There’s something magical about fall at the Jersey Shore. The massive summer crowds have dwindled leaving behind a sense of serenity as you stroll along one of the shore’s iconic boardwalks. With very few people populating the sandy beaches, the soothing sounds of the onrushing waves appear to be amplified. Only a few weeks earlier the beaches and boardwalks were teeming with activity as hordes of ocean lovers congregated upon New Jersey’s most popular shore towns, a tradition that began with the construction of the world’s first boardwalk in Atlantic City in 1870.
The Jersey Shore, which stretches 141 miles of oceanfront along the Atlantic Ocean, is a vacation destination unlike any other as witnessed by the more than 100 million people who come each year to ride the waves, build sandcastles, enjoy the many amusement parks, sample the freshest seafood available or play some games of chance.
Atlantic City remains the most widely recognized name of all the Jersey Shore destinations. With its towering casinos, iconic boardwalk and venerable Steel Pier, this seaside gaming and resort capital of the East Coast hosts over 27 million visitors a year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, and the fall season is no exception.
At the center of all the action is the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Bordering the boardwalk directly across from the Steel Pier, accommodations include 2,000 lavish guest rooms and suites boasting stunning views of the city and Atlantic Ocean. Gamers can choose from 2,250 slots, over 120 table games and a Sportsbook. The atmosphere is electric, and the energy is palpable. “The fall months at the Jersey shore are really beautiful and enables the summer season to extend with more programming and high visitation to enjoy the beach and boardwalk, especially on weekends,” says Mike Woodside, VP of Entertainment & Marketing at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. “We look forward to the fall months being great for Atlantic City. We offer special mid-week hotel rates to book all season long. Our guest experience includes wonderful room amenities, an award-winning spa and world-class restaurants.”
Exceptional cuisine is a hallmark of the Hard Rock brand, and guests have plenty of dining options at their disposal. For the fresh, delectable seafood head to Sandpiper where you can enjoy an eclectic seasonal menu designed for sharing, featuring modern culinary bites with expert wine pairings, fruit forward craft cocktails and local brews. A culinary experience where plates are meant to be shared, scrumptious starters include Ahi Tuna Poke with sesame, pickled Japanese vegetables and Wonton chips. Entrees such as local crab stuffed oysters or Shrimp Al Pastor with a corn tortilla burst with a variety of flavors. In the mood for authentic Italian fare? Select the Saltimbocca with veal, sage, prosciutto and spinach or the wild mushrooms, black truffle Risotti at Il Mulino New York, the casino’s outstanding Old World Italian food restaurant.
Staying true to its longstanding musical roots, the Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hosts a wide variety of performers throughout the year. Calendar of headliners this fall include Ben Platt (10/1), Daryl Hall & John Oates (10/7), Tom Segura (10/22), Adam Sandler (10/28), Foreigner (11/11) and Greta Van Fleet (12/9, 12/10). Even such Rock Royalty legends as former Beatle Ringo Starr have graced the stage with performances that thrill their adoring fans.
Visitors to Atlantic City in the coming months can expect brand new entertainment, promotions and events offered by all New Jersey casinos and local businesses. Mark Giannantonio, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, says, “We had a strong summer and are following it up with a full schedule of world-class entertainment and events for the fall. Our commitment to attracting new visitors to Atlantic City demonstrates the industry’s focus on the continued growth and development of Atlantic City. We are optimistic about the future of this historic seaside destination.”
Twenty minutes north of Atlantic City in quaint Galloway sits the historic Seaview, a Dolce Hotel. Nestled on 670 pristine acres near the bay, a stately club house-style main building and perfectly manicured landscaping await guests as they arrive to enjoy what is sure to be a very special experience.
For more than a century the Seaview has welcomed presidents, rock stars and golf’s greatest champions. Today, golfers flock here to enjoy one of the country’s most storied settings as both The Bay Course and The Pines Course have hosted several major PGA and LPGA championship events. The Bay Course features dramatic seaside views, deep pot bunkers, and small, undulating greens, while the Pines winds its way through New Jersey woodlands with elevation changes and doglegs.
