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15 Experiences You Need to Have at the Jersey Shore Before You Die

New Jersey Insider Guides
by Michelle DeVona Jul 26, 2016

1. Shoot whiskey and rock out with the rest of the punks at The Stone Pony.

This place in Asbury Park is famous for being where Bruce Springsteen got his start. Even now, he has been known to randomly show up and play a set there. Just saying.

2.  Sit atop Lucy the Elephant’s howdah.

Go through Lucy’s hind leg and make your way up this kooky as hell elephant structure. A National Historic Landmark, Lucy the Elephant, located along Atlantic Avenue in Josephine Harron Park, is an oddball destination for both families and plain old weirdos.

3. Chow down at Nagle’s Apothecary Café while watching the surfers, artists and vacation goers prowl Main Avenue.

While there, be sure to visit the cutesy shops where you can find Jersey shore knick knacks, like soaps and lotions made from coastal salt.

4. Kick your friend’s you-know-what while playing Kings and Queens at the Silverball Museum Arcade in Asbury Park.

If you’re a  pinball nerd, stepping into this old school pinball arcade is pretty much the closest thing to heaven. Many of the machines are from the ‘50s, 60’s and ‘70s, which makes the experience all the more badass.

5. Suck it up and climb all 199 steps (yes, you read it right) of Cape May Lighthouse for a rewarding view of Cape May Peninsula.

Appropriately located on Light House Avenue, scaling the lighthouse is pretty much a rite-of-passage for Jersey Shore ramblers. Not to mention an excellent workout.

6. Don’t get run over by the tram at Wildwoods Boardwalk.

No, really. Wildwoods has a tram car service that runs along the boardwalk all day for sightseers who are too lazy to walk. But it won’t stop for pedestrians, so best move the hell out of the way once you hear the warning “Watch the tram car, please!” or you are as good as the ground meat in that Philly cheesesteak you had an hour ago.

7. Play blackjack with gamblers at Caesars Atlantic City Casino whose mafia-like gaming skills put you to shame.

Just make sure you know how the hell to play cards to begin with.

8. Enjoy a vanilla cream orange explosion in your mouth while devouring some frozen custard from Kohr’s, the original frozen custard.

A summer standby that Jersey Shore folks know and love, this is one thing you must experience. After all, the company got its start all the way back in 1919, so it must be pretty damn good.

9.  Chew on some salt water taffy from James & Fralinger’s  while strolling the boardwalk and trying your best to not look like a pirate.

A true Jersey Shore experience, Salt Water Taffy is a staple snack, can be found at pretty much any boardwalk, and is an absolute must if you want to consider your visit complete.

10. Watch the fireworks go boom at Seaside Heights.

Every Wednesday night in July and August, hundreds gather to view the fireworks show, viewable from anywhere on the boardwalk.

11. Make your partner walk around all day with a ginormous stuffed dragon that you won at a game of ring toss.

Ridiculous as it may seem, parading your prize along the boardwalk is the pretty much like participating in the Jersey Shore walk of fame.

12. A fan of Kevin Smith? Visit the Quick Stop market in Leonardo, where the 90s cult movie Clerks was filmed.

Yes, the convenience store is still in business, only without Dante and Randall, or the comic duo Jay and Silent Bob. Located at 58 Leonard Avenue, make a pit stop here for some greasy potato chips and lotto tickets before heading to the beach, all while recalling your youthful slacker-life days.

13. Bike ride along beaches and historic sites at Gateway National Recreation Area

Get your tan on while biking the Sandy Hook Peninsula, several miles of coastline. Make sure to stop along the way to learn about Sandy Hook’s military history at Fort Hancock Historic Post.

14. Catch views of Barnegat Bay and the MTV Jersey Shore House (where that embarrassment of a show was filmed) while aboard the Sky Ride at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights.

Not surprisingly, most New Jerseyans resent that show on pretty much every level since it made our state the poster child for greasy hair, fist pumps, and turned up collars.

15. Board a pirate ship and journey through caves and waterfalls while playing miniature golf at Pirate Island.

Because what better way is there than to spend an evening wobbling across suspension bridges like some boozy sea rover? There are three locations along the shore, in Avalon, Ocean City, and Sea Isle City, so take your pick.

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