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Shore Towns That Are Even Better in the Spring

Does the air feel different to you lately? You might have noticed that missing chill, the way it doesn’t sting your face when you step outside your house? That’s right, spring has officially made its way to our little corner of the world. And there’s no better place to enjoy it than one of New Jersey’s many shore towns.

And while we’re this close to summer days spent in the sand and sun, there are plenty of reasons to hop in your car and head down the shore for the spring. Here are a few places to enjoy the first warm weeks of the year in the Garden State.


BELMAR


Belmar is a sweet little beach town, and the absolute perfect spot for a day trip. When summer’s in full swing, Belmar is host to a mix of families and twenty-somethings trying to keep it on the classier side — all while maintaining close proximity to some of the best shore nightlife in the state: D’Jais, Bar Anticipation, and The Headliner to name a few. To beat the crowds and still have an awesome Belmar experience, plan your visit for one or both of the below events.

Color Me Belmar 3K & PossAbilities Walk

Date: May 7
Location: Belmar Beach, First Avenue at Ocean Avenue
Wear some clothing you don’t mind ruining for a colorful sprint through Belmar! Register for the 100-yard dash which features two color stations (i.e., places where people toss brightly colored powder on you), or the 3K Color Run, which features five color stations and takes place directly on the beach. For something more low-key, there’s the Family Resource Associates PossAbilities Walk on the boardwalk. For those of you less inclined to sweat it out, there will be face painting, a DJ, Frisbees, and a paint-throwing party (which is exactly what it sounds like).
More details here. 


New Jersey Seafood Festival

Dates: May 14 – May 15
Location: Silver Lake Park, 500 Ocean Avenue
Foodies, rejoice! Belmar’s annual Seafood Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and it’s a can’t-miss event for sure. This family-friendly festival promises amazing seafood (obviously), wine and craft beer, and more. A full list of vendors and events will be available as the festival nears.
More details here.

Belmar Beach


GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP


Galloway is a coastal town just north of Atlantic City, but it doesn’t necessarily consider itself a beach town — most likely because there isn’t a public beach here. I know, I know, this is an article about shore towns, but this is technically down the shore. And Galloway is home to is the wonderful Historic Smithville, which is hosting some fantastic events this season. Here you go:

Historic Smithville’s Renaissance Faire

Dates: April 30 – May 1
Location: Historic Smithville, 615 East Moss Mill Road
Don’t miss historic Smithville’s transformation from village to shire this spring! Catch some Shakespeare, take in a comedic swordfight, and enjoy the song and dance of days gone way by. In addition to all of the entertainment, the faire will also feature a bevy of vendors selling gorgeous, hand-crafted wares. And when you’re all shopped out and have some time to kill between shows, there will be paddle boating, face painting, archery, and train and carousel rides available all day.
More details here.


Mayfest

Dates: May 14 – May 15
Location: Historic Smithville, 615 East Moss Mill Road
Smithville’s annual Mayfest is back again to celebrate the point in the year when there’s absolutely no going back: It’s going to be warm for the foreseeable future and we’re all safe to start bouncing off the walls with joy. With more than 100 vendors in attendance to sell crafts and food, Mayfest is the place to get adventurous and take advantage of all of the unique options available to you. And you won’t be eating and shopping in silence, there will be musical acts on hand as well!
More details here.


CAPE MAY & WILDWOOD


They’re neighbors at the tip of the Jersey Shore, so if you’re going to check out one, it’s worth it to visit the other. If these two spots were siblings, Cape May would be the mature, older and more refined one, while Wildwood would be the edgier one, but still reflecting the classy qualities of its sibling. And that, my friends, was a really complicated way to say that Wildwood has a crazy cool boardwalk and Cape May has a row of sweet little shops lining a cobblestone road. Here’s when you want to make a date with the Maywood siblings. (See what I did there?)

Spring Fling

Date: April 30
Location: Natali Vineyards, 221 North Delsea Drive, Cape May Court House
Head down to Natali Vineyards to help ring in what is arguably the best time of year to be sitting outside with a glass of wine. The Geno White Trio will be on hand to provide the entertainment for the day, while you taste the different wines (or sangria) offered at Natali Vineyard. There will also be food vendors and games, so bring the kids, bring the dogs, and have a nice little vineyard picnic with the crew.
More details here.


Wildwood Beer Fest

Dates: June 10 – June 11
Location: Fox Park (across the street from Wildwood Convention Center, 4501 Boardwalk)
Wildwood’s Second Annual Beer Fest will welcome local brew masters to bring their best brews to the Jersey Shore for two days of music, food, and appreciation for the art of the perfect pour. There will be more than 100 different beers to sample, so get out and support local breweries — and maybe even find some new favorites near you.
More details here.


