Woot Woot Here Comes Summer

I bet you’re curious…  Yes, this summer at the Jersey Shore is shaping up to be fantastic!  Schools are letting out in the upcoming days and it is time to think Summer Thoughts, namely Firework Displays.

Kaboom is still on the kabash for this year in Red Bank due to organizational and financial issues, but there are still plenty of nearby towns planning on providing spectacular visual entertainment for you and your family.

The longest running event during the Independence Day holiday at the Jersey Shore is the Atlantic Highlands Fireman Fair.  This unique town offers tremendous water views, great restaurants, a marina and fishing boats available to charter throughout the year.  The fair will be going on from July 2-July 6 at Municipal Harbor on Simon Lake Drive.  Circle your calendar for Fireworks on Friday, July 5th with a rain date of Saturday July 7th.

Hazlet is always a winner with fireworks.  Start your holiday weekend early by watching the Wednesday July 3rd display.  Get to Veterans Park, grab a prime spot and wait patiently for the sun to set. (Rain date Friday, July 5th)

Spend the day in Keansburg at the amusement and water parks.  Spend your night ooooing and aaahhhing at the colors exploding across the black canvas of the night sky.   They offer a double feature – Wednesday and Thursday July 3rd and July 4th at dusk – Fishing Pier and Boardwalk

Long Branch proudly presents Oceanfest on Thursday July 4th – all day free family fun can be found.  This annual festival is a crowd pleaser “for shore” with activities happening all day long starting at 10am.  What can be better than good old fashioned family fun at the Promenade in Long Branch!?!  Don’t forget to stop at Strollo’s Lighthouse and cool off or celebrate with an authentic Italian ice or delicious homemade soft serve ice cream.

Union Beach, one of the most devastated Monmouth County communities from Sandy’s wrath, did not have any plans to conduct their annual fireworks display.  Those residents have spent the last 210 days rebuilding their town and their spirits.  One resident entered a contest for a free community fireworks display and Won!  They have not yet posted a date for this wonderful gift that has been bestowed upon them.   Be sure to come and celebrate their victory in determination.  You will never meet a more deserving bunch of people.

So pack up the car and the kiddos – shoot, we’re pet friendly at the Comfort Inn Middletown, so bring the family pet too – and head on down the shore to Exit 117.  There is something to do every day here and we look forward to creating Summer 2013 memories with you!


Go Green and Be Seen at the Belmar St. Patrick Day Parade

It’s that time of year again for Belmar’s Annual St. Patrick Day Parade. This year it is set for Sunday, March 4. Start time for the parade is 12:30 on Main Street, but it is highly suggested to arrive prior so you can secure an excellent viewing spot as well as a parking spot for your car.
Since 1974 this parade has been hitting the streets and each year the spectators increase. Join the locals and the not-so-locals at the parade of the year! This year the parade’s Grand Marshal is John Carr and the Grand Deputy Marshal is Jane Catherine Guild. Wonderful bios about both of these honored folks can be found on the Belmar Parade Website.
Firetrucks, Marching Bands, Cheerleaders, Bag Pipers and more. You will see it all! Grab your green and be seen, but only at the Belmar St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Not Irish? Not a problem…. Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!
Make it a Family Sunday Funday! After the parade’s conclusion, visit the wonderful eateries in Belmar, then take a trip to Point Pleasant and visit Jenkinson’s Aquarium.

Jersey Shore CVB Hosts First Annual Tourism Expo

Jersey Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau and Hotels Unlimited will host a  Tourism Expo on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at Ramada Toms River from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.  Free Admission, prizes and food. Come see all the Jersey Shore has to offer with a live WPLJ Broadcast, local vendors, a preview of 2011′s spring and summer events and networking.

The CVB will also be unveiling the new Jersey Shore icon and hosting a press conference to announce the summer long contest that will accompany the use of the icon. It will be a very fun event and I will be representing Comfort Inn  Middletown-Red Bank joining our partners in tourism.

Directions to Ramada Toms River can be found here. There are some exhibition spaces still available, if you are interested contact Dana Lancellotti at 732-905-2626.

