The Other Jersey Shore – Point Pleasant Beach
When it comes to the ocean, I have a deep-seated affinity for most things waterborne: starfish, seashells, seaweed, seals, snorkeling. And the list goes on. In another life, I may have been a surfer in Hawaii, pounding the shore at 6am (though that early wake-up time would have met with some protest at first).
Eager to soak up the sun’s rays (slathered in SPF, of course), R and I rented a room out at a home on the Jersey Shore via Airbnb. Destination: Point Pleasant Beach.
While the term “Jersey Shore” might conjure images of jacked guidos, tanning booths, and a thick New “Joysie” accent, we had other things in mind: a relaxing beach weekend, for one. We traveled by NJ transit, a comfortable ride that’s just over two hours long.
Rich and Carmen’s home was spacious and well-furnished, with abundant seaside flair.
“Relax”. The oars appeared to have been hand-painted (by the owners?). What a great DIY project idea!
This mirror was crafted out of repurposed wood salvaged in the wake of Hurricane Sandy two years ago.
These whimsical climbers made me smile.
On our way to the beach, we passed “Dauntless” Broadway Basin, a place for deep sea fishing.
We carried beach chairs with built-in backpacks so we could haul our towels and snacks in them. It worked out well, though after walking quite a bit, the straps dug into my shoulders.
The lifeguards and other beach staff zipped around on ATVs.
People usually come to Point Pleasant to surf and/or go fishing, says Rich.
We got hungry and ordered a cheeseburger, cheese fries and one of the best chicken tenders I’ve ever had at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk Bar & Grill (even I was surprised). Of course, R also brought back a Summer Shandy – perfect drink to enjoy at the beach!
Some folks thought ahead and brought their beach tents: or were those for rent?
We brought our Kindles so we could read our books. My current selections? Best Travel Writing and Julia Child’s My Life in France.
I walked along the beach for a better view of the rocks.
For dinner, we stopped by Wharfside Patio Bar & Restaurant. The fritters and cheese bread appetizers were good.
Can’t say the same about their Wharfside Pasta dish, which was just mediocre. It contained shrimp, zucchini, carrots and Parmesan cheese tossed in a garlic-butter herb sauce. I couldn’t help but think that a more generous portion of garlic, butter and herbs would have brought this dish to life. I…require…flavor.
The next day, we hit up Jenkinson’s Aquarium. We found a friendly seal – though no sign of his friend the Walrus…
You do not want to mess with the nurse shark.
I didn’t get the name of this sea critter, but it looked so carefree.
The African penguins clustered in a group until one of them broke out on his own.
He was quickly followed by his loyal followers, who performed a synchronized dance. I call this one “the whiplash splash.” (OK, so maybe they’re just turning away because he jumped into the water directly in front of them…) The one in the back had just finished shedding; hence, the lack of black feathers.
On the second floor, we found parrots.
Back on the boardwalk, we zapped zombies at the XD Theater.
Further down, we saw an arcade and played some games. On Fridays, from 5 to 11pm, the carnival rides are a single flat rate rather than per ride, so if rides are your thing, be sure to take advantage! In general, weekdays are less crowded then weekends.
I even won a mini version of Boo, “the world’s cutest dog”! That dog really does resemble a stuffed animal…
R was inspired after seeing a guy flying his bright yellow kite, so he raced off into the sand in search of his own. He returned with a fish-shaped kite that cost $7.
Boo had a long day at the beach and wanted to go home. Thirsty dog.
Our time here sure was…pleasant. For a fun day trip, pack up your beach gear and head out to Point Pleasant Beach for a taste of the Jersey Shore. 🙂