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!


A Good Reason to Visit – Memorial Day Events at the Jersey Shore

American FlagIt may not feel like it today, but the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day is right around the corner.  The Jersey Shore will start rockin’ and won’t quit until Labor Day or thereafter for us locals.   There are plenty of beaches within 10 miles to take the family for a day of fun in the sun. There are bay beaches in Union Beach, Keansburg, Port Monmouth, and Highlands and ocean beaches at Sandy Hook and Sea Bright. For a complete list of Monmouth County beaches click here. Keansburg Amusement Park and Runaway Rapids are just a few miles away. Six Flags Great Adventure is less than an hour away. Here is a summary of family fun activities at the Jersey Shore for Memorial Day.

SeaStreak Yankees Baseball Package available May 29 and May 30 against the Cleveland Indians. Cruise your way to Lower and Midtown Manhattan on board one of SeaStreak’s luxurious catamarans.  SeaStreak provides daily year-round ferry services from Atlantic Highlands and Conners, Highlands, NJ to Pier 11 Wall Street, East 35th Street and the World Financial Center in New York City. Offering indoor and outdoor seating, full service bar, rest rooms and complimentary parking, SeaStreak fast passenger catamarans provide the most civilized commute to New York City!

Keyport Memorial Day Parade Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 12:00 PM. The parade route begins on Broad Street, turns left onto West Front Street ends at Fireman’s Park on West Front Street. Members of local American Legion and VFW posts representing the military, including the Color Guard, will lead the parade. There will be over 30 parade participants featuring marchers and floats with our local Civic, Church, Environmental and Community organizations, the Keyport Senior Center, Recreation Committee, Keyport Fire, First aid and Rescue units, Keyport Schools and more. Keyport’s downtown stores, restaurants and cafes will be open offering parade specials.

Munchmobile Hot Dog Showdown at Monmouth Park on Saturday, May 29th. Sponsored by the Star-Ledger. Kick off the summer with our two-day celebration of summer – Brats, Burgers & Beer. No advance tickets required. On the track, the $100,000 John J. Reilly and $100,000 Lamplighter Stakes highlight the afternoon. In 2009, local legend Joey P. captured the John J. Reilly for the third time in his extremely successful career.

Frankie Valli & Four Seasons Saturday, May 29th, 2010 at 7:00pm  Paramount Theatre 1300 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park. A Benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County.  Tickets $49 to $249 Advance tickets: 732-775-7862 or e-mail kelliv@bcgmonmouth.org You can purchase tickets at The Stone Pony box office for all Paramount Theatre shows. The Stone Pony box office hours are Wednesday through Monday from 12-5 and all show hours.

Jersey Shore Pirate Adventures aboard The Sea Gypsy May 29-31 As a thank you to our troops they are offering a 20% discount with military ID.

Jersey Shore Premium Outlets Sidewalk Sale May 28th through May 31st from 9:00am to 9:00pm. Enjoy additional savings at participating stores during the annual Memorial Day Sidewalk Sale. Plus, enjoy live entertainment Saturday, Sunday and Monday from Noon – 3pm in Sand Castle Court. Tinton Falls

“Meet the Surflighters” Beach Haven, NJ The 2010 ensemble performs songs and dances from the coming season. A reception follows.

The Galleria Red Bank Farmer’s Market Sunday, May 30 9:00am to 2:00pm This farmers market, running every Sunday from May 9, 2010 – November 14, 2010 and offers fresh, locally grown produce from some of New Jerseys finest farmers as well as showcasing unique crafts and wonderful eateries. The Galleria Red Bank Parking Lot Corner of Bridge Ave and West Front St, Red Bank.

10th Annual Seaport Craft Show Sunday, May 30th in Highlands, NJ  A wonderful array of specialty vendors and crafters lined up in Huddy Park from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Shop for unique Jewelry, handmade items and many other treasures. The Seaport Craft Show is held annually on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. Contact: Carla Email: HBP@highlandsnj.com Call: (732) 291-4713

Allenhurst Outdoor Antiques Market May 30th 9:00am to 4:00pm. Chic Recycled Treasures in an old Fashion Outdoor Market. Large Pedestrian only zone next to Deal Lake, Downtown Historical Allenhurst with Food Vendors & all sorts of Vintage Merchandise. Bargains Galore.

