Saturday, November 8, 2008

"The Shore"

I'm from New Jersey, so I have to start with ideas for things to do on a staycation there. Lets start with the most obvious. The Jersey Shore. Down the Shore you can go fishing, lay on the beach, take a trip on a party boat, hit the boardwalk, visit the parks and lighthouses, go camping, hiking, surfing, biking, or just watch the sunset at night. There's plenty of golf courses, bars, restaurants, hotels, and cozy bed & breakfasts:

Courtesy of the Star-Ledger, below is a listing of the Jersey Shore's top beaches:

Gunnison Beach (Sandy Hook): The state's only legal nude beach is listed first not because I go there but because this is in alphabetical order. Get naked, as they like to say here, or get lost!

Island Beach State Park: RV enthusiast, fisherman's and hiker's heaven. Ten miles of sand and sun, and not a T-shirt shop or pizza joint in sight.

Manasquan: Nice, compact beach, and the nearly-mile-long walkway is nearly clutter and commercial-free.

Margate: On how many beaches can you spread your blanket in the shadow of a six story-high elephant? Lucy's her name.

Ocean Grove: The state's best-behaved beach, if there is such a thing. It's a dry town, and no one's allowed on the beach on Sundays until 12:30 p.m. That means you!

Point Pleasant Beach: Plenty of action on both the beach - volleyball, entertainment, even fashion shows - and the boardwalk.

Sea Bright: The first true Shore town. Free beach-front parking. Amazing.

Strathmere: Blink twice, and you're out of this town, sandwiched between Ocean City and Sea Isle. But it's one of the state's few free beaches. For dinner or drinks: the Deauville Inn.

Sunset Beach: This stretch of sand in Lower Township (adjacent to Cape May), is the end of the line as far as Jersey's beaches go. The evening flag-lowering ceremony here is a must.Wildwood (including North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest): Unimaginably wide beach - you can barely see the surf from the boardwalk - and it's free!!

Here are some more great spots to go to Down the Shore:

Atlantic Highlands: A visitor can enjoy accommodations in an 1800’s Victorian B&B, local seafood so fresh it practically jumps out of the ocean, and many beach bars to unwind and listen to some great music preformed by local Jersey Shore bands.

Avon by the Sea: Just 60 miles from New York and Philadelphia, it is a great place to swim & relax in the summer sun. Plenty of fine restaurants, shops, Victorian homes and a non-commercial boardwalk make Avon one of New Jersey's most relaxing respites.

Belmar: Belmar has kept its reputation as a resort town for all seasons. Whether you are seeking a relaxing vacation on the beach, or a vacation full of activities and nightlife, you can find it at Belmar.

Long Beach Island: Long Beach Island remains the premier spot in New Jersey for quiet relaxation by the ocean. Since it is only a quarter mile wide, visitors are close to both the sea and the bay. Only one town on the island has an amusement area, and there is no boardwalk. Long Beach Island boasts some of the most naturally beautiful beaches on the east coast, as well as hundreds of boutiques and fine restaurants.

Point Pleasant: Point Pleasant NJ has remained a premier Jersey Shore Boardwalk, with a first class aquarium, rides, live entertainment and amusements. Downtown Point Pleasant boasts a thriving shopping district with a myriad of premiere antique establishments, making the area a great location for all ages.

Wildwood: Wildwood consists of four distinct towns. Wildwood Crest, Wildwood, North Wildwood and West Wildwood.

Gambling and Casinos

If you crave the sounds of binging and dinging and excitement of gambling, here's a few places to go - and it's not just Atlantic City, but we'll start there...

Atlantic City: Whether you're looking to while away some time at a low-stakes slot machine, play some high-powered poker, or anything in between, Atlantic City gambling halls have what you want. Atlantic City casinos offer slots, poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, keno, race books and specialty table games provide non-stop action along the Boardwalk and in the Marina District.

Foxwoods: About 2 hours north of New Jersey is Foxwoods Resort and Casino. There are over 380 to choose from. Blackjack and craps, or pai gow, we've got your game. If you prefer the slots, we feature 7,200 to choose from – including a smoke-free casino with over 500 slots.

Monticello Gaming and Raceway: About 90 minutes north of New Jersey, Monticello Gaming & Raceway features over 1,500 of the newest, hottest video games, including progressives and video poker. From penny games to $10 high limit action, they've got the name of your game!

Mount Airy Casino Resort: Mount Airy Casino Resort is in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania and is open daily 24 hours. The casino's 68,000 square foot gaming space features 2,523 gaming machines. The property has four restaurants and a hotel with 188 rooms.

