Point Pleasant Beach on the Jersey Shore holds a special place in my heart. It is not only a place I used to go to listen to live music, but it was one of the municipalities I covered at my first full-time journalism job out of college. With Jenkinson’s Pavillon, which includes an aquarium, bars, arcade games, kids rides, restaurants and a beautiful beach, there was always a lot going on besides local government and crime news. But, I hadn’t been back there in about 12 years. Something changes and some didn’t.
Finding a place to park can be a challenge. There are a bunch of lots that charge a flat fee, which depending on how long you plan to stay there, can be a money-saving option. I’ve seen them charge anywhere from $10 to $30, or more. Take a ride around and see what they are offering the day you are there. Otherwise, municipal lots and street parking is $2.25 per hour during the week and $3 per hour starting at 6 p.m. on Friday until 1:59 a.m. Monday. The machines take cash, coins or credit cards. Some of the side streets are permit-only parking, so be aware of where you are parking.
Pay-to-play isn’t just a political slogan in New Jersey, it’s also how you can describe a majority of their beaches. If you want to enjoy the beach, you have to pay before you put your flip flop on the sand.
Here is a link to all the beach pass prices, including various passes you may purchase if you are staying for longer than a day. But, the daily rate Monday-Friday is $9 for anyone 12 and older, while Saturday and Sunday are $10. It is unlimited access, which means you can leave the beach and come back on as long as it’s in the same day. You can also rent umbrellas and beach chairs right there.
It is a very clean beach with very attentive lifeguards. They also have foot washes before you exit the beach and enter the boardwalk.
Eat, Drink and Play
There are more food choices than you can imagine. But, if you’re like me, and want to try something different and take a short break from the boardwalk food, go one block over to Top That Donuts. It’s a local coffee and donut place that is just adorable and screams beach.
Basically, you get to pick the toppings for your donut. You can build your own, or you can pick one off their menu. And, yes, before you ask, in typical Jersey style they do have one called The Springsteen.
I tried the Apple-Icious – caramel glaze with apple filling, cinnamon crumble and vanilla glaze – and The Hangover – maple glaze with bacon crumble. Both were pretty good and served warm and fresh. The apple was my favorite, because while the donut had a little crunch to it, the apple filling melted right in and the vanilla glazed added just a hint of sweetness.
If you’re looking for more snack food, you can’t beat Jersey Shore pizza. I don’t care what anyone says, it has a different taste. Light with a slightly crispy crust, it’s almost borders a thin crust pizza but with regular pizza taste.
My favorite is a slice of white pizza plain, or with broccoli. It always has the right amounts of ricotta and mozzarella.
When it comes to grabbing a refreshing cold drink, check out Martell’s Tiki Bar. This place has been Jersey Shore landmark for as long as I can remember.
In addition to frozen drinks, cocktails and beer, they also have food on their menu. Options include appetizer favorites, wraps, salads and raw bar.
Odds and Ends
Batting cages, arcades, penguin feedings, children’s rides, shopping and more can all be found on the boardwalk. Check out more in my short video below.