You can head south on the Parkway and get off without going to the beach and still find plenty to do.

Get off at Exit 63 and head east on Route 72, but before you get to LBI, there is plenty to see and do. Lots of people have moved from the northern part of the state and New York to Manahawkin. This has forced the area to up its game when it comes to shopping and entertainment.

If you're into watersports but don't want to hassle with the traffic on Long Beach Island, you can check out Route 72 Waverunner and Kayak. Rent a Waverunner or if you prefer a slower pace hop in a kayak or stand on a SUP and paddle your way around the Barnegat Bay.

There is plenty to do for the active kid or adult at Mainland Adventure Park. You can ride go-karts, and try the zipline. There's mini-golf and a full game room arcade, too. If you need a place to stay for the night, it's all part of the Holiday Inn Express. They've also got a great restaurant, the Mainland Kitchen and Pub.

If you're more of a lake person than a beach person, Manahawkin Lake park is right off Route 72 and away from the crowds of Long Beach Island but only a few minutes away. It's a throwback to a time when these public lakes dotted the landscape all over New Jersey.

There is no shortage of great places to eat in Manahawkin. A long-time mainstay that's been around way before the town got popular is Mud City Crab House. Right next door is Old Causeway Steak and Oyster House.

If you head back toward the Garden State Parkway you can check out Element Restaurant and Bar. Ocean County has more to offer than just the beach. Check out, yes, Manahawkin!

And here's more ideas for South Jersey and the shore ...

Cape May, NJ: 15 wonderful places to visit

15 sensational places to visit in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park

From amusement rides to all the boardwalk food and lots of water fun, Seaside Heights and neighboring Seaside Park have endured as a family friendly spot for all ages.

Along the way, the Seaside Heights Boardwalk and Casino Pier have been struck with tragic disasters - such as fire, Superstorm Sandy and another fire. Both have proven their resiliency through rebuilding and expansion.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

You can now listen to Dennis & Judi — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite best friends anytime, anywhere and any day of the week. Download the Dennis & Judi show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.

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