Canoeing and Rafting

If you're near a river, or other waterway, you can enjoy a peaceful ride down a shimmering river, or the exciting ride of white water. How about a camping staycation that includes a ride down the river!

Delaware River Tubing: Delaware River Tubing is the closest, cheapest, has the best customer service, and easiest to get to tubing and rafting business from New York, Philadelphia, PA, and New Jersey! Plus a free BBQ meal! Nominated for the 2007 New Jersey Governer's Tourism Award.

Cedar Creek Campground: Cedar Creek Campground features camping, kayaking and much, much more!

Canoeing the Delaware River: The main stem of the Delaware, 331 miles from Hancock, NY, to its mouth at Cape May Point, NJ, is the longest free-flowing river in Eastern United States.

Canoeing Wawayanda Creek: A classic canoeing adventure on Wawayanda and Pochuck Creeks.

Delaware River Family Campground: Delaware River Family Campground is an ideal resort setting for a memorable family vacation. We invite you and your family to experience the wonderful outdoors in the breathtaking Delaware River Water Gap area. Whether you take to the river in a raft, canoe or tube; hike the Appalachian Trail; or relax around the Resort, there is something for everyone to enjoy. It's a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Kittatinny Canoes: Award winning family owned and operated, offering 68 years of outdoor fun and excitement for all ages and abilities. Kittatinny operates on the Scenic Delaware River,running through two National Park. All seven of their bases are strategically located to insure the most diverse river trips.


Here's a great Staycation idea - Camping. There's two types of camping that I think of when I hear the word. One is "roughing it" camping where there are NO amenities! Just you and the outdoors (and a bush for a bathroom!). Then there's RV camping or cabin camping. You have a bed beneath your back, a roof over your head, but still not quite all the comforts of that 5 star hotel. If either of those are for you, it can be a lot of fun, you can meet a lot of great people, and do a lot of things while you're there. Camp and Fish, Camp and Hike, Camp and hit the river....The options are endless and the cost is reasonable!

Bass River State Forest: 176 tent and trailer sites with fire rings and picnic tables. Flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities are within walking distance of all sites.

Blueberry Hill RV Park: Only 13 miles from Atlantic City, you are near enough to enjoy the casinos, boardwalk and beaches, yet far enough away to enjoy the rural countryside of our quaint historic town of Port Republic. Unlike many New Jersey RV Parks, we are open February 1 through December 15, so take advantage of our Spring and Fall specials!

Cedar Creek Campground: Cedar Creek Campground features camping, kayakingand much, much more!

Country Oaks: Country Oaks is located right in the hub of everything that’s happening at the Jersey Shore. But there’s more than that. In fact, much more.

Holly Acres: Nestled on 40-acres in Southern New Jersey, Holly Acres R.V. Park offers a peaceful camping experience, while still being close to area attractions, such as the casinos, beaches, and shopping.

KOA: Thirty Kampgrounds of America parks in North America were named to a list of top campgrounds in North America prepared by ReserveAmerica, one of the leading recreation reservation services in the nation.

Pomona RV Park: Pomona RV Park and Campground offers outstanding family camping in the heart of Southern New Jersey’s fabulous shore area.

Fishing and Boating

And not just fishing on a boat! There are party boats, dinner cruises, cruises to nowhere, and more. Many right out of the New York / New Jersey / Connecticut area. Staycation local this year and spend a weekend boating & fishing!

Adventurous Charters: Adventurous Charters, LLC specializes in inshore and offshore fishing trips as well as business meetings, luncheons, evening cruises. We are located in historic downtown Mystic, CT.

The Barvic: The Barvic is 55 feet long and 18 feet wide, powered by twin V8 Detroit Diesel engines. U.S. CoastGuard Licensed to carry up to 48 passengers and equipped with the most up to date electronics for fishing and safety. The Barvic has a large cockpit and walk-around for your fishing comfort.

Charter Sails: There’s nothing like the peaceful lull of sailing. There’s also nothing like the bounding thrill of sailing. And if watching the fireworks on the fourth of July next to the Statue of Liberty interests you, look no further than Charter Sails.

Kathleen D Sailing Catamaran: Toddlers to teens to grandparents, everyone will be comfortable on this very special sailing cat!

Miss Belmar: With a friendly and courteous crew, the Miss Belmar Princess gives you a memorable fishing experience so that you keep coming back again & again.

Skyline Princess: These cruises offer the same high-quality service as any private affair with the same stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty or lighthouses and mansions of Long Island Sound. They are also ideal for parties of 100 people or less which, can have their own deck.