“Now That’s New Jersey”: Our New State Tourism Slogan

What do you think about that?  I’m not sure how I feel about “Now That’s New Jersey” being the new state slogan to promote tourism.  I feel like it can be made negative way too easily and New Jersey gets enough undeserved criticism.  Tourism is a critical component of the state’s annual revenue generators and employment sector. Tourism affects everyone, like it or not.

Want to learn more about what the leaders of New Jersey have planned for 2011 and beyond?  New Jersey’s newly appointed Director of Tourism, Grace Hanlon, will be on hand Friday April 15, 2011 to speak at the Monmouth Ocean Development Council’s April General Membership Luncheon.  She will share the results of the industry’s survey on the trends and impact of the tourism market in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and detail the state’s plan for a new marketing campaign for 2011.

Tourism is a driving force in New Jersey’s economy that directly, or indirectly, affects nearly all businesses. If you were unable to attend the Governor’s Conference on Tourism a few weeks ago in Atlantic City, this luncheon is an excellent opportunity to find out what you missed. There is a Q&A session planned and Grace brings a lot of energy and promise to this new position for her.

The luncheon will take place at The Breakers in Spring Lake from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Co-sponsored by the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Long Beach Island Destination marketing Organization and presented by MODC’s Culture and Tourism Committee of which I am a member.  The cost of the luncheon is $39.00 for members and $54.00 for non-members.  For more information on this event and to register, click here.

Jersey Shore Restaurant Week Starts Friday!

We at Comfort Inn Middletown love Jersey Shore Restaurant Week as it gives us the extra excuse to recommend our favorite restaurants to our guests at a great deal.  The kick off party is actually planned for this Thursday evening at the Dauphin Grille in the Berkeley Hotel in Asbury Park. The area’s top chefs will be preparing their favorite appetizers. Personally, I love making a meal out of appetizers.   Additionally, there will be a wine bar, pate station, cheese booth and a dessert room.

There are nearly 70 restaurants at the Jersey Shore that will offer three course meals on a prix fixe menu for either $20.11 or $30.11. There are a number of special events that will happen throughout restaurant week at the shore.  Saturday, April 2nd, Harpoon Willy’s in Manasquan will host “Burgers, Bloodies and Brews” and Sunday, April 3rd  The Mill, Spring Lake Heights, will present “The Great Jersey Shore Martini Contest” where area bartenders compete for the “Best Martini at the Shore”.

On Monday, April 4th, The Barclay Hotel in Belmar hosts “The Dream Dinner”.  Executive Chefs from Brandl, David Burke Fromagerie, Doris & Ed’s and Shipwreck Grill each prepare a course and pair them with wines.  Enjoy “Shellfish and Chardonnay” all day Wednesday, the 6th at Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant in Long Branch. $5 chardonnay, $1 shrimp and oysters, .50 clams.

Get to the Point” on Saturday, April 9th at The Elks in Point Pleasant. Beat the winter blues with BBQ and Microbrews. Food courtesy of Prime Market. Live music by RetroJunk.  Restaurant Week ends with “Sunday Soiree-A Taste of St. Tropez” on the ocean in Long Branch at Avenue. Sample delicious Mediterranean foods and wines. Live music  Participating restaurants, Special Event details and ticket purchase available at www.jerseyshorerestaurantweek.com.  Contact Jim Flynn via email or at 732-859-5643. Some of the special events will require ticket purchase be sure to check out the site for more information.

There are a lot of restaurants very close to the hotel participating so I made a Jersey Shore Restaurant Week map in Google Maps so you can easily locate the nearby restaurants and get directions.  The list includes:

David Burke Fromagerie

Doris and Ed’s Restaurant

Gaetano’s Red Bank

Raven & the Peach

Buona Sera Ristorante & Bar

Nauvoo Grill Club

Bahrs landing Seafood Restaurant and Marina

Basil T’s Brewery and Italian Restaurant

Danny’s Steakhouse, Seafood and Sushi Bar

Via 45

Murray MacGregor’s Publik House

Salt Creek Grille



Jersey Shore Restaurant Week is a great reason to get out and try a new place, re-visit an old hangout or just plain have a night on the town. If you’ve been to a restaurant week event of have had any experiences to share, please fo in the comments section.  I’d appreciate it.  Happy feasting!