Monmouth Park Family Fun Day Sunday, May 30th Family Fun Days are every Sunday and Holiday Memorial Day to Labor Day from 12 noon – 4 pm. All Activities are FREE and include:Pony Rides,Face Painters,Clowns,Bounce House, Live Music. Grandstand admission is $3, children 12 and under are always admitted free. Come out and see why Asbury Park Press readers named Monmouth Park one of the “Best Family Attractions in Monmouth County.”

Asbury Park Memorial Day Fireworks Monday, May 31 on the Asbury Park Boardwalk.

Memorial Day Ceremony at the NJ Vietnam Veterans Memorial May 31st at 11:00am in Holmdel. The guest speaker at this year’s ceremony will be Major General Glenn Rieth, of Ewing Township, NJ. The ceremony will also include the presentation of two scholarships to New Jersey high school seniors and the induction of two Vietnam Veterans into the Memorial’s “In Memory” Program. New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and Vietnam Era Educational Center 1 Memorial Lane, Holmdel.

Memorial Day Nike Missile Defenses Tour Monday, May 31, 2 p.m. Join a car caravan tour to visit the Nike missile sites on Sandy Hook. These supersonic nuclear missiles protected the NY metro area from the 1950s through the 1970s. Meet at Guardian Park Gateway National Recreation Area Sandy Hook Unit

Call now for your Comfort Inn Middletown reservations at 732.671.3400, our double-bedded guest rooms go very quickly.  You can find all of our hotel information on our website here. We look forward to welcoming you and our fingers are crossed for good weather!

Last Weekend Was a Summer Preview

The gorgeous weather this past weekend was certainly a summer preview.  We cranked up the AC in the house. At first I thought it was kind of crazy.  Then I went on a gardening spree and about had heat stroke! The beaches at the Jersey Shore are free until Memorial Day and it’s not crazy crowded yet.

We got our act together early on Saturday morning and headed out to Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright. One of my favorite Jersey Shore hangouts. There was no cover to get in, I’ve missed the cheeseburgers, we actually got a parking spot and it was perfect beach weather. I did not get brave enough to stick a toe in the water, I can only imagine it was freezing.

The beach in Sea Bright was hit hard by the steady onslaught of nor’easter that hit the area this past winter. There appeared to be significant beach erosion however it was a great time as always. Our Miller Lite and Heineken cans were beautifully cold and an afternoon beer always tastes better with your feet in the sand.

The Sea Bright Business Alliance had their annual Taste of Sea Bright Trolley Hop on Saturday, May 1st from 12:00pm to 5:30pm.  It looked like a really fun time and it is now on the list of things to do next year.  For $40 they gave an admission bracelets, map/passport to participating businesses, all food. drinks, cocktails, unlimited trolley/bus rides throughout the event. They also gave out a bright green Sea Bright Business Alliance back pack which is what made me notice there was something going on.

There’s plenty of fun things to do at the Jersey Shore year round.  The Comfort Inn Middletown has pre-season rates in effect until Memorial Day.  Plan your trip and stay with us.  We’ll gladly steer you to the best Jersey Shore things to do, places to eat and hang out.

Free and Low Cost Things To Do At The Jersey Shore This Summer

The economy appears to be on the rebound, Europe is exploding with hot lava, you want to save money but still go on vacation.  These are all perfect reason to plan your Jersey Shore Summer Vacation today.  Having something fun to look forward to is good for the mind and the soul. There are plenty of low cost or free things to do  and the Comfort Inn Middletown wants to be a part of your Jersey Shore vacation.  Make your reservations today, our two queen bedded rooms book up quickly.

This post focuses on what’s good for your wallet.  I tried to put together a list of free or low cost events that you and your family can enjoy on your visit to the Jersey Shore.  We’ll call this the first in a two (at least) part series on Jersey Shore events.  This one will discuss recurring events and the one(s) to follow will include more date specific features. Then we’ll do some posts with more specifics on some of the events we talk about here. Most of the events listed take place during the months of June, July and August on the dates specified.

