Ultimate Travel: Jersey Shore

Surf shops, posh beach communities and boardwalks lined with every possible all-American treat, it's all here on the Jersey Shore.

You Might Also Like

Home of the Miss America Pageant
Home of the Miss America Pageant

Home of the Miss America Pageant

Originally cooked up to extend tourist season past Labor Day, the Miss America competition began as a 2-day beauty contest on September 7, 1921. After 6 years in Las Vegas, the competition returned to Atlantic City in 2013. 960 1280

Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

There She Is … Miss America

There She Is … Miss America

Margaret Gorman from Washington, DC, smiles, wearing a large Statue of Liberty crown and a striped cape, as the first-ever Miss America. The grand prize? A 3-foot golden mermaid trophy. 960 1280

Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

Atlantic City: The Beginning

Atlantic City: The Beginning

Located in South Jersey along the Atlantic Ocean, the beachfront property was viewed as prime real-estate for a potential resort town. The city was incorporated in 1854, but it saw a huge building boom during the early 20th century. 960 1280

H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images  

Atlantic City's Golden Age

Atlantic City's Golden Age

Tourism was not only at its peak in the 1920s but it actually flourished during Prohibition, which was largely unenforced. With liquor and gambling taken place in back rooms of nightclubs and restaurants, Atlantic City became known as "The World's Playground." Much of this era under racketeer and political boss Enoch L. "Nucky" Johnson has been captured on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. 960 1280

mijori via Flickr Creative Commons  

United States Hotel

United States Hotel

Upon arriving in Atlantic City by train, guests were taken to the United States Hotel. Owned by the railroad, the United States hotel was not only the first hotel in Atlantic City, but the largest in the country housing over 2,000 guests. 960 1280

Walker Evans/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images  

Rolling Chairs

Rolling Chairs

Introduced in the 1880s, these wicker, canopied chairs on wheels are manually pushed by attendants (much like a rickshaw) and are boardwalk fixtures to this day. 960 1280

  

Lucy, the Elephant

Lucy, the Elephant

Located 2 miles south in Margate City, Lucy is a 6-story structure constructed in 1822 by James V. Lafferty to attract tourism and sell real estate. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976, Lucy is now open as a museum. 960 1280

Topical Press Agency via Getty Images  

Steel Pier

Steel Pier

Opened in 1898, the Steel Pier billed itself as "The Showplace of the Nation" and was one of the largest and most famous attractions in Atlantic City. One tourist trap in the early 20th century was horse diving, introduced by William "Doc" Carver. Today, Steel Pier still functions as an amusement pier across from Trump Taj Mahal. 960 1280

Alfred Eisenstaedt/Pix Inc./Time Life Pictures/Getty Images  

The Boardwalk

The Boardwalk

Opening on June 26, 1870, the Atlantic City Boardwalk was one of the first boardwalks in the country. Running southwest from Absecon Inlet to Ventnor City, the boardwalk has been home to several piers and notable attractions including Boardwalk Hall, formerly known as the "Historic Atlantic City Convention Hall." 960 1280

Archive Holdings, Inc via Getty Images  

Salt Water Taffy

Salt Water Taffy

The famous beach treat was created by David Bradley in 1883. Story has it Bradley's shop was flooded by a storm, soaking his taffy with salty ocean water. He sold some "salt water taffy" to a girl who showed it off to all her friends on the beach -- and the rest is history. 960 1280

H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images  

The Hotel Boom and Bust

The Hotel Boom and Bust

Many hotels like the Shelburn (pictured here) were suffering embarrassing vacancies by the 1960s and eventually demolished. In an effort to revitalize the city, casino gambling was approved by New Jersey voters in 1976. 960 1280

SuperStock via Getty Images  

Monopoly City

Monopoly City

In the US version of the popular board game properties are named after places in and around Atlantic City. Little known fact: Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board, is actually a misspelling of the original location name "Marven Gardens." 960 1280

Lambert/Getty Images  

The Tropicana

The Tropicana

Young guests of the Tropicana Motel sunbath and socialize on the hotel's sundeck in the 1960s. 960 1280

Aladdin Color Inc/Getty Images  

Resorts International

Resorts International

The first legal casino in the eastern United States opened on May 26, 1978. Others quickly followed suit totally 12 today, making Atlantic City the "Gambling Capital of the East Coast." 960 1280

Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images  

Mike Tyson's KOs

Mike Tyson's KOs

in popularity to Las Vegas, Donald Trump attracted customers by bringing boxing legend Mike Tyson to his casinos. In fact, most of Tyson's fights during the 1980s were in Atlantic City. 960 1280

