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How to Spend 24 Hours in Asbury Park, New Jersey

Picture of Katherine Oakes
Updated: 19 March 2018
In the beachfront city of Asbury Park, New Jersey, there are more things to see, do, eat and drink than you can fit into a day. However many sights there are to see and attractions to visit, you can still squeeze in some of the best in 24 hours or less. Planning your next trip to the Brooklyn of the boardwalk? Here is how to spend 24 hours in Asbury Park.

Day 1

Morning

On your first morning in Asbury Park there’s simply no better way to spend time than by visiting High Voltage’s boardwalk cafe for a cup of coffee while you stroll down the boardwalk. If it’s nice out, enjoy their outdoor seating or get a cup to go and take it all in. If the weather isn’t in your favor, a morning spent sipping a freshly brewed cup while looking out at the ocean can’t be beat. Afterwards, walk up the road into town for breakfast at a favorite local brunch spot, Cardinal Provisions, where you can chow down on signature gourmet breakfast items including their “Weird Hash” or “Fakin’ Egg & Cheese.”

© Cardinal Provisions

Afternoon

Besides spending your afternoon basking in the sun at the beach and enjoying the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, get to the know the real Asbury Park by walking over to the Convention Hall – only a few steps off the beach. This historic structure was once a lavish landmark that has lost some of its glitz and glamour, but is still a proud home to many of the city’s main attractions including The Paramount Theater, various local shops, restaurants and the Anchor’s Bend Beach Bar.

From here, it’s a short walk up the boardwalk to the North Eats Food Trucks, where local vendors sell freshly made fare to hungry beachgoers from this seaside location. Enjoy a bite to eat and a refreshing juice or smoothie on their patio area then head back to the water!

Evening

The proper way to wrap up a day at the beach is by ending it right where you started. At the Watermark visitors can lounge in their coastal-inspired rooftop bar and restaurant that offers a front row seat to the sun setting over the ocean. Since it’s located directly on the boardwalk, it’s got one of the best oceanfront views in town – oh, and their cocktails don’t hurt either. Sip on a drink al fresco, enjoy shared plates and take in the cool, ocean air before heading out to dinner.

Walk a few blocks east and you’ll find yourself at Porta, one of Asbury’s hottest and most popular spots to eat and drink. With a menu that locavores and pizza snobs will love (this is New Jersey after all!) , guests can dine inside or outside at the “Porta National Park” and enjoy a few rounds of bocce ball while listening to live music. The scene after-hours is just as good, as the younger crowd can dance the night away at their club and others can spend a more intimate evening outside under the stars.

© Andrew Holtz

Day 2

Morning

On your last morning in Asbury Park, sleep in and enjoy a lazy morning at home before heading over to the main drag, Cookman Avenue, to grab brunch at Talula’s. This bright and lofty space serves up mouthwatering, homemade dishes, so don’t hold back. Indulge by ordering a fresh buttermilk biscuit or apple cider doughnut with one of their famous brunch pies to fill you up!

Afternoon

You don’t need to go far to find great shops and local treasures in town. Right on Cookman Avenue and neighboring Bangs Ave, there are plenty of boutiques and shops to browse. Among them are Foolish Ginger, Sweet Joey’s, Red Moon, Glide Surf Co. and a handful of vintage shops. Asbury is also known for its stranger attractions, so be sure to visit the Paranormal Museum where you can book a tour with the shop owner, Kathy Kelly, who will show you a spooky collection of eerie and interesting oddities in her renowned museum. Not up for something scary? How about something cute and cuddly? Across the street is Catsbury Park Cafe and Tea House that’s also home to a handful of foster kittens that visitors can spend time with or even adopt!

Evening

Fill up on authentic German fare and brews at the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten for dinner on your last night in Asbury. The 9,000 square-foot building features family-style dining, 31 beers on tap and a large rooftop patio and bar where you can order oversized hot pretzels and a signature schnitzel dish.

The music scene in Asbury Park is world-famous. After launching the careers of iconic acts including Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes in the ’70s and ’80s, it’s still a place that has its finger on the pulse. Check out whose headlining famous venues such as The Stone Pony, The Saint or The Wonder Bar and catch a show before you head out of town.