The Jersey Shore is known across the world as an incredible summer destination. People travel from all over to sunbathe on our beaches and enjoy the unique atmospheres of our oceanfront towns. Travel & Leisure named Asbury Park a top 10 city worth traveling to, beating out San Antonio, Sicily, Rio De Janeiro, Denver and many more.
Ocean City was voted Best Beach In America by Coastal Living, and Cape May was the nation’s first summer resort town – but our beach towns have plenty to offer in winter months. Read on for 12 reasons why the Jersey Shore is so much more than just a summer destination.
1. Beautiful, unobstructed views.
Especially at sunrise and sunset. The beaches are so peaceful without the summer crowds. Pictured is Seaside Heights in January.
2. Free beach access.
All free, all the time. This view of Cape May in March doesn't cost a cent.
3. You can drive on many beaches, with a permit.
Ride right up to the shoreline in the comfort of your car. This photo was taken in Wildwood, at the Race Of Gentlemen.
4. Shows still go on when the weather is cold.
Rock out or just enjoy drinks at the iconic Asbury Lanes, Stone Pony and casinos in Atlantic City, among other venues.
5. Jenkinson's Boardwalk
While the rides are closed, many arcades, the sweet shop and the aquarium are open all year. Plus, the aquarium is half off on weekdays this January. If you're looking for weekend fun, visit on January 14th for breakfast with the animals.
6. Discounted rates and special packages at charming shore bed and breakfasts.
Enjoy off-season prices while you're pampered at one of our many inns. There are even special packages and events like the Girlfriend's Getaway Weekend in Ocean Grove (February 28 - March 2). Activities will include spa treatments, cooking demonstrations and wine and cheese tastings.
7. Shorter lines at your favorite bars and restaurants.
Many restaurants are open year-round, like the vibrant Dogtooth Bar & Grill. Enjoy great local beers, sporting events and more. This could be an ideal Superbowl Sunday spot.
8. Atlantic City has loads to do.
Comedy shows, concerts, dance parties, gambling, dining, the aquarium, museums and Ripley's Believe it or Not - just to name a few.
9. Shops are still open, and much less crowded.
Take time browsing Washington Street Mall, the Tanger Outlets, Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, Pier Village, Third Avenue in Spring Lake and many others.
10. You can still enjoy a little competition at arcades like Lucky Leo's.
Lucky Leo's in Seaside Heights is open all year, as is Silverball Arcade & Museum in Asbury Park. Lucky Leo's is having a winter break extravaganza on January 22nd - they're giving away free play and prizes every half hour.
11. Bundle up to surf, fish and more.
You'll need to layer up, but now is the time to take advantage of the seclusion and solitude. Just be sure to bring a friend for safety.
12. The lighthouses still offer incredible views.
Climb to the top and bring your camera. Many also offer museums and historical displays, like the Navesink Twin Lights - open on weekends, the museum has unique displays like the Seeing Stars exhibit.
What’s your favorite Jersey Shore destination in the winter? For more about beach driving,