The Ring Magazine/Getty Images  

Cape May, beach, shoreline, New Jersey
Cape May

Cape May

The oldest seaside resort community in the country hasn’t lost any of its luster and is still a popular beach for relaxing and exploring. Both Cape May’s lighthouse and its historic district — which is filled with lovely Victorian homes — are on the National Register of Historic Places.  960 1280

Craig Terry/Cape May County, NJ Department Of Tourism  

Ocean City

Ocean City

Just like that other Ocean City (in Maryland), this New Jersey town has something going for it besides the great beaches: a fantastic boardwalk with plenty of entertainment. The 2.5-mile stretch is a major reason that Ocean City is billed as "America’s greatest family resort." 960 1280

Craig Terry/Cape May County, NJ Department Of Tourism  

Wildwood

Wildwood

With the widest beaches in the state, the Wildwoods — Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood — are the perfect place for building sand castles and playing volleyball. The area even boasts a dog-friendly beach that welcomes your pups year-round. 960 1280

Yue Wu/The Washington Post/Getty Images  

Long Beach Island

Long Beach Island

This 18-mile-long island, known to locals as LBI, is home to a number of small beach communities. On the northern tip, climb up 217 steps to the top of the Barnegat Lighthouse for amazing views of the Atlantic. Head farther south to find great surfing spots such as Beach Haven. 960 1280

Eduard Moldoveanu Photography / iStock / Thinkstock  

Spring Lake

Spring Lake

One of New Jersey’s more upscale beach towns, Spring Lake offers 2 miles of quiet shoreline and the longest non-commercial boardwalk in the state. After a day in the sun, stroll through the quaint shopping district and stay in one of the 19th-century bed-and-breakfasts. 960 1280

Dennis Morris / iStock / Getty Images  

Avalon

Avalon

The charming coastal town of Avalon is more laid-back and less crowded than many of New Jersey’s other beaches. Together with the equally idyllic Stone Harbor, it occupies a barrier island called Seven Mile Beach. 960 1280

Craig Terry/Cape May County, NJ Department Of Tourism  

Point Pleasant

Point Pleasant

Families will have no trouble filling their days at Point Pleasant Beach. In addition to swimming along the spotless shores, there’s a kid-friendly boardwalk with rides, arcades and mini-golf. Even on cloudy days, visitors can enjoy stops at the town’s antique center and aquarium. 960 1280

iShootPhotos, LLC/E+/Getty Images  

Atlantic City

Atlantic City

Atlantic City may be most famous for its casinos, but for daytime summer fun, visitors head to the free beaches. The boardwalk provides easy access to world-class restaurants, high-end shopping and, of course, all those slot machines. 960 1280

Driendl Group / Photodisc / Getty Images  

Manasquan

Manasquan

With lovely, wide beaches, Manasquan is a popular getaway for New Yorkers looking to escape from the city to the shore. Its reliable waves make it a major draw for surfers, but fishermen and families will also find plenty to do. 960 1280

Mike Dory, via Flickr  

Lavallette

Lavallette

Lavallette is just north of Seaside Heights, but it couldn’t be more different from that party destination. Choose between the pristine (but facility-free) beach on the Atlantic and the calmer waters along Barnegat Bay.  960 1280

Nine OK/Stone/Getty Images  

Asbury Park

Asbury Park

The beaches and revitalized boardwalk in Asbury Park attract a diverse and lively crowd. In the place where musical legend Bruce Springsteen started his career, it’s no surprise that music is a hot commodity. There are a number of venues amid the vibrant dining scene. 960 1280

Andrew F Kazmierski / iStock / Getty Images  

Sea Bright

Sea Bright

A narrow, 4-mile-long community on the northern end of the Jersey Shore, Sea Bright is the state’s easternmost beach. It’s known for its many members-only beach clubs, but all visitors can enjoy the public beach in the center of town. 960 1280

Andrew F Kazmierski / iStock / Getty Images  

Seaside Heights

Seaside Heights

MTV’s reality series Jersey Shore may have given Seaside Heights a bad reputation, but it’s still a happening place to be — and not just for hard-partying 20-somethings. Both adults and kids will find entertainment along the lively boardwalk. 960 1280

SurFeRGiRl30, via Flickr  

The Hot List

Enter Daily to Win a Trip to Music City!

Will Blake or Janel be the next Travel Channel Star?

Join the conversation on Social Media!
Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.