Jersey Shore 2018 Summer Guide: New things to do & see
If the weather ever realizes it's June, you'll eventually want to get outside and head east toward New Jersey's 130 miles of ocean coastline.
The Jersey Shore's never been accused of a lack of attractions, but shore towns like to keep things fresh and exciting for its newcomers and yearly visitors.
With the help of New Jersey Monthly, we picked a brand new feature or two in each shore county that you may want to check out. The end of summer gets closer every day.
Atlantic City's casino count dropped from 12 to seven between the beginning of 2014 and the fall of 2016.
Two of those shuttered gaming halls are coming back on June 28 — yes, the same day — with new owners, new brands and new intentions.
At the site of the former Trump Taj Mahal, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has hundreds of major acts booked for its first year of operations.
Promising "a music vibe unlike any other," the resort features a 400-seat Hard Rock Cafe, more than 2,100 slot machines and 120 table games.
Ocean Resort Casino, filling the space left empty by the former Revel, features just under 1,400 rooms with an unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean.
As part of the Hyatt brand, the resort is big on luxury. Features include six swimming pools, an ocean-facing sun deck and the world's largest Topgolf Swing Suite.
CAPE MAY COUNTY
With its 50th season in business, Morey's Piers in Wildwood welcomes two new rides, a beach bar and a beer garden.
The Wild Whizzer Coaster and Pirates of Wildwood 3D Cartoon Journey are ready for riders on Mariner's Pier. PigDog is a dog-friendly barefoot beach bar behind Raging Waters. Wilhelm's Beer Garden also serves fried pierogies, a cheddar bratwurst sandwich and a "bacon stick."
"Morey's Piers does a great job every summer of managing to revitalize what they have," said Ken Schlager, editor of New Jersey Monthly. "They're always launching something new."
Several blocks north, the once-vacant Seaport Pier is being promoted as a year-round venue for guests of all ages, featuring a public swim club, restaurants, an upscale coffee bar and more. Alcohol beverages will be available at three designated areas on the pier, according to the website.
Nearby, MudHen Brewing Company is Wildwood's first brewpub. Named after the first passenger train in the city, the brewery features a tasting room, an outdoor patio and a full-service bar and restaurant.
Shipwreck Bananas Foster and Kentucky Dreaming are just a couple of the unique flavors available at Nicholas Creamery in Atlantic Highlands, which opened in May.
The business was born out of the owner's love for all natural, high quality ingredients.
"We're handmaking small batch ice cream using natural dairy and working directly with local farmers and food artisans to sources the freshest seasonal ingredients," the website reads.
In Sea Bright, Ama Ristorante has been transformed into Drifthouse Bar & Grill with the help of celebrity chef and Jersey native David Burke. Options on the oceanfront restaurant's dinner menu include bison short rib, roast chicken, and hand-cut squid ink linguini fra diavolo.
Destroyed by Sandy in 2012, the Beach Bar is returning to the southern end of the Seaside Heights boardwalk.
The launch is occurring in two phases — kiosks and a pop-up bar this summer, and a full-fledged experience next summer complete with a cabana club and swimming pool.
As if you needed another incentive to drink beer, the Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce has launched a Surf & Sip Brew Trail that invites participants to visit a number of locations in the Long Beach Island area, including three craft breweries, and get a trail map stamped in order to be eligible for a grand prize.