I’ve only been to Jersey a few times and they haven’t been the best experiences, they’ve usually involved lots of traffic going to Baltimore or losing a lot of stuff in a hotel room (long story). Anyway, two of my good friends (both named Jessica, I’m not kidding) live in Jersey and convinced me to come to Jersey for a quick little vacation (although I spent most of my time with one) and to show me that it’s not that bad. And they were right, I had a good time.
First stop: Atlantic City
One of the Jessica’s dad and his friends enjoy gambling and have racked up a lot of points at the casinos which allowed us to get a free room at Caesar’s Palace for the night. It was sweet. We had a nice room, newly renovated with super cute chairs (I wish I took a picture) and a giant TV that I watched way too many episodes of The Hill on. Anyway, we hit the outlets with little success and then went to the shops at the Pier, where I found a steal of a dress! I saved $170 on a BCBG dress, thank you clearance. Anyway, that’s besides the point. They have top designers (including Betsey Johnson, Burberry and Gucci) along with your typical mall stores (Steve Madden, Bath & Body Works, etc). There are a ton of restaurants on the top floor as well. One of the nicest parts of the pier is the sweeping views of the ocean, the boardwalk and hotels. It doesn’t sound thrilling, but it was really lovely. They also have these silly beach chairs in sand that you can sit in and pretend you’re on the beach.
That evening we ate dinner at Sonsie, in the pier. It was pretty good. My chicken was a little dry but overall it was delicious. And we got cannoli for dessert-yummmy! Then, off to the slot machines. We sat down at some pretty traditional machines and quickly did pretty well, weren’t losing too much (probably cause it was a 5 cent game) and then I doubled my money! It was awesome. But feeling pretty good, I kept playing. Not the smartest move. I wanted to play Blackjack, but all the low-bet tables were full so we went to more slot machines. We decided to try the fancy-game-related ones like Wheel of Fortune and Monopoly which cost $1 to play and well, we failed. Back to the old machines, and not as much luck. I only lost $7, since I had doubled my money at one point, so not too bad, but I learned my lesson-walk away when you’re ahead. We ended the night at Beach Bar, next door to Caesar’s at Trump’s Hotel. It was pretty fun, had a $10 cover which wasn’t terrible because the music was great and we just had a great time hanging out. No crazy clubbing or fist pumping for us at the high-end places, but we did see our share of guidos ala the MTV show.
Next stop: Long Beach Island
The next day we left AC to go to the beach, but we went to a beach that is more of a locals place then touristy (like Atlantic City). Long Beach Island is still in South Jersey but north of Atlantic City. From our drive through it is pretty small and cute, full of beach houses and surf rental shops. We headed to the beach for the perfect day for lying around to get tanned (and burned-ugh, my back and knee are killing me, but it was worth it). The beach was clean, not too crowded and the water had waves for sufing/boogey boarding but not too strong for a quick swim. We just stood in the water a bit since we couldn’t shower or anything, and just enjoyed the calm day while we read magazines, (including Time Out New York’s 3D issue). There were people that occasionally came by and rang bells, I assume they were selling food, but I didn’t find out for sure. There are restaurants on the main street one block away though. I’d suggest bringing a cooler with drinks and food to snack on while you’re there. We went to Surf Taco for some yummmmy fish tacos! I felt like I was in Baja California, they were really good and I was starving.
Last but not least we stopped by the other Jessica’s work in North Jersey because she couldn’t get the weekend off. We had fun catching up before the weekend was over and I had to go back to reality/work in NYC. I’d recommend checking out the Jersey Shore, even if you don’t like fist pumping (I do, but I just wanted a chill weekend). You can make it whatever you want, Atlantic City can be a place to party, shop, gamble or relax. The beaches all vary from my understanding but I’d go back to Long Beach Island for sure, it kinda reminded me of my childhood vacations to California, except a different ocean of course and smaller waves.