Exceptional service has been a hallmark of the Seaview since it first opened its doors in 1914. All told, 296 tastefully designed rooms and 16 spacious suites offer superb comfort for discerning guests who desire a taste of the shore (Brigantine Beach is a short drive away) but removed from the congestion. Staying here affords visitors the best of both worlds. A Discover Smithville Package features a partnership with Historic Smithville, a charming town five minutes away with over 60 shops, restaurants, and cobblestone walkways. Smithville hosts events year-round with local favorites being the Oktoberfest, Witches Day, Holiday Light Show and December Winter Wonderland. The Seaview offers several special fall packages.
Dining is an experience to be savored at the Seaview, as Executive Chef Rudy Correa and a talented team serve up dishes that please even the most refined palates. Correa focuses on using local fresh ingredients in his expertly prepared dishes. “There are so many local farms close to the hotel, and the growing season here is relatively long,” he says. The hotel’s famous Sunday Brunch in the main dining room, draped by a 700-pound stunning chandelier, is a feast for the taste buds.
“There’s so much to do at the Jersey Shore beyond the beaches and summer activities, and with the weather as beautiful as ever and the seasonal crowds gone, fall really is the best time to explore the Jersey Shore,” says Mike Tidwell, Director of Sales and Marketing. “Fall boasts some of our busiest months of the year, and it’s a great time to be at the Seaview. Between peak wedding season and golf in full swing, the hotel is just about full every weekend. There are tons of fall festivals, Oktoberfests, family-owned farms offering pumpkin picking and corn mazes, wineries, breweries and of course, there’s the Pine Barrens.”
Fall at Long Beach Island is ideal for touring the legendary Pine Barrens. Start your journey at the Barnegat Branch Trail. This “rail-to-trail” project follows the abandoned Barnegat Branch Division of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. In your travels you’ll encounter many information signs about Points of Interest or Historical Reference. For those who love to fish, the longest running Surf Fishing Tournament in the state kicks off this October as the 68th LBI Fishing Classic brings together local bait and tackle shops, fishing enthusiasts and first time competitors looking to catch Striped Bass, Blues and Kingfish. The event runs through Dec 11.
The Wildwoods island resort is an ideal fall vacation destination with everything vacationers could ever want in a fall getaway, with milder weather, minimal crowds, quiet beaches, a fun-filled boardwalk, money-saving accommodations, uniquely fall activities and exciting weekend events and festivals. Bike riding is a popular pastime at in the Wildwoods, especially during the fall months. The Wildwoods are home to unique restaurants and eateries, as well as popular wineries, breweries and distilleries. In the fall, these one-of-a-kind attractions embrace the change of season by offering delicious autumnal creations. Some popular fall events include: Oct. 8 – Crest Best Run Fest; Oct. 9 – The Wildwoods Food & Music Festival; Oct. 21-23 – Wildwoods RV Show; Oct. 29 – North Wildwood Trunk-or-Treat Halloween Block Party; Nov. 26 – Wildwoods Outdoor Holiday Shopping Village/Small Business Saturday. For additional information visit www.WildwoodsNJ.com or call 800-992-9732.
As the weather gets cooler, the beach-seeking tourists depart and flocks of birds arrive instead. Bring a pair of binoculars to this rural town on the southernmost tip of the Jersey Shore and explore the wetlands at Cape May Point State Park, a well-known birding area, particularly during fall’s migration. While you’re here, hike the trails and take in views from the top of the Cape May Lighthouse.
Currently in Cape May County there are tens of thousands of monarch butterflies in the skies, stopping for a few weeks on their way to Mexico. The Monarch Monitoring Project ends Oct. 23. On Oct. 8 West Cape May celebrates its farming heritage with the Annual Lima Bean Festival in the Borough’s Backyard Park. Visit one of the area’s many wineries for a tour and tasting, often around a firepit at Willow Creek or a roaring fire at Cape May Winery. Christmas in Cape May begins Nov. 18 and runs until the end of the year. Victorian Cape May is at its holiday best and decked out for the season. Revel in the city’s bright lights, fragrant evergreens and garland, red bows and sparkling ornaments, all set in one of the loveliest Victorian towns in the country. Visit https://www.capemay.com/calendar/events/ for a complete list of events.
No matter the season, the New Jersey Shore is bursting with activity and fun events for all ages. Fall, however, has a special allure all its own.
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