“Cause down the Shore everything’s alright…”
Those lyrics from “Jersey Girl,” penned by Tom Waits but famously sung by New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen, capture how many feel about the Garden State’s central and southern coastline. Live music, perfect pizza, long boardwalks, and sandy beaches can be found up and down the Shore.
There’s very good golf, too, at Seaview Hotel and Golf Club located just under two hours south of Newark Liberty International Airport. So pick up your Avis rental car and follow the signs to get on the Garden State Parkway (FYI, there will be electronic tolls along the way) just a few miles to the west.
Music fans will want to take Exit 102 for Asbury Park. While Springsteen grew up in Freehold, about 15 miles inland, it’s this seaside town that inspired many of his early songs. In recent years an influx of new restaurants, bars, and shops have injected plenty of life back into Asbury, but it’s still tough to beat a live show at the legendary Stone Pony.
Those looking for a more peaceful place to put their toesin the sand, or to ride the Atlantic Ocean waves, should consider taking Exit 63 off the Parkway for Long Beach Island (or just “LBI” per locals), an 18-mile-long barrier island that’s been a popular family vacation destination for generations.
A bit further down, take Exit 48 off the Parkway and then follow Route 9 South for seven miles to arrive at Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, which blends classic golf with modern amenities. Opened in 1914 right across Reed’s Bay from Atlantic City, this Jersey Shore mainstay is looking better than ever after the completion of an $18 million modernization effort last year.
You can play two distinct courses here, including The Bay Course. This longtime LPGA tournament venue offers smaller-than-usual greens, bunkers designed by Donald Ross, and scenic views of Atlantic City (a 15-minute drive away). Enjoy the latter, especially from the par-4 second, considered the hardest hole on the course.
Just behind the resort sits the Pines Course, which debuted in 1929. It offers tree-lined fairways and was the site of Sam Snead’s first major championship win: he birdied the par-3 16th there to win the 1942 PGA Championship (the fifth of 11 majors that have been played in New Jersey to date).
Stay a few days, and like the song says, you’ll soon learn that down the Shore everything is alright.