Snooki May Not Be Here, But It's Still as Jersey Shore As It Gets in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ!!

We're headin out to the Jerzzey Shore bitchess... If you want to head out to the beach, but you don't want to go very far, AND you don't want to drive, then lather on that sunscreen and head out to Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.  Point Pleasant is roughly 65 miles from the NYC area and has a gorgeous wide beach and a boardwalk full of entertainment for all ages. IMG_2711 This place has your typical boardwalk concessions including food shacks, arcades, and several other boardwalk games.  There is also a small amusement park, but that's mainly geared toward younger children. IMG_2740

So how the hell do you get here? Well I know.  In theory, you CAN drive.  If there is no traffic, it's faster to drive.  But you know, if it's in the middle of the summer during the height of vacation time, you won't get too far! It will probably take like 4 hours or something to get down there.  In that case, you can find out the driving directions on your own.  I'm going to tell you how to use public transportation.  I have to be honest.  It does take a while.  The trip takes over 2 hours each way.  At least it won't be a hassle for parking.  Also the bright side is that The beach near Jenkinson's Boardwalk(the boardwalk of Point Pleasant Beach) is walking distance from the train station.  Don't take a cab! Put that money towards beach admission and the boardwalk attractions.  

First, you take the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line train from Penn Station to Long Branch, NJ (another nice beach community).  That trip takes about an hour and a half on a local train.  You then need to transfer at Long Branch to the shuttle train to Bay Head.  Point Pleasant Beach is the second to last stop on the Bay Head Shuttle and takes about 35 minutes from Long Branch.  It's a trip, but well worth it.

IMG_2714It's a great place to spend the day whether it's to have a swim or chill on the beach, or play games on the boardwalk, you won't be disappointed when you go to Point Pleasant Beach!    

Who knew New Jersey Has A Place Like Red Bank to Offer?

IMG_2681You set foot into this place and you will never think you are in the state of New Jersey.  I have never been to a town in NJ that is like Red Bank since it is so different from any other town in that state.  

To get here, NJ Transit goes from NY Penn Station right over to Red Bank.  The trip takes about 79 minutes on a local train.  Broad St, White St, Monmouth St, and a little section of Maple Ave are the streets you should stroll when you go to Red Bank.  Each street has a store that is unique to the other stores.

Red Bank has numerous art galleries and antique shops.  Though interesting, I am not going to focus on those, but they are plentiful thoughout the town and you should go to at least one or two of them. 

Now this place that I will talk about is probably one of the most unique stores ever; a hobby shop of all things.  It's called Hobbymasters located on 62 White Street. IMG_0967  You can't miss this place! There's a giant mural covering the entire second floor wall.  This place happens to be the largest hobby shop in America! And in my opinion one of the best shops ever! This 7,000 square foot, two-story building has everything you can imagine.  Trains, planes, helicopters, trucks, puzzles, rockets, telescopes, artificial foliage for train sets, boats, paints, woods, tools, and everything you need to build models! (They have thousands and thousands of different shapes and sizes of models)  It's all right here at Hobbymasters baby!

This next place is also very interesting, if you're obsessed with comics and weird and creepy bobbleheads.   IMG_0977Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash located at 35 Broad Street offers an array of comics ranging from old and the new.  Some of them feature old characters while some feature newer charactwers.  It's a pretty crazy place! In the back of the store they have bobbleheads in which some of them are the same size as your head! IMG_0970You will also happen to notice a 10 foot tall plastic jesus statue!




When it's lunch time, head over to Delfini's Deli located at 244 West Front Street.  You can get a typical Jersey sub with anything you want on it.  They also have other Italian specialties including different pastas, breads, cookies, tomatos, meats, you name it! And it's a great option for lunch.

After lunch, you can can walk all the way back to Broad St or catch a bus and go over to Ricky's Candy, Cones, and Chaos located at 86 Broad Street. IMG_2683  And they're not kidding when they say chaos.  A giant candy store that has probably the biggest selection of candy they still sell and make today. (I'll be writing about another candy store, but that one is way different than this one, you will see!) Once you step inside this place you will feel like you are 5 years old again.  Cartoon piƱatas, ice cream cone chairs, balloons, the colorful candies, and the best part is.... A really freakishly large green dinasaur greeting you as soon as you walk in! (it's plastic).  Did I also mention that there are games in which you can win candy? I know there's a foosball table in which you can play with a gumball and there's also a pinball machine in which you play with a gumball as well.  Just somethin to keep in mind.  Once you get your candy, sprint out of there! because you don't want people to see you walking in there, depending how old you are.  But please guys, go in there and you will get a kick out this place! Ratings for this store? Well... the picture says it all.. IMG_2685

 Red bank is a great town to visit! It's just over an hour from NYC and it has things that appeal to ALL ages.  On a nice sunny 70 degree day, it's perfect because when the sun is out, everything looks gorgeous and it's very pleasant to walk around.  If you go in the winter, you can try to catch a glimpse of the ice boaters out on the Navesink River.  But all I'm saying is that this is a great little trip from the city and I'm sure you will love it!    

Princeton, NJ. It's Not Just About the College!!

Ok, you might think that the only icon that shouts out Princeton is Princeton University. Hell, that is not the case! There are lots of things you can do in this quaint town. The train takes about 88 minutes on a local train from Penn Station in New York City. You take the train to Princeton Junction then switch to the "dinky" shuttle train and that stops right on the Princeton campus. The campus is right in town so it's a short walk from the station. You can take NJ Transit or Amtrak. I took NJ transit because it's cheaper. It's $33 round trip from the city. Yes, there are trains you can take in New Jersey. New Jersey happens to have the densest railroad system in America, with several commuter lines that span to almost every pocket of the state.

There are several shops that would appeal to all ages. One of my favorite stores in Princeton is the Princeton Record Exchange located at 20 South Tulane StreetIMG_2216This place has thousands upon thousands of vinyls and dvds IMG_2214that you could ever imagine; in several price ranges. There are ones that are as cheap as a dollar and there are ones that can cost thousands of dollars depending upon how scarce or rare they are. I bought a Kinks vinyl, it actually came with 2 records. It's called, "The Kinks, Everybody's in Show-Biz." Everyone who buys a record must use a turntable in order to the record to play. I am especially impressed with the album cover! I interviewed the General Manager of Princeton Record Exchange, Jonathan Lambert. In this video he will talk about the history of the store and what the business is about. Enjoy!

Princeton also has a variety of eateries and food stores that are very enticing. If you are coming right from the train, and you need a caffeine boost OR something to munch on, I would say to head right over to Small World Coffee located at 254 Nassau Street.
IMG_2501The baristas are very friendly and they give you a great cup of joe. IMG_2500 This place would be a great introduction to Princeton and would give you a sample of life there, even some of the college life since many students come and study while sipping a cup of joe. That is why this is the best place to start out as soon as one arrives in Princeton! There are several good places where you can get a bite to eat for lunch. Olives Gourmet Bakery and Deli located at 22 Witherspoon Street has a great selection for the health conscious. They have soups, salads, and typical Jersey subs. The other place you can go to is D'Angelo Italian Market located at 35 Spring Street. IMG_2515 This place has a variety of tasty Italian goods such as sandwiches, breads, and pastries. They also have typical grocery store items and did I mention that there is an entire freezer section with over 15 different types of ravioli!? In case you haven't noticed, I like pasta.

There are so many different shops and boutiques ranging from a Lacrosse store to a spice shop to clothing stores catering to any style.

The bottom line is this is a great day trip from NYC.