This week we’re heading to Belmar, NJ to rock the boardwalk. Our friend and longtime Belmar visitor Carly M. has picked out her favorite spots in this classic beach town.
“As summer approaches, I can’t help but feel anxious about what the new Belmar beachfront is going to look like. Belmar, one of many areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy, was all but an ocean, scattered sand, and pavement once the storm had finally passed. With some collectivism from the locals, volunteers near and far and various non-profits, their efforts during the winter months have transformed our beach into a habitable destination.”
In this old-school beach town, you can’t lose with a classic Americana vibe. For guys or girls, denim is essential. We love a vintage wash with destroyed details to start the look. A simple white tank with crocheted detail comes next, with stacked heavy metal bangles and layered necklaces adding just the right amount of edge. Finish things off with studded gladiator sandals, your go-to aviators and and a worn-in button down to keep the beach breezes at bay. For guys, we love the athletic fit of a bold color block tank with vintage-inspired trim. Keep things simple with classic canvas sneakers, your favorite snap-back and a timeless timepiece.
Shop the look:
AE Crocheted Pleated Tank (similar)
AE Frayed Denim Festival Shortie (similar)
AEO Criss-Cross Sandal (similar)
AEO Studded Bangle Set (similar)
Shop the Look:
10th Ave Burrito: Well before this local joint was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, it was a goldmine in the Belmar community. With an extensive Mexi-Cali cuisine menu and freshly made-to-order dishes, 10th Ave Burrito will have your mouth watering before you even walk in the door!
Boathouse Bar & Grill: Located on the most southern end of Main Street, you will find one of the liveliest eateries on the strip. The Boathouse is full of excitement. In the front you have your go-to local dining: great menu, great atmosphere, great people. In the back room, you have a music venue – perfect for Saturday night Springsteen cover bands or local jazz ensembles. During late hours of the night, the bar-scene is bouncing and the billiards are packed. If you end up here, you will not regret it! Don’t forget to order the wings.
Connolly Station: Although often mistakenly pronounced “Cannoli” Station, it is not far off from the elegance that awaits inside. This restaurant took over what was once called JL Sullivan’s Steakhouse in 2005, and combined the fine dining experience with an Irish touch. Those looking for a romantic evening, or just some well-cut steak with succulent lobster should reserve a seat here.
The Windmill: The original Windmill is in Long Branch, NJ. It is known not only for its delicious “gourmet” Zagat-rated fast-food, but the architectural design of the building. Even though Belmar’s location is not as aesthetically up-to-par, this is still a must-see while in the area. The locals love its dog-friendly and family-oriented atmosphere where anything goes… but never on an empty stomach!
9th Ave Pier Mini Golf: If you’re looking for some family fun, a place to hang on a Friday night with friends, or just a great location down the shore, check out 9th Ave Pier. It has re-opened and the mini-golf is up and running for the season!
Belmar Pro Surf Contest: At the end of summer, the water is the warmest and the surfers are in the prime of their season. This is when Belmar’s annual Pro Surfing contest is held. Sponsors, local artists, food vendors, and spectators post up on the beach for one of the most exciting events in town. Picture a scene out of the movie Blue Crush – a judges table intently watching the contenders, spectators silently waiting in anticipation for their friends/favorites to make it in, and the nose of a board appears, surfer intact, hand held high in celebration of the ride. This is something to stick around for.
DJ’s Cycles: To act like a local is to think like a local. In the tiny town of Belmar, almost everyone owns a bicycle. Stop by DJ’s on Main St. for single or dual bike rentals, accessories, repairs, or sales. They have no competitors as they are simply the best.
Nostalgic Nonsense Vintage Clothing: Located on Main Street, this is one of the coolest vintage shops. They have everything you could think of: artwork, shoes, wigs, evening wear, jewelry, or posters, you’ll find it here. I love driving by at the changing of seasons and admiring the cool/funky window displays that bring customers in. Take a look!
Ocean Ave: Of course, this is my favorite place. The beach! It will take some time for the new boardwalk to reestablish itself, but the beachfront is home. You can come here for a morning run, mid-day biking, or evening stroll. You can stay at a bed-and-breakfast to the south, or grab a slice of 3 Brother’s Pizza on 16th. For the fishing pier or peace and quiet, head north down the strip. And of course, at night plant yourself on the sand, lookup, and see the most spectacular view of the starry night. Enjoy!