tommy’s near the beach offers a decidedly different dining experience, but no less delicious. Home decor enthusiasts will go wild at their antique shops and boutiques like Antique Doorknob. Another antique fixture is the local lighthouse, built in 1859 and open for visitors in Cape May Point State Park. Local events include the Cape May Music Festival from late May until mid-June, as well as frequent ghost tours around town. Cape May might be more subdued than other options on the Shore, but it always attracts a healthy mix of families and singles to its historic beaches.

 

Beach entry: $6 day pass; $12 for 3-day; $18 for weekly; capemaycity.com

Approximate Travel Time from Manhattan: 3.5-4
 

the stone pony
Photo credit: jilljankowski/Flickr

 

Asbury Park

Asbury Park was just another dot on the north Shore before Bruce Springsteen made it famous. The Boss’ 1973 album Greetings from Asbury Park pictured a local postcard on the cover and helped spur the town’s development in following years. Today, Asbury Park is a cooler, artsier scene than many neighboring towns, and Springsteen’s old stomping grounds at the Stone Pony make a great stop for anyone in the mood for up-and-coming music talents. Asbury Park also features a boardwalk full of exceptional hole-in-the-wall eats and a wide range of bars.

 

Beach entry: $5 day pass Mon-Fri; $7 day pass weekends and holidays; cityofasburypark.com

Approximate Travel Time from Manhattan: 1.5-2
 

long branch bagota
Photo credit: The City of Long Branch, NJ

 

Long Branch

The up-and-coming and affluent Long Branch is located just north of Asbury Park. Long Branch has developed a reputation for upscale condos and hotels, and it welcomes a mix of families and singles. Within the community of Pier Village is the popular boardwalk, complete with boutiques, restaurants, bars, and lodging. Free events include live outdoor concerts and movie screenings. Part of the beach is known as Seven Presidents Ocean Park, an ideal choice for sunbathing, swimming, and volleyball.

 

Beach entry: $5 day pass Mon-Fri; $7 day pass on weekends/holidays; visitlongbranch.com

Approximate Travel Time from Manhattan: 1.5-2
 

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