ARTS & MUSIC:  If the arts  and music are your thing well you’ve come to the right place. The Jersey Shore has a deep history in both. Night of the Arts: A monthly arts event held on the third Friday of every month presenting a sampling of the best arts in Asbury Park. The event takes place in Downtown Asbury Park. Blues On The Beach Long Branch: A Sunday night music series featuring local bands playing jazz and blues taking place West End Park Brighton Avenue, Long Branch.  Atlantic Highlands Summer Concert Series: Each Sunday starting June 27th and running through throughout the summer.  Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor on Simon Lake Drive in Atlantic Highlands.   Belmar Friday Night Concert Series: A concert every Friday night by a variety of artists from July through September. *Weather Permitting at Pyanoe Plaza 9th and Main St, Belmar.

Farmers Markets all throughout the summer at the Jersey Shore

Keyport Farmers Market

FARMERS MARKETS: Who doesn’t love locally grown produce, fresh flowers and crafts? There are many Farmers Markets taking place throughout the area during the summer months. Belmar: Farmers market every Saturday from May through September sponsored by the Belmar Chamber of Commerce. Located at Pyanoe Plaza 9th and Main St, Belmar.  The Galleria Red Bank: This farmers market, runs every Sunday from May 9, 2010 – November 14, 2010 and offers fresh, locally-grown produce from some of New Jerseys finest farmers as well as showcasing unique crafts and wonderful eateries. The Galleria Red Bank Parking Lot Corner of Bridge Ave and West Front St, Red Bank. Manasquan: Locally grown fruit, vegetables and herbs. Great tasting baked goods and more. Every Thursday from June 24 – September 2, 2010, 9am to 3pm at Miller Preston Way, Manasquan.  Keyport: Annual farmers market running every Thursday from July through October. Fresh Picked, Jersey Grown, Fruits, Vegetables,Flowers, Jams and  Honey in Mini Park on West Front Street 1:00 PM to Sell Out.  Highlands:Wake up and smell the fresh flowers and just-picked Jersey-fresh produce available every Saturday from July through October at the Highlands Business Partnership’s weekly Farmers Market in Huddy Park, Highlands.

FIREWORKS: Ah beautiful eye candy. Keansburg Amusement Park: Free fireworks show July 3 & and 4 and every Monday night at dusk July 12- August 9th at the Fishing Pier. The Lakewood BlueClaws Fireworks Fridays: Fireworks display after each home game Friday nights during the season. Lakewood BlueClaws Stadium is located at 2 Stadium Way, Lakewood. Asbury Park: Fireworks on the Asbury Park boardwalk every Wednesday from June through August. *Weather Permitting*Boardwalk, Asbury Park.

MOVIES: Who needs the drive in when you can settle your beach chair into the sand and catch a flick on the beach?  Free movie screening on the Asbury Park Beach: Every Thursday in July and August. Bring a beach chair or blanket. *Weather Permitting* Asbury Park Beach. Free movie on the beach in Belmar: Every Sunday from July through September. *Weather Permitting*8th Ave. Beach, Belmar. Website lists the movie schedule.

SIDEWALK SALES AND EVENTS: Yes, shopping costs money but only if you buy something. You are more than welcome to come “window shop” and enjoy two historic towns. First Saturday In Asbury Park: Spend the first Saturday of each month enjoying sidewalk sales, shopping, and dining under a variety of different themes.  Red Bank Street Life: Free entertainment on the sidewalks of Red Bank. Red Bank Business District. Saturdays June 5 through August 28th.

SPORTS: Monmouth Park Family Fun Days: Family Fun Days are every Sunday and Holiday Memorial Day to Labor Day from 12 noon – 4 pm. All Activities are FREE and include:Pony Rides, Face Painters, Clowns,Bounce House & Live Music. Grandstand admission is $3, children 12 and under are always admitted free. Henry Hudson Trail: A multi-purpose train in Monmouth County.  Read our previous post on this local gem here.

Monmouth County has a rich County Park System most of which are free to enter.  Check out their website to see all of the things they have to offer.  There’s gardens, beaches, golf, fishing, boating, horseback riding and much more.

This is only a sampling of the great free and low cost things to do at the Jersey Shore. The Comfort Inn Middletown is your Choice Hotel when looking for a hotel at the Jersey Shore. Come stay with us, we want to share your vacation with you.

