Our Top 10 Favorite Things to Do in Highlands / Sandy Hook

1. Barbeque in the backyard. Get some seafood from Lusty Lobster (fresh clams, oysters, lobsters and fish at reasonable prices) , local veggies (e.g. Jersey corn) from the farmer’s market at Huddy Park (every Saturday Jul-Oct 9a-2p) and some cold beer for a cookout in our brand new outdoor patio.

2. Happy hour at the Windansea tiki bar. The tiki bar at Windansea (2 blocks away) is packed in the summer time with live music.

3. Outdoor lunch. Have an outdoor lunch at one of the many restaurants nearby (Inlet Café, Windansea, Moby’s, Off the Hook or McLoone’s in Sea Bright) and watch the boats meander out in the Sandy Hook Bay. All the outdoor restaurants are within 5 minutes walk except for McLoone’s in Sea Bright.

4. Sandy Hook National Park. No tacky boardwalk here! Just pristine and wide sandy beaches and clear water for swimming. 6 miles of multi-use path for biking or running. Prime spot for birding as well. Dog friendly beach on the Inlet side of the Hook. On-site military forts, hiking trails, and the country’s oldest lighthouse make beach breaks fun. Watch sunset and grab a drink at Seagull’s Nest, the only commercial establishment on Sandy Hook. Free weekly concerts on Wednesday evenings at Beach E. 2 minutes by car or 8 minutes by bike from our house.

5. Twin Lights Lighthouse. Twin Lights Lighthouse offers a superb panoramic view of lower New York, Sandy Hook and surrounding waters. Great spot for picnic. 5 minutes by car from our house.

6. Biking the Bayshore Trail. The 2-mile trail is part of the Henry Hudson Trail that follows the right-of-way of an abandoned railroad line. The scenic trail runs right along the waterfront, with waters of the bay immediately on your right as you head west and the steep forested hillside on your left. Enjoy a fantastic breakfast or brunch at Zoe’s at Atlantic Highlands at the end of your ride. We have 3 bikes available for your use at the house. Entrance to the trail is 5 minutes by bike from our house.

7. Hartshorne Woods Park. Known for its extensive and challenging series of trails (over 19 miles) and scenic views, Hartshorne Woods is a popular park for area hikers, bicyclists and outdoor enthusiasts. Please stay on marked trails, plan your route, take a trail map, and wear appropriate safety gear. 5 minutes by car from our house.

8. Boat ride on the Navesink River. Rent a boat for a day and explore the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers. Grab a burger dockside from Barnacle Bills in Rumson. Dock and dine also available at Windansea, Bahrs and the Clam Hut in Highlands. Walking distance to boat rentals from our house.

9. Go fishing for Jersey Jumbos. Jersey Jumbos are bluefish. Most boats fishing out of Highlands in the summer will be going for bluefish, fluke, weakfish or porgy. Small skiffs, rowboats, and small motorboats are for rent on Simon Lake Drive in Atlantic Highlands. Walking distance to boat rentals from our house.

10. Sunset sail. Low key sunset sailing with Kathleen D Sailing Catamaran every Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Jun-Oct.


Our Top 10 Favorite Things to Do in North Jersey Shore

1. Manhattan. Take the Seastreak Ferry to NYC for a Broadway musical show or a Yankee game. Ferry is 5 minutes away by car from our house.

2. Long Branch. 8 miles from our house.

3. Asbury Park. 14 miles from our house.

  • The revived Asbury Park Boardwalk draws crowds with new restaurants, boutique shopping and live music. Asbury Park is a great place to shop, dine, go to the theater, stroll the boardwalk or enjoy the beach and surf.
  • Fireworks every Wednesday from July to August
  • Stone Pony offers great live music. Bruce Springsteen was known to hang out and jam at the Pony when he wasn’t on tour.

4. Ocean Grove. Victorian homes and tree-lined streets resemble Cape May. You step back in time – to an era of lovely Victorian homes, quiet summer evenings and peaceful strolls along the boardwalk. Visit Centennial Cottage for an excellent example of a typical Ocean Grove Victorian summer home. 15 miles from our house.

5. Sea Bright. Beautiful summer homes and private beach clubs. Great place for sunset dinners, after-dinner drinks or late-night dancing. A small public beach located at Ocean Avenue and River St.  2 miles from our house.

6. Red Bank. One of the most happening places in New Jersey – Red Bank offers gourmet shops and coffeehouses, delightful cafes, specialty shops and a lively nightlife. 8 miles away.

7. Keansburg Amusement Park. Quaint and old-fashion amusement park with its roller coaster, carousel, mini golf, arcades and concession stands. Not recommended for anyone with high-brow intentions or need for first-class facilities. 10 miles away.

8. Monmouth Park Racetrack. Thoroughbred racing every day except Mondays and Tuesdays in the summer. Gates open at 11:30a and races start at 12:50p. 9 miles away.

9. Six Flags. Six Flags Great Adventure is the largest theme park, water park and drive-through wild animal safari in the country with the three parks situated on 2,200 acres. Where else can you drive through an African safari, see Batman take on Catwoman, tackle more than a dozen roller coasters, and follow it up with a float down the river, all in one afternoon? 40 miles away.

10. Golf. Hominy Hill Golf Course in Colts Neck was rated as one of the top ten public golf courses in the United States by Golf Mag. Pebble Creek Golf Course in Colts Neck is a public golf course that offers online tee time booking. 18 miles away.