New Jersey sometimes gets a bad reputation with outsiders. Some people refer to the state as the “armpit of America” but those who live in the Garden State know better, of course. That’s why when New Jerseyans find someone who understands the glory, beauty and wonder of this fine state, they know he or she is a keeper; and worthy of a Jersey-themed date.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day with your fellow Jersey lover? We’ve rounded up five great ideas for fun, romantic Jersey-themed Valentine’s Day dates.
1. Stone Pony
The Stone Pony in Asbury Park holds a special place in the hearts of NJ residents. This is where hometown boys Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi often played, back before they were rich and famous superstars. Many mistakenly think these artists got their start at the venue, but both played other halls first. Still, there is a close association between The Stone Pony and these legends, especially Springsteen.
When it comes to Jersey music, The Stone Pony is definitely one of the state’s most popular venues and it’s perfect for a Jersey-themed date night. Check out their website for the latest schedule and to purchase tickets. There are shows on both Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11.
2. Jersey Shore
Everyone knows how much fun the Jersey Shore can be during the summer months. But Valentine’s Day isn’t a bad time to head down the shore either. Unless there’s a blizzard, the Jersey Shore can be magnificent in the wintertime. Take a stroll along the nearly empty beach, collect shells, play in the arcade and grab a bite to eat on a cool winter day. Jersey Shore beaches are often deserted during the off-season so you and your beloved may have the place all to yourselves.
Check out the weather before you head out and call ahead to see what’s open. If you’re looking for something to do with the kids, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant offers a Family Date Night on February 10 and 11. For $49.95 for a family of four, the package includes admission to the aquarium, pizza and a pitcher of soda at the Pavilion, a $10 play card for the arcade and four treats from the Sweet Shop.
3. Lucy the Elephant
Margate is home to Lucy the Elephant, a national historic landmark and one of the coolest photo ops of all time. This 65-foot wooden elephant is one of NJ’s uniquest treasures. Lucy is located along the beach and a climb to the top provides spectacular views of the Jersey shoreline. Join a tour on winter weekends from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. The guided tours are offered every 30 minutes and provide background on Lucy’s architecture and history.
This is a great option for a fun day date and the selfies in front of the giant elephant can’t be beat. It’s also not a bad place for popping the question. Can you imagine the engagement photos?
4. Local Diner
New Jersey is often called the “Diner Capital of America.” Hardly a misnomer, for more than 100 years people have been heading to the Garden State’s famous diners to grab a bite to eat. Broad Street Diner in Keyport was named the state’s best diner by readers of NJ.com but everyone can vouch for their local favorite.
Choose a classic diner in a town you’ve never visited for a fun, laid-back date night. The best part is you can eat just about anything your heart desires at a NJ diner. So if you’re in the mood for a steak dinner and your date is hoping for an omelette, no problem! Split an ice cream sundae for a romantic end to your meal.
5. Atlantic City
Last but not least, hear us out on this Jersey-themed date idea. Once America’s premier vacation destination, Atlantic City has seen better days. But the city’s old-school charm is not lost on those who are Jersey Strong. This city is iconic and still offers lots of fun for visitors. Take a romantic hand-in-hand stroll along the Boardwalk and stop by the Steel Pier amusement park, which remains open on weekends in the winter. Classic rides such as the Carousel or Ferris Wheel are perfect for the young at heart.
Lovers can try their luck or get a room at one of the hotel casinos, such as the fancy Borgata. And no trip to AC is complete without a stop at White House Subs, a classic sandwich shop in operation since 1946. It has won the hearts (and stomachs) of many celebrities, including Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio. Truly, it doesn’t get any cooler than that!