*Header Photo Credit

Jersey Shore Restaurant Week November 4-14 2010

Jersey Shore Restaurant Week presented by BestWeekends.com returns in November and will run  from Thursday, November 4 through Sunday, November 14, 2010 at various venues from Highlands down south to Toms River. Participating restaurants (click for list) will be offering a prix fixe menu at $20.10 or $30.10 that include three appetizer, entrée and dessert choices. There are also a number of special events occurring to celebrate restaurant week, click on the links for more information and ticket prices.

This is the third Jersey Shore Restaurant Week event, the first was November 2009 and there was a follow-up one this past April.  Each event has become more  and more successful. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunities to dine in local restaurants at unbeatable prices.

Special Events through Restaurant Week Overview:

Thursday, November 4th Kick Off Party “Top Jersey Shore Chefs, Great Affordable Wines” at Spring Lake Manor 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Shore Chefs will prepare dishes and pair them with wines, all at affordable prices.

Friday, November 5th Asbury Trolley Tour starts at 6:00pm. Meet at The Berkeley and board the trolley. Cocktails, hors d’ oeuvres and live music at Langosta Lounge and Trinity and Pope and ends with dinner at the Dauphin Grill.

Sunday, November 7th Ruffino Wine Dinner at Remington’s in Manasquan at 6:30pm.  Tasty hors d’oeuvres and three course dinner, paired with Ruffino wines and prepared by Chef Michael Dolan.

Thursday, November 11th The Great Jersey Shore Martini Contest at Jenkinson’s, Point Pleasant Beach 7:00pm to 10:00pm. Bartender competition to create the best Tito’s Handmade Vodka Martini. There will be martini tastings and food with a live band after the event.

Saturday, November 13th Burgers, Bloodies and Brews at Harpoon Willy’s in Manasquan 12:00pm to 3:00pm  with Three Types of Burgers, Bloody Mary’s and Beer to choose from at a special price.

Sunday, November 14th Wine and Cheeses of Italy at Undici in Rumson. Sample 50 of Italy’s greatest wines, cheese from Sickles Market and other products from around the world.

All events require ticket purchase, click on the link provided for each event for more information and ticket purchase.

Restaurants that are participating in Jersey Shore Restaurant Week that are closest to the Comfort Inn Middletown are: In Fair Haven, Nauvoo Grill Club and Raven and The Peach. In Highlands, Bahr’s and Doris and Ed’s. A number in Red Bank, Basil T’s, Danny’s Steakhouse, Gaetano’s, Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza, Torcello and Via 45. In Rumson, Fromagerie Restaurant, Salt Creek Grille and Undici. Finally in Sea Bright visit McLoone’s Rum Runner and Ross’ Dockside.

If you have any experiences you’d like to share from a past Jersey Shore Restaurant Week event or have any advice to share, we encourage you to do so in the comments below.For even more information follow Jersey Shore Restaurant Week on Twitter and “Like” Jersey Shore Restaurant Week on Facebook.

(Visit Jersey Shore Restaurant Week Website)

Jersey Shore Events June 11-13, 2010

The weather report looks good and the upcoming weekend is jam-packed with amazing Jersey Shore events. The New Jersey Seafood Festival is in Belmar, 40th Annual New Jersey Irish Festival, the Monmouth Stakes, and Middletown native Max Weinberg will be performing at the Count Basie Theatre among other events.  Make your travel plans now to enjoy another great weekend at the Jersey Shore.  Make your reservations today, rooms at the Comfort Inn Middletown-Red Bank Area are going quickly.

The 24th Annual New Jersey Seafood Festival is June 11-13, 2010 in Belmar. The three-day event is one that is anticipated by visitors and locals alike.  For more information and full story click here to Visit the Jersey Shore’s blog. Friday evening events are from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.  Saturday and Sunday the festival will run 11:00am to 7:00pm. Great food from local Seafood restaurants, music, wine tasting and more.   Come see what the fuss is all about.

