New Jersey obviously has its share of beautiful beach town. From the chic to the downright rustic, with 140 miles of shoreline, there’s a beach town for everyone. It’s always nice to see a town that has risen from the ashes become one of those towns that make the “lists.” You know the lists so I’m talking about. Those national travel magazines and blogs that mention really special places to go.

Asbury Park is the quintessential renaissance story. With so many false starts over the years, it's finally come into its own. According to an article on, the travel website, in its article on the 30 quaintest beach towns in New Jersey singles out Asbury Park. In order to be included on the list, states the article, a town must have less than 30,000 residents. I suppose that’s what constitutes “quaint.”

But what is highlighted about Asbury Park is the mix of modern and yesteryear, sleek and kitch, diversity and inclusion a pretty good mix of just about everything you would want in a beach town: shopping, dining nightlife and of course its music scene, which is unparalleled in all of New Jersey—and maybe even all of the northeast. For a while it looked like it couldn’t happen again in Asbury Park. Numerous economic downturns and political unrest were what held it back for so many years, effectively moving it one step forward and two steps back. Now, though, against all odds it’s back. And not only back, but back with a vengeance.

Now Asbury Park is no longer just famous for what it USED to be— former grandeur, former playground for the old-time old money—and not just for their physical location along the beach or for Bruce Springsteen and the Jersey shore rock ‘n’ roll scene. They’ve actually reinvented themselves into one of those must-see, must-stay, must-experience beach towns in America.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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