Calling All Baseball Fans – Have We Got a Great Road Trip Idea For You

For years now my friends Hallie, Amanda, Nancy and I have traveled the East Coast and Mid West to various baseball parks to follow our favorite team, the New York Mets. Well, Nancy is a Yankee fan, but she’s a great sport and comes for the love of us and the game. Our first venture was to Pittsburgh and PNC Park in 2006 hoping to catch the Mets win the NL East. We were disappointed by the Pirates taking 2 of 3 but not by our experience in Pittsburgh.  Not only were we able to catch 2 great baseball games in a park that was far superior to Shea Stadium, we were able to meet up with other sports nuts and scalp tickets from a man we only knew as “Kaleidoscope” to the Pitt vs. Michigan State Football game in the afternoon.  We’ve taken the road trip to Philadelphia a few times and anyone who knows sports knows Philly is a tough place to be an out-of-town fan and I’ll leave it at that. Two great things about the Phillies trips were the Holiday Inn is in the parking lot, which was perfect for tailgating and McFadden’s for pre/post game celebrating.

Chicago had been an annual baseball trip interrupted last year by the lack of a weekend series. Chicago is a fun city with great locals. We made many a friend at the Cubby Bear.  In 2008 and we managed to work out the Ultimate Baseball trip flying into Milwaukee to catch Mets vs. Brewers. Then we caught the one hour scenic and $20.00 Amtrak trip from Milwaukee to Chicago for Mets vs. Cubs. The Binghamton Mets, Cleveland Indians and Progressive Field, Tri-City Valley Cats, Oneonta Tigers and many other teams have worked their way into our road trips.  At this point I am digressing.  The point of the post is how baseball ties into the Jersey Shore and the Comfort Inn  Middletown.

If you and your friends are like us and looking for a unique and fun way to enjoy baseball and the beach with the added bonus of not having to make the wretched drive to the stadium, have I got an idea for you!  SeaStreak runs a ferry service on the home game weekends to both Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. The ferry dock is located in Atlantic Highlands, about 4 miles from the hotel.  If you’re not a NY baseball fan, maybe the Mets or Yankees are playing your favorite team?   SeaStreak Yankees information can be found here and the 2010 printable flyer here. SeaStreak Mets information can be found here and the 2010 printable flyer here. Full packages available for purchase for some dates include the boat ride and tickets to the game. Tickets for the boat ride only are also available.

All of the SeaStreak catamarans boast indoor and outdoor seating, a full cash bar offering spirits, beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks and numerous rest rooms. From the panoramic windows or observation decks, you will enjoy the stunning views of the New York City skyline. All SeaStreak facilities and vessels are handicapped accessible.  I’ve wanted to take the ferry to the game and it does sell out.  You do need to make reservations in advance so when you buy your game tickets, reserve the ferry as well.  For more information, call 1-800-BOATRIDE (800) 262-8743.

**Added baseball bonus!!! The NL East Champion Philadelphia Phillies have their single A farm team nearby.  The Lakewood BlueClaws and FirstEnergy Park are just a half hour away in Lakewood, NJ.  There are fireworks every home Friday night following the game. Click here to see the Lakewood BlueClaws Schedule. If you don’t want to fill your entire weekend with baseball, the beach is a few short miles away and you can make your own itinerary.  Enjoy all the Jersey Shore has to offer at Sandy Hook and Sea Bright Beaches.

The Comfort Inn Middletown is the closest hotel to the SeaStreak Ferry Dock.  We welcome baseball fans of all kinds. Our rates include our Comfort Sunshine Continental breakfast to start your day out right.  Call us today at 732.671.3400 to make your  reservations or click here.

Jersey Shore CVB First Fundraising Event

Jersey Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces First Fundraising Event Co-Sponsored by the Greater Long Branch Chamber Scheduled on April 8th, 2010.

Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce to present Mike Marino, NJ’s Bad Boy, at a “Night of Comedy & Networking” on April 8, 2010 to benefit The Jersey Shore Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at Branches in West Long Branch. The Jersey Shore CVB has increased its efforts this year to elevate the tourism presence for the Jersey Shore.  With the hiring of the highly energetic Robert Hilton as Executive Director and the establishment of committees, tourism related businesses are interacting and working together to promote the Jersey Shore. Membership is inexpensive and the value far exceeds the cost.  Mr. Hilton is currently the only person on the payroll as the organization struggles to get its financial footing. Not only your membership but your volunteering of time would be greatly appreciated. I represent the Comfort Inn Middletown on the Website and Special Events Committees.  This has enabled me to make great contacts and partner up with attractions and businesses to create a great guest experience. I see nothing but great things coming from the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau and I encourage you to join and participate actively as tourism impacts all of the businesses in our area. The night of Comedy will give Jersey Shore businesses an opportunity to network and have fun while raising money for our Destination Marketing Organization.  The Jersey Shore Convention & Visitors the NEW http://www.visitthejerseyshore.com this spring or early summer, keep and eye out.

The evening of comedy and networking begins with appetizers from 6:00 to 7:00 pm and open bar all evening. Tickets, $25 in advance and $35 at the door, can be purchased by calling 732-222-0400. According to Robert Hilton, JSC&VB Executive Director, funds raised during the evening will be used to promote tourism and travel to the Jersey Shore.

“Tourism is a leading economic stimulator for any troubled economy,” says Hilton. “Statewide, each visitor generates approximately $548 in expenditures and $.72 of each dollar stays within New Jersey. Every 160 visitors to the Jersey Shore creates one new job opening.  Tourism is essential for our economic viability at the Jersey Shore, and the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is here to make a difference for our local businesses and municipal governments.”

“We are thrilled to be presenting comedian, actor and NJ native Mike Marino,” says Ron Kapowitz of the Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce.  A member of the New Jersey Comedy Hall of Fame, Marino is a top headliner at both the world-famous Laugh Factory and The Comedy Store, both in Hollywood. His comedic style has landed him guest appearances on The Tonight Show as a regular sketch player, The Martin Short Show, Comics Unleashed, The Boomer Show, Wild Pitch, Hand Held Comedy Radio and the Rascals Comedy Hour. He has also headlined several USO Comedy Tours to entertain our troops overseas. Marino is the face and voice of the National Comedy Fest, which takes place at venues in Asbury Park, Long Branch, Red Bank, and at Monmouth University.

The Jersey Shore Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is the fastest growing destination marketing organization in New Jersey and promotes the Jersey Shore region of Monmouth and Ocean counties as a destination for individuals and families, businesses and organizations, and meeting and travel planners for both domestic and international markets. The JSC&VB is the official provider of information on the people, places and events that make the Jersey Shore a prime travel destination. The JSC&VB is funded currently in part by a grant from New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism. For more information on the Night of Comedy and Networking contact the Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce at 732-222-0400.

If you wish to know more about the events the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau are offering or are interested in a marketing partnership please visit www.visitthejerseyshore.com or call Executive Director Robert Hilton at 732-337-7061.Visit the Jersey Shore Monmouth and Ocean Counties NJ

The Seals are at Sandy Hook

Photo By: Scott Longfield - A Harp Seal in Leonardo, NJ on 2.20.10

Earlier this winter NBC News ran a story in regards to the cleaning up of the New York Harbor  leading to the return of many seal species to the Sandy Hook area.  You can read my earlier post “Seals at Sandy Hook and New York Harbor” which details the story, links to the footage and discusses the seal population in the Sandy Hook area.  The picture at left was featured on the front page of the February 26 – March 5, 2010 issue of The Two River Times. A Harp Seal suns itself along the Jersey Shore.  This photo was taken by Scott Longfield in Leonardo, NJ on Saturday, February 20, 2010.   Leonardo is part of the Township of Middletown and is located on the south shore of the Raritan Bay.  Both Sandy Hook and the New York City skyline are visible from the Leonardo shores.

(More famously, and completely unrelated, Leonardo, NJ  is the main location in the movie Clerks. Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith as in Jay and Silent Bob are natives.  According to Wikipedia, the Quick Stop and RST Video store is located at 58 Leonard Avenue, just north of Route 36. The store is no longer open and is used only for storage. )

March is the month in which spring is supposed to arrive. If you want to make your plans to come see the winter beach at Sandy Hook and chance upon an opportunity to see some seals in their natural habitat, I suggest you do it soon.  Sooner than we think  our beaches will again be lined with people enjoying the summer heat and sunshine, the cold dreary winter will be but a distant memory.