This week, we're launching Gothamist's travel content, Gothamist Getaways. Four times a year, we'll have a week of posts featuring looks at travel, food, products and tips, near and far, for making your trips more pleasurable. So enjoy and let us know if you have any hints for us—email

It's been a couple of years since the reality series Jersey Shore ended, but we can’t get through a week without hearing news about Snooki, JWoww, and other members of the colorful cast. If that series kept you far from the Jersey Shore, here are a couple of towns that aren’t filled with The Situation’s doppelgangers.


Most shore towns are accessible by the Garden State Parkway. You can also take the NJ Transit. Academy Bus and Greyhound buses also have buses from the Port Authority Bus Terminal.


When most people think about Asbury Park, they think of Bruce Springsteen and the Stone Pony. Yes, the Stone Pony is still there, but the landscape of this once beach metropolis has changed. Similar to New York’s Coney Island, for years the neighborhood went into disrepair but a recent surge in gentrifying Asbury Park has altered the landscape into a quirky, fun seaside town. The area is quiet in the spring, so deals abound, if you want an inexpensive getaway
Stay at the South Beach chic, Empress Hotel ocean side hotel, home to gay club Paradise (732-988-6663; and the restaurant Tabu. The hotel has a special until mid-April, $99 for the first night and half off the second night.

The once boarded up main street Cookman Avenue is now flourishing with cool restaurants and home goods stores like Shelter Home. Art abounds on Cookman Avenue at Parlour Gallery.

For the folks in search of signs of Bruce, you can spend a night listening to music at the Stone Pony hoping he’ll stop in. But other parts of Asbury’s past are still alive like the famous Wonder Bar and the restored Paramount Theater.


This gorgeous Victorian town is the perfect getaway. Book a room or have a nice meal in their dining room with views of the ocean at the Breakers on the Ocean with rates starting at $100/night in this off-season. Located across from the boardwalk, spend your days strolling the one and a half mile quiet boardwalk (no, there’s no fun house or kettle corn kiosks here). A few blocks from the ocean is Spring Lake’s main street, 3rd Avenue filled with eclectic shops from places to get chocolate to bookshops, their main street has character and also offers folks some casual dining.

Ashling Cottages

Spring Lake has tons of charming gingerbread B and B’s and inns to choose from. Places tend to book up fast, so book early. Ashling Cottages offers bicycles and beach passes. Stop by Whispers, housed in the Hewitt Wellington hotel, where you can dine overlooking Spring Lake in this elegant Victorian setting.

Spring Lake is ideal for folks without a car, with the quiet beach, the lush park with a lake in the center of town and shopping, all easily accessible by foot. There isn’t much in the way of nightlife, if you are looking for some casual waterfront dining and bars, Spring Lake borders Belmar Beach, where you can watch the Jersey Shore without having to sit through a repeat.

Alison Lowenstein, Gothamist Getaways editor, is the author of NYC guidebooks, and travel articles for National Geographic Traveler, Newsday, NY Daily News,, etc. When she isn’t planning trips, she enjoys jogging around the streets of NYC. Despite her athletic pursuits, her favorite food is the donut. You can find her at twitter @cityweekendsnyc.