Let me start off by saying: New Jersey has a bad rap. It has been called the armpit of America, one big toxic waste dump, the home of the Sopranos and now it has to suffer more humiliation with the House Wives of New Jersey! Please believe me when I say not all New Jersians are like that and the the Garden State is quite lovely. I have lived in New Jersey for 5 years and I am still discovering all the amazing history, culture, restaurants, natural beauty and activities it has to offer. (Six years ago I would have laughed if you told me I would be writing a I love NJ post!) Case in point: I can hardly believe I had never been to the famous Asbury Park made famous by Bruce Springsteen. I had heard it was run down and seedy. Well talk about a revival! Asbury Park is amazing!
The entrance to Asbury Park from Ocean Grove. The old casino is the building in the background.
We planned on taking the girls to Ocean Grove, an incredibly picturesque and quaint town immediately next to Asbury Park. We love the old Victorians, the boardwalk, ocean and great town. On a whim I suggested we pop over to Asbury Park. My hubby remembered it to be pretty run down from his teens but was game. Well we walked through a shell of an old casino to get Asbury Park from Ocean Grove. I didn't know what to expect. When we walked through to other side I could not believe my eyes. The entire boardwalk had been redone. There were new shops, cafes, a play ground, mini golf, a new water play are soon to be open! It looked like a high end beach in California. It was incredible. We are definitely going back this summer!
It still has the old landmarks and charm from its hay day. Recognize this photo?
The famous Madame Marie immortalized by Bruce Springsteen.
Lu is our new photographer! Not bad for a 3.5 year old!
The water play area soon to be opened.
The play ground
Some cafes & shops lining the board walk. I am talking nice. Not cheesy Jersey Shore souvenir shops!
The boardwalk was impeccably clean and nice and wide.
Of course the beach wasn't too bad either!
Kim - love the pictures! (And I'm ashamed to admit it but the Housewives of New Jersey...I record the show! It's a train wreck and I love it!)
I think it's great that you are writing a "I love NJ" post. Years ago you said you couldn't imagine writing it. Isn't amazing what time and circumstance can do?
BTW - Kailani came down while I was reading your post and said, "WHERE IS THAT?!?" When she saw the picture of the soon-to-be-open water park. "SOOO COOL!" lol She also loves your little animated kitty on your blog that's chasing the butterfly. Oh...through the eyes of a child!
As a Jersey girl, I can appreciate this post. Thanks for fighting the stereotype. NJ gets a bad rap, and it can be a great place for a family vacation! Love the photos. As for Housewives of NJ, we don't have cable and I don't think we are missing out on much. Thanks for the lovely post!
How fun! That looks like an awesome park!
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