RED BANK


Red Bank is a shore town that isn’t quite a beach town — making it a perfect destination for spring. This charming little spot is best known for its incredible restaurants and chic boutiques. There’s plenty to do here, but it can be on the pricey side, so be ready for your wallet to take a hit. If you’re not looking to break the bank, skip the shops and take a stroll along the Navesink River. It’s a nice reminder of the Garden State at its finest.

Red Bank International Beer, Wine & Food Fest

Date: April 24 (Rain date May 1)
Location: White Street Parking Lot, 19 White Street
Having a lot of cravings all at once? Looking to try something completely new and exciting? This is your spot. Red Bank’s Fifth Annual International Beer, Wine & Food Fest will feature 25 local restaurants serving up dishes from across the globe. Grab a pint of German beer and pair it with a nice Irish meal, or a sweet glass of Spanish wine to top off some Mexican fare. Even better, you can enjoy these delicious combos while music is played out from two stages. It doesn’t get much better than that!
More details here.


Q104.3 RiverFest Food and Music Festival

Dates: June 3 – June 5
Location: Marine Park, 1 Marine Park
Head to RiverFest for a rocking good time! More than a dozen bands, and even more food vendors, are lined up to help you ring in the month of June in true Jersey Shore fashion. All food and music is coming from local sources, and will be on hand rain or shine. And once you’re done eating, be sure to take advantage of boat cruises on the Navesink, the artisan craft vendors, and Nathan’s Famous Kidszone. RiverFest has something for everyone, so don’t miss out!
More details here.


ATLANTIC CITY


There’s really no wrong time to take a trip to Atlantic City. Ask anyone! From the casinos to the cuisine to the clubs, there are a million things to do here; you’d honestly have to make an effort to be bored. And although any time is a good time to head to AC, this spring Atlantic City is hosting two super-fun, standout events.

Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival

Dates: April 8 – April 9
Location: Atlantic City Convention Center, 1 Miss America Way
Calling all beer lovers, music lovers, and just people looking to have a good time in general. So everyone, I’m calling everyone! The Eleventh Annual AC Beer and Music Festival is set to be the best yet. More than 150 breweries will provide more than 1,000 beers to taste, and, depending on which session you choose to attend, there are some amazing bands playing. Session one features Dashboard Confessional, session two will have the Manchester Orchestra on hand, and Reel Big Fish is slated for session three. So, choose your session by the type of music you’d like to accompany your beer sampling. Another fun option — for those of you who will be attending session two — is the First Annual Hops Trot. This 5k takes runners on the ultimate boardwalk beer adventure, with five stops, along the way where runners are required to drink a 3 oz. brew before heading to the finish line — aka the Beer Fest. Cheers!
More details here.


Atlantic City Boardwalk Con

Dates: May 13 – May 15
Location: Atlantic City Convention Center, 1 Convention Boulevard
Atlantic City’s Second Annual Boardwalk Con is a fun way for the whole family to spend the day together. It has all of the panels, performances, vendors and celebrity guests (featuring stars from Breaking Bad, The Flash and more) your fandom-loving heart desires. Highlights include a special Star Trek Fiftieth Anniversary Tour, the ACBC Garage filled with even more specialty cars than last year, a special “Kidz Zone” with features tailored towards even the youngest of fans, and the Marston Family Wonder Woman Museum. So grab your tickets and get down to Atlantic City!
More details here.


SEASIDE HEIGHTS


Where to begin with good ol’ Seaside Heights? This town took not only the brunt of all of the terrible storms New Jersey has been faced with over the past few years, but it also got dragged through the mud by a certain MTV show that shall not be named. But truth be told, Seaside Heights is one of New Jersey’s most iconic shore towns, and it’s also home to a beautiful, newly-finished boardwalk.

Jersey Shore Festival

Dates: May 20 – May 22
Location: Beach, boardwalk, and select bars
Leave it to Seaside Heights to throw the ultimate party to close out the spring season. This festival has a little bit of everything: Music industry panels and more than 350 emerging artists from around the world provide the entertainment, and local vendors will be on hand to sell their wares. What really sets the Jersey Shore Festival apart is the fitness lessons that have been incorporated into the schedule. Get to Seaside early for the 9 a.m. Tai Chi lessons or yoga on the beach. It’s an awesome way to start your day at the Jersey Shore.
More details here.


Arts & Crafts by the Sea

Date: June 11
Location: Seaside Boardwalk between Dupont and Blaine Avenues
This is the place to get your fix of all of the handmade crafts you could ever dream of. From jewelry, to decorations, to household items, Arts & Crafts by the Sea has it all. Come meet the artists behind the products, and support the work of small businesses and side hustlers alike. And not the mention the beautiful backdrop that the Atlantic Ocean offers. You can’t go wrong with this one.
More details here.


Hero (Top) Image Courtesy:  Historic Smithville / Facebook
Additional Photo Courtesy:
Belmar Beach / Facebook

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