A publication has announced New Jersey's most beautiful small town, and although the town is certainly a beautiful one, gorgeous Monmouth & Ocean towns have once again been ignored.

A Spring Lake Beach Day
Bud McCormick

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It seems to be a pattern when national publications list the best or most beautiful or most famous things in each state, there focus always seems to be in South Jersey. It's always Atlantic City or Cape May getting the honors.

Let me start by saying this is no slight against Cape May, which House Beautiful has recently named the most beautiful small town in New Jersey. I love Cape May, and visit it frequently. And I love A.C. too.

The thing that bothers me is that we have some of the most amazing small towns in New Jersey, and the country for that matter right here in Monmouth & Ocean Counties, and they never seem to get the love they deserve in these national stories.

So with all respect to the gorgeous town of Cape May, which Diane and I absolutely love, I want to offer some suggestions to all the publications who seem to use Cape May or Atlantic City as their 'go to' towns.

Here are some names to consider right here in Monmouth & Ocean Counties that you will fall in love with as well. It's not a complete list. It's just the first 10 towns that came to my mind.

Here they are in  no particular order. Red Bank, Spring Lake, Point Pleasant, Bay Head, Manasquan, Toms River, Ocean Grove, Avon, Belmar and Asbury Park.. And my apologies to the dozen or so other towns that weren't among the first ten that came to my mind but deserve to be on the list as well. There are no wrong answers here.

I know it's not easy to pick the top New Jersey towns in all these categories, but I guess that's my point. It can be Cape May, but is it always Cape May. I think the answer to that is probably not.

Monmouth & Ocean Counties will always get the love from me. Maybe it'll catch on nationally. We deserve it.

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