Jersey Shore, United States
On Jersey Shore’s buzzing boardwalks, sand-dusted beach bunnies in bikinis and shorts are as abundant as the saltwater taffy and candyfloss stands tempting tourists. Suntanned locals sit outside their stores, perched in beach chairs and hawking their goods, and arcade managers as theatrical as ringmasters announce the glittering prizes that await in the casinos. Take a breather from this swarm of kitschy carnival amusements though, and another side to the seaside resort comes into view: restored Victorian houses pepped up with pastel hues, authentic seafood joints and clusters of Italian restaurants (Jersey Shore has a sizable Italian-American population) serving up perfect pasta and pizzas. Discerning day-trippers fresh from the New York/Philadelphia commute enjoy tacos and mojitos in restaurants so peaceful, the crash of the surf provides a soundtrack to dining. To be simultaneously sparkling and serene is something few places can negotiate, but at the Shore, nothing’s out of reach.
PlanesFlights to New Jersey are handled by most of the major carriers | including American Airlines | Continental | Delta | Northwest | United | US Airways and Jet Blue. Fly into Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) or Philadelphia with British Airways (www.ba.com). Alternatively | head for New York and then make the drive. Atlantic City has its own airport | but flights are few and far between.
BoatsA 40-minute ferry from downtown Manhattan will take the nautically inclined to Sandy Hook, a barrier spit with a stunning national park.
TrainsHop on a train at Penn Station in Manhattan and arrive at a Jersey Shore beach town in less than two hours.
AutomobilesIf you want to visit more than a couple of beach towns | it makes sense to bring wheels. However | it’s easy to get off the train | check into a beachside hotel and walk to everything you need.
TaxisTaxis are plentiful at train stations. Each small town has its own taxi company, but Atlantic Taxi (www.taksee.com) is a safe bet for transfers from Newark airport and serves all of Jersey Shore. Shore Cab (732 280 4990) is the local cab company for Long Branch.