There’s always something to do in the Big Apple, and after you’ve done your favorite things, had your fill of the best pizza and bagels, and feel ready to get behind the wheel and hit the road, plan to head south along the Jersey Shore. You’ll probably leave the city via the Holland Tunnel to cross under the Hudson River to New Jersey. Stay on Route 78 and then take I-95 after you cross Newark Bay. After Perth Amboy, take the Garden State Parkway for a more scenic drive closer to the coast. Whew! You’ve made it out of the city.
The entire route is around 160 miles, and you’ll pass through some well-known beach towns that are worth a jaunt off the Parkway, so allow plenty of time. Asbury Park is where Bruce Springsteen got his start, and other beach towns, long popular as summer getaways, are Belmar, Spring Lake, Point Pleasant, and towns on Long Beach Island, a narrow barrier island that parallels the coast. For a more scenic route closer to the ocean, take Route 9 when it branches off around Toms River. Atlantic City, home to hotels, restaurants, casinos, beaches, and its historic boardwalk is next along your route. Its Steel Pier amusement park offers rides, games, and food.
Nearing the southernmost end of New Jersey, you’ll reach Wildwood with Adventure Pier, 1950’s style motels, diners, and retro-style entertainment. Just a bit further, but seemingly a world away, Cape May offers Victorian-style homes, quaint cottages, boutiques, galleries, and history dating back to the 1600’s. Walk among its historic buildings and spend a night in one of its inns or bed & breakfasts before returning to New York or continuing south.