Sand, Culture and Food on the North New Jersey Shore

New Jersey Shore
Uncrowded beaches on the northern part of the New Jersey Shore. Tab Hauser photos.

Red Bank and North New Jersey Shore is Close to the NY Metro area

By Tab Hauser
Senior Writer

The town of Red Bank in New Jersey makes a nice mini-cation that combines culture, shopping, food, and surf. Red Bank is located on the Navesink River which is an inlet from the Atlantic Ocean. It is a fun cultural hub for this eastern section of New Jersey.

 Murial Red Bank
One of several murals in Red BankRed Bank  

What makes this beach-type getaway a little different is that I chose to stay in a hotel that was in a town 10 to 15 minutes away from two nice beaches.

This is because Red Bank had many more dining and entertainment options.

The other reason for staying in Red Bank is because I did not like the hotel options on the beaches I was looking near here.

They seemed either too high-end or low-end for what I was looking for on this trip.

Red Bank is So Close

What I like about Red Bank is that it is close to the New York metro area. This means less driving to get to the same sand and surf as the lower New Jersey shore towns.

Red Bank also ticks all the boxes for our needs and comes alive in the summer. The two main commerce streets are Broad and Monmouth. Here you will find boutiques, galleries, restaurants, theaters, pubs, cheese and chocolate shops, bakeries and a microbrew.

At the end of Broad is the very high-end department store Garmany and Tiffany & Co.

 Jaimians Red Bank
Music at Jaimians and reasonable drink prices

Broad Street was fun because a few blocks of it became a lively pedestrian-only way. Here restaurants spilled into the street with plenty of people watching going on. On Saturday nights, different music acts are stationed on the streets and by the Riverside Gardens Park giving the place a bit of a festive atmosphere.

 Sushi Bowl TabHauserPhoto
A sushi bowl at Teak

Places we enjoyed around town included Teak for Asian Fusion, Catch 19th for meat and seafood, and the Dublin House for a pub grub. For music go to Jamain’s and Birravino.

Antoinette Boulangerie is a good stop for fine pastries and baguettes. Don’t miss the farmers’ market every Sunday from 9 AM to 2 PM.

Everything listed above is no more than a 15-minute walk from the Molly Pitcher Hotel. This is nice because you don’t have to worry about having that extra drink and then driving.

On the cultural side, there are two big venues for entertainment in Red Bank. This includes The Count Basie Center for the Arts ( Their venue includes the Vogel, Concerts on the Green and the Basie Center Cinemas.

The Two Rivers Theater ( is another place for different acts.

Red Bank’s Beaches

Sea Bright Beach
No crowds weekdays on this New Jersey Shore, in Red Bank.

Two distinctly different New Jersey shore beaches near Red Bank are Sea Bright and Long Branch. Both are less than 15 minutes away and offer the same soft sand and pleasant surf. During our visit, both beaches were not crowded on the hot sticker summer days were there.

We usually arrived at the beach by 10:30 AM and left at 3 PM to either lounge poolside at the hotel or stroll around Red Bank.

 Pier Village TabHauserPhoto
Pier Village Thursday night free concert at Long Branch, NJ

Sea Bright

Sea Bright is the quintessential beach town. It is about seven blocks long with pubs, beach stores, restaurants, and a beach bar-restaurant.

This is near the Sea Bright Beach Pavilion where parking is $2 an hour and a beach badge is $8 per day. There is also public parking just north of the restaurants at Anchorage Beach.

Long Branch

Pier Village in Long Branch is a popular beachfront place. There is parking at Pier Village or just north of it. Beach badges run $5 Monday to Friday and $7 on weekends. Located here are several shops, a carousel, and restaurants.

Food selection goes from casual counter service to fine dining. In the mix are trendy or beach-type clothing stores and places for ice cream. We opted to be here Thursday afternoon so we can take advantage of their free Thursday night concert in the center of Pier Village (which does not sit on a pier). website

 Red Bank Lodging

Molly Pitcher Inn
The pool view at the Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank, NJ

The Molly Pitcher Inn and Marina ( ) is a 102 room boutique hotel on the water with a connected marina. It was established in 1928 and was built in red brick in colonial-era Federal-style architecture. It is within walking distance from the center of Red Bank and a 12-minute drive from the New Jersey Shore.

Legend has it that Molly Pitcher was a nickname given by the colonial soldiers to Mary Ludwig. This is because she is said to have carried water (amongst other duties) to them during the battle of Monmouth, near to Red Bank, on June 28th, 1778. There she helped work the cannon station when her husband was wounded.

 Bon Jovi Mansion Red Bank
Rock and roller Jon Bon Jovi’s beautiful mansion peeking through the trees near Red Bank

The hotel has a nice pool in the back overlooking the boats and the Navesink River which is more like a harbor and is saltwater.

The hotel has a nice bar, full-service restaurant and gym. Pre-pandemic it had a spa. The marina by the pool rents kayaks to see some of the mansions and birds nearby.

For information on Red Bank visit   and

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6 thoughts on “Sand, Culture and Food on the North New Jersey Shore

  1. We have been to the Jersey shores. There are so many things to do there. It makes me homesick for the America the beautiful!

  2. Having made man y sales calls in and throughout the Red Bank area, this article makes me yearn to return and actually spend days at leisure…covering all the bases from good food, lodging, and interesting music venues…well done article

  3. My wife and I recently spent time in Red Bank and had a great time. We are fortunate enough that we can make it a day trip but have toyed with the idea of spending a couple of nights. Thanks for sharing this bright part of New Jersey with everyone.

  4. After reading this story about Red bank, New Jersey, my husband and I decided to stop there, on our way home from our annual vacation on Cape May. We live in New York and frequent the Jersey Shore for the great beaches and towns. We also spend a lot of beach days in Long Branch. I never knew much about Red Bank, but after reading this article, we decided to stop on our way home. Well, this will now be not only a stop, but a destination for us! It’s absolutely lovely. I enjoy a town where I can stroll, peek into cute shops, and have a pick of different dining options. We had a nice relaxed dinner at The Dublin House, and listened to some live music in a park along the Navesink River. The Count Basie Theater is one of those old theaters that have live music shows and I would love to check out one of my favorite bands there, at some time. Thank you, for this article. You really turned us on to Red Bank!

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