Visit Manasquan NJ, and you will be in well established company. Henry Hudson, more noted for his New York visits, stepped ashore in Manasquan in 1609. Early settlers to the area were fishermen and farmers, but latter day New Yorkers agreed with ol' Henry and decided that this was a great place to relax and renew after a rough week in the city. And so, like most shore communities, Manasquan started as a resort area, with lovely hotels and summer "cottages" popping up in the 19th century to cater to newly wealthy beach goers.
Just picture your family in a Manasquan Beach house like this!
Manasquan NJ is a fairly quiet town, at least compared to some of its noisier neighbors, such as Belmar and Point Pleasant. But that is one of the wonderful charms of Manasquan NJ. Manasquan Beach has a "down home" feel to it, with kids on bikes and neighbors strolling with their books and beach chairs (and little else) to "take a little sun" for an hour or two.
You'll feel like you landed in "Amityville" BEFORE Jaws took over the town.
Manasquan NJ is a small town and easy to get around; you could easily set yourself up to stay, go to the beach, dine and go out for a night's entertainment without ever having to get in your car.
Manasquan has a great reputation among surfers, but it is a local classic, so it gets crowded in the summer. Since you have to pay for a pass during the day, most of the surfer action is before 9am or during the fall and winter. There are a couple of great surfing contests held in Manasquan such as the Golden Glove Core Surf Contest and the Brave New World Manasquan ProSurf and the Manasquan Classic Longboard.
Despite its thrills for the pros, some people think Jersey Shore beaches like Manasquan Beach are a great place to learn how to surf. You can check the surf conditions before you go on the Manasquan surf page, here.
The surf fishing is also out of this world. You can't believe how many people get up early and jostle for just the right spot on the beach.
The 2014 beach rates are:
Adult season badges $70.00
Senior badges (age 65 and older)$25.00
Junior badges (ages 12 thru 16) $35.00
Proof of age will be needed to purchase either Senior or Junior badges.
The bad news is that 2014 Parking Permits are SOLD OUT. This just reinforces the advantage of the smallness of this town. You can park your car at the beginning of your weekend or week vacation at your motel or rental house, and then leave it for the rest of the time. Zero auto hassles.
Daily passes are $8, so if you are staying for more than two weeks, or plan on coming back for a few weekends, the season pass is well worth it.
Just because Belmar has more of a reputation as a bar town, don't think that Manasquan NJ doesn't know how to have fun. The pickings are a little slimmer, of course, than in Belmar or Point Pleasant. Leggett's, on 1st Avenue in Manasquan, is a sports bar with something going on ALL the time. The Manasquan Beach House (formerly O'Neills) on Main Street even has a guest house "a block from the train and a block from the ocean", if you really don't want to worry about getting home after a night out. Squan Tavern, Main Street, is a local favorite, with a cozy bar and a fabulous restaurant. Even if it doesn't sound Italian, it has some of the best Italian food around, served up with flair by Dominic and Marguerite Bossone since 1964. For "fresh, healthy eats on the beach" try Beach Bro's Sushi-ritos or Poke-bowls, right on the beach front.
But for the barefoot crowd, Manasquan Beach NJ is loaded with little pizza stands, coffee shops, clam shacks, like the Broadway Grill (Main Street) or Jody's Seafood (Potter Ave.) or the Bayou Cafe (First Ave.).
For a beach vacation with a sweet, small town feel about it, but with a great beach, surfing and fishing, and plenty to see and do in the area, Manasquan Beach NJ can't be beat.
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