The Great Outdoors

There is so much to do outdoors in and around New Jersey. Besides the history, culture, shopping and nightlife, there's hiking trails, parks, horseback riding, rafting, cycling, golf and more.

Ballooning: Scary? Exhilerating? But did you know that hot air balloons have the safest flight record of all aircraft?

Camping: New Jersey has campgrounds at the shore, in the skylands, at the Delaware River, the Gateway and more

Canoeing and Rafting: There are lovely state and county parks around for kayaking, canoeing, rafting and more.

Cycling: There are plenty of areas for enthusiasts to bike around New Jersey. The NJ Department of Transportation lists Towns, counties and bicycle clubs that provide maps and information about trails, routes and other facilities for bicyclists. Information is available from these sources.

Fishing: Although one of the smallest and most densely populated state in the nation, New Jersey offers endless fishing opportunities. From spring migrations of striped bass and American shad in the Delaware River to bayshores and the Atlantic coastline, there's something for all anglers. And progressive management and fish culture and stocking programs means a greater of variety of fish are available than ever before.

Golfing: New Jersey has over 350 golf courses to choose from!

Hiking and Backpacking: You'll be amazed at the number of forests and hiking trails around New Jersey.

Parks & Forests: Whether you are looking for an action packed day of hiking and swimming, or camping under the stars, there are plenty of things to see and do in New Jersey's 42 parks, 11 forests and 3 recreation areas. With more than 50 historic sites and districts, New Jersey's past is rich with stories to tell. This is evident in the historic homes, landscapes and battlefields where Washington and the Continental Army spent almost half of the American Revolutionary War.

Bed and Breakfasts

If you're planning a Staycation, you may need to spend a day or two away from home. There are many beautiful Bed and Breakfasts in the tri-state area. Instead of listing them out for you, I'll send you right over to Bed and where you can find a great B and B in your area!

Bed and Breakfast Inns: is a comprehensive worldwide listing of bed and breakfasts, B and B homestays, country inns, urban bed and breakfasts, guest houses, lodges, cabins, historic hotels, small resorts, guest ranches, farmhouse accomodations, and working farm and ranch vacations. B and B database searches allow you to find the ideal bed and breakfast inn, whether you are looking by location, amenities, online bookings, recipes, special packages, last-minute availability, or gift certificate acceptance.

Hot Air Ballooning

Ballooning: Scary? Exhilerating? But did you know that hot air balloons have the safest flight record of all aircraft? This is a fun and adventurous staycation idea. I've been to the Balloon Festival i the Poconos and it's amazing! Find a great little B&B there, and watch (or ride in) the balloons all day!

Alexandria Balloon Flights: NJ Hot Air Balloon Rides serving New Jersey,New York, and Eastern Pennsylvania. Alexandria Balloon Flights provides scenic Hot Air Balloon Rides over some of the most beautiful and charming countryside NJ has to offer.

American Balloon: YOU ARE INVITED to share an aerial adventure which mankind has enjoyed for more than two centuries! Join us as we drift in the gentle breezes over the lovely hills and valleys of Hunterdon County in New Jersey. It is truly a vista of breathtaking beauty. Your hot air ballooning adventure may take you to heights where you can view distant objects and you'll fly low near the tree tops close enough to touch the leaves.

Balloons Aloft: Flights last about an hour, and take place in beautiful Hunterdon County, NJ. The landscape is a combination of wooded areas, farmland, and beautiful villages and towns. The passengers aloft are treated to a serene, fantastic, sometimes dream-like panorama.

Dancing on Air: Come and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime with a balloon flight over the beautiful Lambertville/New Hope area. You will board your balloon and rise gently into the sky. On clear days, you can see the skylines of Philly, NYC, the Delaware Water Gap, and the beautiful countryside of Hunterdon and Bucks Counties.

NJ Hot Air: Hot air balloon rides in NJ, PA & NYC - Hot Air Ballooning adventures in New Jersey, Pennsylvania & New York City, including such hot air balloon services as champagne balloon flights, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, gift certificates, hot air balloon sales, corporate hot air balloon advertising, balloon flight instruction, aerial photography and more!

In Flight Balloon Adventures LLC: Serving NJ, Pa and NYC. Enjoy an amazing ballooning experience with spectacular views of hills, farms and historic buildings! Whether you want a romantic getaway hot air balloon ride, a surprise elegant dinner combined with a hot air balloon flight, a special birthday or anniversary ballooning ride, a B & B very romantic getaway package, a banquet event, or even a most unique wedding getaway - choose the Experienced Professionals for New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York City.