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Monmouth Beach

While just over two square miles in size with a population of around 3,200, that fluctuates by only a couple hundred more during the summer season, Monmouth Beach, NJ established in 1906 is one of those seaside gems that the locals like to keep secret. With good reason, although a fairly easy commute from Manhattan by car, train, bus or ferry, the town has only two roads leading in and out; Patten Avenue from Long Branch and Ocean Avenue from either Sea Bright or Long Branch, and so the preferred methods of travel around town are on foot, beach cruisers, skateboards and golf carts which makes it very appealing for families, couples and seniors alike.

There is much to do in this quaint setting with over 2 miles of the Jersey Shore at your disposal for surfing, swimming, beachcombing, sunbathing, and fishing as well as miles of river inlets for crabbing, fishing, boating, kayaking, and standup paddleboarding, (there is even skating in the winter and the tennis and pickleball courts are open to the public all year long) just next to the ball fields and K-8 MB Public School on Hastings Street.

If you like to keep to yourself and stay indoors, this is not the town for you! Nicknamed “Mayberry” by both residents and neighboring towns, on any given day you won’t be able to walk your dog without stopping to chat or wave to your neighbors and catch up on the latest goings-on in town from the number of new baby osprey born on the various perches to the winners of the fishing tournament or PTO Run.

Your mornings can start surfing when the waves are breaking off the jetties at either of the two beach clubs; the glorious private club “Big Monmouth” a throwback from the roaring ’20s with all the grandeur and elegance, or at “Little Monmouth” the newly renovated public club with two pools, sun decks and gazebo (for outdoor community events and concerts). Both employ lots of local teenagers during the summer months. After walking the kids to school, you can go for a run along Ocean Avenue with friends or take a yoga class in town at MB Yoga, or have some alone time on the beach looking for shells and sea glass accompanied by your four-legged friends during the offseason. If you are not a morning person or need a little encouragement, Booskerdoo Coffee Roasters next to the MB Market and Liquor Store offers strong to mild brewed coffees and teas and light breakfast fare, as well as an opportunity to use their Wi-Fi or hang with the locals and chat about the morning news.

Later on, for the foodies; Beach Tavern on Channel Club Drive offers indoor and outdoor fine dining overlooking a well-kept marina filled with sailboats, watercraft and yachts make you feel like you are in the Florida Keys with all the palm trees and vibrant flowers not to mention the poolside tiki bar with live music throughout the warmer months. In town and lower-key are Michael Angelo’s for awesome pizza, Italian fare, and a full deli and across the street is My Kitchen Witch for a wholesome comfort/healthy breakfast and lunch menu (order her famous brown sugar bacon) as well as a juice bar and take out diner section. If you like Asian food, King Star never disappoints and if it’s just drinking you are after, Boyle’s Tavern just past the Police Station is the town’s version of “Cheers”!

The Church of the Precious Blood in the heart of the town where Beach Road meets Riverdale offers daily services and is a popular wedding venue with its red doors and stained glass windows. The MB Cultural Center at the north end of town, a converted Naval station and Marine Museum exhibits local artists and hosts local musicians and town clubs like the Sandpipers (for Seniors) and the MB Beautification Committee who cultivate and pots and plots of flowers about town year-round.

If you like to be involved with your community, MB has much to keep you occupied, and they appreciate and cultivate all of their volunteers. But if you just want to relax and enjoy; Monmouth Beach is a lot like being on vacation 365 days a year!

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