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Jersey Shore | Trip Description
I've been living in New Jersey for almost a year now, and this is the first time I've been to Jersey shore to see the Atlantic coast. When most people think of Jersey shore, the first thing that comes to mind are the two more famous cities in the south - cape may, America's oldest seaside resort, and Atlantic City, which is getting more and more depressed, but both of them are about four hours away from the north of where I live. Therefore, this weekend trip was based on a couple of small resort towns in the north. A weekend trip is a lot easier on the mind than a regular trip, and even though there are little spots along the way that would normally take half a day, I spent a whole day walking.
- Day 1: On the first day, we went to Twin Lights in the morning, Sandy Hook National Scenic Area in the afternoon, and then went to Keyport on the way back for seafood in the evening.
- Day 2: Activities are centered around three small beaches in north-central New Jersey: Belmar Beach, Springlake, and Point Pleasant, which are only a 20-minute drive away.
Viewpoints | Twin lights
The first stop was the twin lights in Highland, a two lighthouse monument, also known as the Navesink light station, built in 1862 overlooking Sandy hook bay, which used to be the entrance for ships to enter the New York Harbor, but is no longer in use and has been converted into a museum. The design of the two lighthouses, one of which shines at a fixed point and the other flickers, means that when the two lighthouses are placed together, it is easier for ships to determine the exact location of the harbor.
Along the path to the left of the entrance, you can walk up to the viewing area behind the building. Only by climbing up the tower, you can see the whole sandy hook bay as well as New York City, but underneath the tower, it is now heavily wooded, blocking the view.
Due to its location, there are several military bases around the Jersey Shore, and Twin Lights was once one of them. The history of the area is not well documented, such as the unnamed cannon that was dug up when the building was erected back in 1862, and whether it belonged to pirates or an old army is not known.
Attractions | Gateway National Scenic Area
It's just a short drive east of Highland.Gateway National Scenic AreaGateway is a long sandbar surrounded by beaches. There is no annual pass for the National Park, but you need to pay 15 dollars for the entrance ticket. gateway is a long sandbar surrounded by beach, because it is close to New York and New Jersey city, there are a lot of tourists playing in the water. The colorful beach umbrellas remind us of the crowded beaches in Taiwan.
On the beach, there are also sand sculptures of castles left by anonymous tourists. It was so beautiful that many people couldn't help but take photos of it with their cell phones like I did. Who is the artist who made this sculpture?
Sandy Hook Lighthouse
Sandy hook's harbor was an important port for ships to enter the southern tip of New York in the early years, but because of the narrowness of the bay, many ships were wrecked in the past before docking, and there are still many shipwrecks left today. Because the accident rate was so high, New Yorkers decided to build a lighthouse to minimize the dangers of boat traffic.
We drove all the way to the northernmost part of the town, originally just to see the sandy hook lighthouse up there, but later found out that the north side of the town, around Fort Hancock, is actually a very interesting place. This community used to be a military barracks, and all the residents of the town were soldiers, and the beautiful Victorian-style houses were all military buildings. The purpose of stationing here was to protect the important port of New York. Later on, of course, there were military families living here, and it became a family village, with schools, stores, and community welfare centers. Today, although there is still a naval garrison, the town is now owned by the National Park Service and is now open to the general public.
When Hurricane Sandy struck in 2011, Fort Hancock on the waterfront was hit so hard that many of the houses have been half destroyed. I don't know if there were other activities in the past, but now, apart from playing ball games and barbecuing on the grass, we just followed the instructions of the walking tour to see the town on our own. Because of the nice scenery, we followed the instructions and walked around the whole town. In summer, the weather in Fort Hancock is quite comfortable. There are a lot of green areas for tourists to relax, and you can also enjoy bird watching and taking photos along the coast.
The rows of houses facing the coast can only be temporarily supported at the moment, and if you look closely you will see that these beautiful houses are barely supported by wood, and except for the most famous history house below, all the others have not yet been restored. some of the houses on the route indicated by the walking tour have already been demolished, but they still manage to leave behind a comprehensive picture of the various facets of life in the barracks in the past. However, there are still some houses on the walking tour route that have been demolished, but they still leave a comprehensive picture of the barracks life here.
One of the most badly damaged areas is probably the main building, which used to be the largest and most important building in town, surrounded by restaurants and a visitor center, but is now inaccessible due to the almost total collapse of the entire roof which is too dangerous.
Fort Hancock Harbor is still in use, and in the summer, tourists can take a direct ferry from Manhattan. At dusk, the harbor is crowded with tourists lining up to board the ferry back to New York.
Besides historical buildings, Sandy hook is also a good place for bird watching. There are large flocks of geese and seabirds catching fish in the harbor. Besides, I was surprised to find an eagle's nest on the roof of one of the rooms and the eaglets inside.
Keyport | Keyport
On the first night, we had dinner in Keyport, a small town on our way back to New Jersey. We had our first fried seafood dish since we moved to New Jersey.
The restaurant we went to, Keyport Fishery, is located near the Keyport Harbor and is a carry-out restaurant only. There is no seating inside the restaurant, but not surprisingly, there was still a long line of people there. The price is very affordable, they have all kinds of fish, shrimp, crab and dried shellfish. After living in New Jersey for over a year, I haven't found any affordable seafood that I really like, so this place jumped to the top of the list because of its freshness! We ordered a combo platter and a soft shell crab. The combo platter comes with fish, shrimp and scallops, the combo platter comes with French fries, and a clam chowder. The soft shell crab is one of New Jersey's most famous products, and it was my first time to have it, with a personal rating of 90%. Although there is no seating in the restaurant, but the view of the harbor is very nice, so we bought the crab and took it to the harbor, just like most of the customers, and sat down.
Keyport Harbor is beautifully lit at night, and despite its small size, Keyport is surprisingly lively at night. This has to do with the fact that Keyport is a small town, but surprisingly lively at night. This has to do with the fact that Keyport has a well-developed fishing industry and is located close to New York City. In the mid-twentieth century, it was one of the world's leading oyster suppliers, but later, due to overfishing and increasing pollution, the fishing industry declined, and the focus of business gradually shifted to shopping and cultural tourism. Due to its proximity to New York, there are many activities in the town. The night we were there, we took a walk in the Keyport waterfront park by the harbor. In addition to the bright lights of many businesses along the shore, there were also music and dance performances by local residents in the harbor square. On the whole, the atmosphere here is less commercial and more relaxed than that of the big city coasts such as Los Angeles, where I used to live.
Attractions | Belmar Beach
Belmar Beach is not well known, with only a few small stores besides the Boardwalk. However, the Boardwalk and the neighborhood are beautifully maintained, and there are no tourists except for a few locals who come to run and play in the water, so it's perfect for a private spot. There is a parking fee for the parking spaces closest to the shore, but free parking is available if you drive a little farther away.
I don't know if it was because it was a national holiday or not, but the beach was completely deserted, which made the view of the ocean even more comfortable than the beach we visited the day before. I stood here for a while, enjoying the rare tranquility of the Atlantic Ocean.
Scenic Spot | Spring Lake
Spring lake is right next door to Belmar, just a little south of there. I parked my car here and went down to the boardwalk for a walk. This boardwalk is a bit longer, many locals were jogging here, so I took out my running shoes and did a romantic beach walk: 5km jogging. I felt very comfortable running with the sea breeze, if only the weather was a little bit cooler.
After jogging outside, I felt hungry immediately, so I drove to the nearby point pleasant to enjoy a simple lobster roll at Point Lobster Co. The lobster roll was hot and the flavor was medium. This small store is a seafood market, and also sells some good looking fish, including lobsters up to 5lb.
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