On Friday, June 11, 2010 the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank will be rockin’ with the sounds of The Max Weinberg Big Band, a Middletown, NJ native.  Legendary E-Street Band drummer MAX WEINBERG’s dream to create his own swinging 15-piece Big Band is a reality. Drawing from a repertoire that includes tried and true, yet updated, 1960’s-era Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson—even a new swinging take on The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen- THE MAX WEINBERG BIG BAND will swing the audience into a frenzy. This is a group that upholds the grand show business maxim, if you will: “LOOK SHARP-PLAY SHARP.” For more information and tickets, visit Count Basie Theatre’s Website.

The Keyport Antique Car Show is Friday June 11th at the junction of Routes 35 and 36 at the Stop n’ Shop Plaza from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

The New Jersey Irish Festival is a full-day celebration of Irish culture and heritage running from 12:00pm to 7:00pm. There will be live music, an on-field pipe-band competition, Irish-themed vendors, and much more. First Energy Park, home of the Lakewood Blue Claws at 2 Stadium Way in Lakewood.

SeaStreak has packages available to take the ferry to see the  NY Yankees take on the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium on June 12 or 13, 2010. Packages include upper tier tickets or boat only trips are available also. Skip the traffic, paying for parking and the headache. Take the boat to the game. Food, beverages and bar service available on-board. Must be booked in advance, visit the SeaStreak website for more details and availability.

Win & Wine Weekend Day One Saturday, June 12, 2010 at Monmouth Park in Oceanport. A Ten dollar ticket buys your sampling wine glass and wristband. Local New Jersey wineries will be pouring their featured wines. Plan a picnic for the day! No advance tickets required. Wine celebration hours 12 noon – 5 pm both Saturday and Sunday. And don’t miss the third running of the Grade III, $250,000 Monmouth Stakes. Last year, Monmouth Park legend Presious Passion took the Monmouth Stakes en route to his second-consecutive win in the Grade I United Nations.  Monmouth Park Racetrack Oceanport Ave, Oceanport. Gates open at 11:30am for the race.

The downtown district of Red Bank will celebrate Street Life from 6:00pm to 9:00pm on Saturday, June 12.  The sidewalks of Red Bank will be alive with music and entertainment on Saturday nights throughout the summer as Red Bank RiverCenter presents, ‘StreetLife.’ Residents, visitors, and businesses alike look forward to the free summer performances of the StreetLife program; now in its tenth year. StreetLife will take place in front of various businesses from Broad Street to the Red Bank Train Station and throughout the entire Red Bank business district. For more information, please go to the Red Bank RiverCenter Website.

The Galleria Red Bank Farmers Market takes place every Sunday May through November from 9:00am to 2:00pm. Offering fresh, locally grown produce from some of New Jerseys finest farmers as well as showcasing unique crafts and wonderful eateries. The 30 plus vendors are set up in The Galleria Red Bank Parking Lot Corner of Bridge Ave and West Front St, Red Bank.

Monmouth Park Family Fun Day Bring the kids to enjoy FREE Family Fun Day activities including pony rides, face painters, clowns, a bounce house and more. All Family Fun Day activities last 12-4pm. Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport.

The Back Street Boys will be in concert at Monmouth University on Sunday, June 13, 2010.  The Backstreet Boys “This is Us” Tour. The MAC at Monmouth University 400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch.  MINDLESS BEHAVIOR opens the show Doors 7 p.m. – Open to the Public!  ON SALE NOW Purchase tickets through Ticketmaster.com, toll-free phone charge at 800-745-3000, and the MAC and Pollack Theatre box offices. All tickets $46.50 + applicable surcharges. Produced by AEG Live and Concerts East

Reservations can be made at the Comfort Inn Middletown by calling us directly at 732.671.3400, our website at MiddletownComfortInn.com or download the Choice Hotels app on your iPhone and reserve that way. Visit and Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.