From Music to Beer to Whales – NBC10 Philadelphia
Who can forget that weekend a year ago on the shore? The beaches had restricted access. The fireworks have been canceled. The museums were closed.
Good news: it’s a completely different shore for the summer of 2021.
Today the Jersey Shore is back and thrilled to welcome visitors to all 51 beaches. Most attractions, museums and historic sites will be open, but with the option of maintaining social distancing.
And we’re here for it all. Save and share this list – our look at some of the best events and entertainment happening on the shore all summer long.
Summer concerts, baseball and cruises
Jersey Shore Blue Claws, Lakewood – Minor League Baseball returns to the Jersey Shore in Lakewood at FirstEnergy Park, home of the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, a Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball. Until early September, you can catch special tours from major league stars including Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels, both of whom spent time at this stadium early in their professional baseball careers. The modern stadium with more than 6,500 reserved seats includes a mini golf course, a playground and new picnic areas for families. It also has plenty of space for social distancing. www.milb.com/jersey-shore
River Lady Cruises, Toms River – The River Lady is back on the Toms River after not sailing last year, taking her passengers on a 2.5 to 3 hour cruise aboard a reproduction of a wheeled riverboat at Dawn of the Mississippi. Many historic towns, yacht clubs and boardwalks line the river as you cruise towards Barnegat Bay. Most people buy a ticket that includes a full lunch or dinner during the cruise, but tourists can opt for a cruise without a meal on the upper deck. Cruises will continue until early October. www.riverlady.com
Concerts on the green, Suneagles Golf Club, Eatontown – Presented by the Red Banks Count Basie Center for the Arts, Concerts on the Green is a socially remote, pop-up venue that can accommodate 500 people seated in a tent. Until the end of the summer, headliners include Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet with Wynton Marsalis, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Judy Collins, Indigo Girls and Dar Williams. Act quickly; many concerts are sold out. www.thebasie.org/venue/concerts-on-the-green
PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel Park – Featuring nationally recognized record stars and bands, this large outdoor venue off the Garden State Parkway will open with Steely Dan and Steve Winwood on Thursday, June 30. Other artists who will follow are Chicago, The Black Crowes, Luke Bryan, Rod Stewart, Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean and more. (Note: As the concerts have been canceled and postponed, read the website carefully.) www.banksartscentre.com
Stone Pony’s summer scene, Asbury Park – Although the legendary Stone Pony hasn’t announced any indoor concerts, the club’s terrific outdoor Summer Stage features concerts starting with punk rock band Rise Against on Saturday, July 31. A full schedule of events follows, including Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Sad Summer Festival and Shadow of the City: bleachers and more. All events are general admission. (Note: As the concerts have been canceled and postponed, read the website carefully.) www.stoneponyonline.com/summer-stage
Whale watching, walking tours, attractions and music
Whale Watching, Belmar, Highlands and New York – For decades, whale watching on the New Jersey coast was only available in Cape May. And you can still see them there. But now, on the northern part of the Jersey Shore, Jersey Shore whale watching in Belmar has flourished, offering daily tours starting in mid-June. After starting whale watching tours in mid-summer 2020, Seastreak Ferry offers three times a week whale watching from its dock in the Highlands. www.jerseyshorewhalewatchingtour.com and www.seastreak.com
“Thomas Eakins in New Jersey”, John F. Peto Studio Museum, Island Heights – For the first time, explore one of America’s painters and his activities in New Jersey at this special exhibit that kicked off on May 1. Although best known as a Philadelphia painter, Thomas Eakins spent significant time in New Jersey using his paintbrush and camera to showcase his activities he enjoyed the swamps, as well as the work of the Gloucester County shad fishermen. in southern New Jersey. www.petomuseum.org
