Sandy Spotlight: Seaside Heights

It’s almost that time of year again. Soon you’ll be sitting on the N.J. roadways, backed up in hour-long traffic with the windows down and the smell of salt water in the air. Hope you’re air conditioner works -- Jersey shore season is around the corner.

There’s about a month until Memorial Day, so to celebrate the much-anticipated 2009 summer season we’ll break down some of the most popular shore destinations.

The first beach in the “sandy spotlight” is Seaside Heights, N.J.

Seaside Heights is known for its nightlife and bustling boardwalk. It’s only about an hour and a half commute from Philadelphia.

Beach-goers can relax in the sand for around $5 a day but, if you plan on visiting frequently, season-long tags can be purchased for $30 before May 15.

But the beach is only part of what Seaside has to offer.

Seaside’s exciting boardwalk brings families and thrill-seekers back year after year. It offers two amusement parks, a water park, dozens of arcades and miniature golf. One thing is for certain, the kids won’t be disappointed strolling the boards.

Like to fish? Fisherman catch plenty of bass, flounder and blue fish off the boardwalk at Seaside’s Casino Fishing Pier. The Pier allows the purchase of daily, weekly or monthly passes and rents out fishing equipment.

Many flock to the Seaside Crab House for a delicious seafood dinner. Tourists can’t skip out on this oceanfront restaurant, as it offers all you can eat soft-shell crabs and a great beachfront view.

But what really brings beach-lovers and partygoers alike to this shore city is the nightlife. And oh, what a life it is. Seaside offers everything from friendly “everybody-knows-your-name” pubs to New York-style nightclubs. Whether you want to relax and enjoy a well-made cocktail or get your fist pump on, the heights has just what you need.

Club XS is a high-energy two story nightclub located along the boardwalk which claims to be what “clubbing is all about”. The nightclub caters to a younger-dance-machine crowd, so expect it to be a little crazy. The place only fills up after midnight, but it fills up fast.

Bamboo Bar is another Seaside favorite. This singles bar has an outdoor deck overlooking the beach and throws one of the liveliest parties in town every weekend. If you think you can hang, it’s open until 4 pm.

The Sawmill Café, located along the boardwalk, is an unpretentious pub that won’t damage your wallet. The bar offers “Holla for a Dolla Fridays” with live bands and $1 parking, drafts and shots. The food is good, too.

The Belmont Motel and the Sunrise Motel are two of the most popular places to stay in Seaside for under $200 a night on a weekend. It’s almost impossible to fit all the sights and sounds of this shore destination into one weekend, so beach-lovers can rent a property for an entire week through award-winning Lazy River Rentals. It will cost you upwards of $1000 per week, but it’s arguably the best way to stay down the shore.

Whether it’s a relaxing weekend getaway, a family-bonding trip or a crazy college spring break type of experience you’re looking for -- Seaside Heights won’t disappoint. 

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