THE JERSEY SHORE

North Coast

Check out the sand dunes at Island Beach State Park.
Check out the sand dunes at Island Beach State Park. (John Deiner-twp)

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

ATTRACTIONS AND DISTRACTIONS

LONG BRANCH: Pier Village ( http://www.piervillage.com) is an oceanside enclave of more than 30 restaurants and boutiques. Catch Jazz on the Beach Sundays through Aug. 26, and concerts each Thursday at Pier Village. Yuk it up at Uncle Vinnie's Comedy Club (1 Ocean Blvd., 877-862-5384, http://www.unclevinniescomedyclub.com; $15), or bet on the ponies at Monmouth Park Racetrack (732-222-5100, http://www.monmouthpark.com; $2 grandstand admission).

ASBURY PARK: Catch a show at any of the city's numerous clubs, including the Stone Pony (913 Ocean Ave., 732-502-0600, http://www.thestonepony.com), the rock venue made famous by the Boss.

OCEAN GROVE: Take a walking tour ($6 donation) Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m.; call 732-774-1869 for info. Music is a big part of the summer experience of the town, a historic spiritual retreat, with many performances in the Great Auditorium; check http://www.ogcma.org for schedules. The town's choir festival is July 8.

BELMAR: See an outdoor movie on the Eighth Avenue Beach; offerings include "Cars." Strettttttttch during a Yoga on the Beach class ($12) Saturdays and Sundays through Yoga Anjali (732-681-7660, http://www.yogaanjali.com). Rent a kayak or surfboard from the Shark River Kayak Co. (732-556-1555, http://www.sharkriverkayaks.com; rentals from $25). Catch a show at Brandl (703 Belmar Plaza, 732-280-7501, http://www.brandlrestaurant.com), which features innovative American cuisine.

SEA GIRT: The Sea Girt Lighthouse (Ocean Avenue and Beacon Boulevard, 732-974-0514) is open for free tours Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m.

MANASQUAN: Free outdoor movies include "Field of Dreams" and "Charade." See a live performance of "Carousel" ($28) at the Algonquin Arts Theater (173 Main St., 732-528-9211, http://www.algonquinarts.org), or check the Web site for other shows (including the Shirelles). For $20, the Manasquan Water Taxi (732-528-9248, http://www.manasquanwatertaxi.com) will take you on a pirate adventure to "Treasure Island."

POINT PLEASANT BEACH: The boardwalk is the big dog in town; that's where you'll find Jenkinson's Aquarium (732-899-1659, http://www.jenkinsons.com/aquarium; $9), featuring penguin, shark and seal feedings, and the pirate-themed Cast-Away Cove mini-golf (732-892-0600; $9 a round). The River Belle paddle-wheeler (732-892-3377, http://www.riverboattour.com) offers theme outings, including Pizza & Fireworks cruises ($29). Catch Father Alfonse and His Orchestra for free each Wednesday at Jenkinson's Inlet Beach.

SEASIDE HEIGHTS: Thrill-ride your way down the boardwalk, or plunge into Jenkinson's Breakwater Beach (732-793-6488, http://www.casinopiernj.com/breakwaterbeach; all-day admission $25.95), with a lazy river and family section. Catch the fireworks Wednesdays. Hike and drive on the sand at Island Beach State Park; see story, Page P7.

LODGING

LONG BRANCH: The Ocean Place Resort and Spa (1 Ocean Blvd., 800-411-6493, http://www.oceanplaceresort.com; rates from $299) is an all-in-one destination with two pools (one indoor) and a private beach. The 12-room Cedars & Beeches (247 Cedar Ave., 732-571-6777, http://www.cedarsandbeeches.com; from $150) is a B&B surrounded by a garden.

ASBURY PARK: The gay-friendly 101-room Empress Hotel (101 Asbury Ave., 732-774-0100, http://www.asburyempress.com; from $129) offers sleek boutique-y digs near the ocean. The on-site Paradise club includes a disco ball whirling outdoors over the hotel pool.

OCEAN GROVE: The luxurious nine-room Majestic Hotel (19 Main Ave., 732-775-6100, http://www.majesticoceangrove.com; from $190) has ocean views and kitchenettes. The 22 rooms at the Lillagaard B&B (5 Abbott Ave., 732-988-1216, http://www.lillagaard.com; from $115) may be a bit froufrou for some, but its Victorian tea room ($18 for afternoon tea) is a frilly hoot. A low-cost option is the Quaker Inn (39 Main Ave., 732-775-7525, http://www.quakerinn.com; from $50 single), with simple, clean rooms.

AVON-BY-THE-SEA: The putting green, outdoor fireplace and complimentary bikes make the 10-room Avon Manor Inn (109 Sylvania Ave., 732-776-7770, http://www.avonmanor.com; from $130) a standout.


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© 2007 The Washington Post Company


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