Cape May Walking Tours, Cape May – Walking tours in Cape May made a big comeback last year because they are outdoors and people can easily distance themselves socially. Back this summer, the Painted Ladies Porches & More Walking Tour. A new addition is the Dr Physick Neighborhood Walking Tour and Brunch All tours are offered by Cape May MAC, which offers trolley tours throughout the year, as well as Cape May Lighthouse tours. and the WWII Observation Tower, which were closed for part of the summer last year. www.capemaymac.org
The ShowPlace Performing Ice Cream Parlor, Beach Haven, Long Beach Island – Beloved singer “Waitri” will open the theatrical ice cream parlor with a fun interactive service starting June 18. Reservations are available at [email protected] In addition, ShowPlace offers “Sing A Gram” – singing telegrams that can be booked with up to four singers to serenade the recipient, in the yard, on the porch, on the roof, at the pool or at the restaurant. www.surflight.org
Steel Pier, Atlantic City – The world-famous pier offers new music and dining options for adult visitors. There is Music Row on Mondays, Live Music on Wednesdays, and Island Time in North Beach AC on Thursdays. www.steelpier.com
Vintage Restaurant, Emlen Physick House, Cape May – After debuting in mid-summer 2020, Cape May’s brand new open-air restaurant has reopened for the season, serving brunch and dinner. With a diverse and eclectic menu and creative dishes from the KARA restaurant group, Vintage is one of Cape May’s top destination restaurants in one of its most historic locations. www.capemaymac.org/eatdrink/vintage
Opening of the Asbury Ocean Club hotel – With breathtaking views of Asbury Park and the Asbury Park promenade, this new luxury hotel opens with a rejuvenating spa, wellness services and upscale dining experiences. It’s right across Ocean Avenue from the boardwalk. www.hotel.asburyoceanclub.com
Plum Farm on the Beach Convention and Activities Center, Cape May – Guests staying at the historic Congress Hall or Beach Plum Farm have a host of tours throughout the week, including birding, gardening, hiking, croquet, and scavenging. Guests who are not part of the resort are encouraged to register for archery and history tours with the hotel concierge. www.caperesorts.com/hotels
Festivals and special events
International Kite Festival, Wildwood, May 28-31 – Beginning with an illuminated night kite flight at 9 pm on Friday, May 28, a “Steroid Kite Festival” will fly over Wildwood. Saturday and Sunday, large inflatable kites fly over the beach. Experienced and novice aviators perform one, two and four line aerobatics on the beach. www.skyfestivals.com
The Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival, June 4 and 5 – On the old airport grounds not far from the beach, one of AC’s biggest events returns this year with 150 brewers, live music, food, as well as the 5K Hops Trot on Saturday. www.acbeerfest.com
Independence Day Celebration, Historic Village of Cold Springs, July 3-4 – Celebrate all things American with a variety of patriotic family activities, programs and music. The restored historic buildings of the village will be open with demonstrations of early American crafts and crafts. www.hscv.org
Storybook Land, Classic Car Show, Egg Harbor Township, July 11 – Classic car show from the 1950s with live music from the band Real Rock Drive. www.storybookland.com
Barefoot Country Music Festival, Wildwood, August 20-22 – More than 30 of country music’s biggest stars come to Wildwood for a three-day multi-stage event on 33 acres of Wildwood Beaches. The festival’s current lineup includes Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band, Dan + Shay, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lee Brice, Billy Currington, Jimmie Allen, Jon Pardi, Chris Lane, Lindsay Ell, Ingrid Andress and Carolyn Miller. www.barefootcountrymusicfest.com
Seafarers’ Weekend, Historic Village of Cold Springs, August 28-29 – Pirates, music and family entertainment are offered as the village buildings feature historically dressed performers demonstrating the trades, crafts and lifestyles of ancient America. www.hscv.org
Sea.Hear.Now. Festival, Asbury Park, September 18-19 – Pearl Jam, The Smashing Pumpkins and The Avett Brothers headlining this two-day surf, music and arts festival on Asbury Park beach. www.seahearnowfestival.com
Horsepower by the Bay, Somers Point, October 16 – Street rods, vintage cars, muscle cars, boats and military vehicles will be in the spotlight at this outdoor event. www.somerspointhistory.org
About the Author: This spring and summer, Jersey Shore (“100 Things to Do on the Jersey Shore”) expert and author RC Staab is traveling the 139 miles of the Jersey Shore from Sandy Hook to Cape May . Read his profiles of beaches and coastal towns as he walks along their waterfronts, boardwalks and boardwalks here.