Although it's well-known as a summer tourist destination, Point Pleasant
likes to pride itself on its year-round sense of community and robust economy. An expansive beach, bustling downtown district and a variety of dining options make the area a popular destination for beach bums, antique hunters and families with children.
What's unique to Point Pleasant is Jenkinson's Boardwalk. A full mile of wood beams laid down underneath a landmark tiki bar, carnival-style rides for the kids, concessions, an aquarium and a mini-golf course make for an authentic New Jersey beach experience.
Away from the boardwalk, Arnold Avenue features beautiful homes,
restaurants, boutiques and a celebrated antique market. Art galleries and studios add some cultural refinement to this seaside town.
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Restaurants & Nightlife
On the boardwalk, expect to find classic funnel cake, cheesy pizza, and sausage and peppers. Downtown you csn find anything from bistros to fish markets to steakhouses.
For some of the best down-home cooking in South Jersey, Woodchucks BBQ has perfectly seasoned chicken, shrimp, brisket and fall-off-the-bone ribs. A small dining space with a checkerboard floor and lots of paper towels to wipe off messy faces make Woodchucks an option for a quick lunch on the go or a laid-back dinner. Battered onion bricks and BBQ nachos with hand-cut chips fried to order puts this restaurant a cut above other comparable spots in the area.
If it's more of a tablecloth and steak kind of night, Prime 13 is a premier destination on the Jersey Shore for a fine-dining experience. Thick pork chops, seared sea scallops and a free-range rack of lamb are served alongside Guinness-battered onion rings, roasted Brussels sprouts and toasted quinoa. The star of the show is the steaks: choose from filets, strips or ribeyes cooked to order. If you're very hungry, try the tomahawk: a 40-ounce, dry-aged ribeye that is big enough to share.
Joe Leone's houses an Italian marketplace and deli featuring imported cheeses, desserts, cold salads and sandwiches, all prepared on location. The sausage-stuffed mushrooms and fresh focaccia bread have patrons traveling from near and far to sample Joe's amazing selection of foods.
Martell's Tiki Bar is a landmark Jersey Shore venue for live music and after-hours beachside shenanigans. Featuring a massive bar and throngs of partygoers during the summer, Martell's continues to be a hot spot on the east coast. For a quieter night out, Wharfside Patio Bar has a cozy atmosphere both inside and out. A laid-back crowd and beautiful waterfront views under twinkling lights give this place a magical feel. Live music on the weekends and some weeknights attracts larger crowds, so getting there early makes it easier to nab a good spot.
History & Culture
The turn of the 20th century brought a permanent boardwalk to Point Pleasant, evolving from a short strolling area to an amusement pavilion with a swimming pool and nightlife mecca, featuring dancing and well-known big bands. Today, the culture remains the same. A large tourist turnout every summer provides a boost to the local economy.
For the classic car enthusiast, Vintage Automobile Museum of New Jersey has a small space filled with cars and memorabilia. A few significant cars are displayed in this free, volunteer run museum that takes you back to the golden age of the auto. The New Jersey Museum of Boating houses more than 1,000 artifacts and boats indigenous to the state, celebrating the works of boat builders around the nation.
It's not hard getting in and out of the area with a car. State highways 13 and 88 run through the town, and The Garden State Parkway and Interstates 95 and 295 have close exits. There are three major parking lots that are free of charge in the downtown area. Expect to pay for parking closer to the beach, with lots charging upwards of $30 in summer months and timed metered parking along the boardwalk.
NJ Transit has a commuter station in Point Pleasant Beach
with service throughout New Jersey and into New York Penn Station. There is also bus service to Philadelphia on the 317 route. Uber does not offer service in the area, but taxi service is available with a call ahead.
Walking and biking through the neighborhood remain feasible options, with lower speed limits in the beach areas as well as many small residential lanes toward downtown.
Living in Point Pleasant costs almost 20 percent more than the state's average. With an influx of tourists in the summer months, everything from apartment rentals to beers are inflated. The average rent for a one bedroom
apartment runs about $950 a month.
Getting to New York City on the train costs $15 one way, while gas prices run 10 percent lower than the national average. Walk into a local bar, and walk out with about $8 less in your wallet after you have a beer.
Point Pleasant's downtown area is home to 60 shops and restaurants, with several premier antique shops anchoring the rows of stores. Lola's Boutique carries trendy up-to-the-minute styles in funky accessories and laid-back beachwear. A favorite with the locals, the store's vibe leans more toward chic Soho than beachside apparel. The handmade jewelry, fashion-forward clothes and affordable prices ensure this smart boutique has a following.
Immerse yourself in a bit of nostalgia when you walk through the doors of Peck's Primitives, an antique store filled with local memorabilia and artifacts from around the world. Browse through rows of stoneware, oil lamps, collectible bottles and beautiful furniture from days gone by.
Super Stop and Shop serves the area, and ShopRite in Wall is a few miles down the road. Point Pleasant Beach Farmers Market offers locally harvested produce alongside organic baked goods and a selection of everything from eggs to pickles.
Riverfront Park, located on the Manasquan River, is equipped with a pavilion, a picnic area, a pier, a playground, bocce and horeshoe courts, and an open field area with benches to watch sailboats passing by on the river. Parents with their children sit alongside dog owners and their pups playing in the grass or enjoying the breeze.
Point Pleasant's beaches are popular recreational venues in the area, with concession stands, tons of activities for the kids and a fun boardwalk atmosphere. The locality charges a small fee to access the beaches, but season beach badges are available at a discount. Dogs are permitted on the beach from October 1st through April 30th, providing they are leashed.
Every summer, the Festival of the Sea descends on the downtown district, bringing with it tents filled with over 200 crafters, pony rides, kiddie games and live entertainment. The real reason for the festival remains the absolutely delightful spread of culinary delights, ranging from clam chowder to steak. The wine garden allows the sampling of wines from vineyards around the globe.