With the news that Jersey Shore will be back in 2018 — yes, with O.G. Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, and crew — Jersey Shore nostalgia is very much a thing. If you're feeling it, perhaps you'd consider planning a trip to the general area of their stomping grounds... but with a more grown-up GTL state of mind. So we’ve rounded up the most classy — even sophisticated — spots to eat, drink, play, and sleep, up and down the shore:
Designed by uber-cool husband-and-wife team Robert and Cortney Novogratz, this boutique hotel in Long Branch takes inspiration from global and local surf scenes, with room names like Hang Loose and Kahuna. Inside, crisp, white linens (not for use after a spray tan, F.Y.I.), funky art, and guest-friendly chalkboards offer a respite from the usual musty beach motel vibe. And, much like an MTV-decorated pad, the lobby features a pool table and foosball for PG playtime.
Photo: Courtesy of Le Club
When this author posted pics from this Long Branch spot over the summer, the common response I got was, “That’s New Jersey?!” Yup, hard to believe, I know, but this Mediterranean-esque private beach club with black-and-white striped umbrellas, comfy lounge chairs and beds, and its own transplanted palm trees has the ability to turn any Jersey guido into that hot French guy from The Artist. Take note: At night, Le Club embraces its roots and gets a little more, well, clubby with cocktails al fresco.
Photo: Courtesy of Ebbitt Room
Located in historic Cape May, this restaurant is housed inside the Virginia Hotel — a place that politely screams quaint with a giant front porch and flower boxes. Inside, the Ebbitt Room boasts a farm-to-table, farm-to-glass menu with ingredients from its very own Beach Plum Farm. Favorites include the Maine lobster Caesar salad and the “Steak and Cake” with filet mignon and crab cake. But, if you want to dine there, you’ll need to leave your tank top at the beach house, DJ Pauly D., because the restaurant enforces a “smart casual” dress code, which means guys should wear collared shirts.
Okay, so this isn’t the joint most folks think of when you mention Asbury Park (shout out to the Stone Pony and Bruuuuuce), but if you’re in the mood for a fancy handcrafted cocktail, Watermark is your place. The NYC-like sleek bar infuses its own spirits, squeezes its own juices, and makes its own ginger beer from scratch (Dark ‘n Stormy, anyone?). Plus, there’s a lounge with a roaring fireplace, as well as panoramic views of the boardwalk and beach.
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