Top Romantic Things to Do in Jersey Shore

While the Jersey Shore may conjure up images of tanned people with names like Snooki and The Situation dancing the night away, the real-life version of this famous reality-TV destination can be incredibly romantic. The Shore, as the locals call it, is just 60 miles south of Manhattan - making it the perfect weekend getaway for East Coast couples or vacation destination for those traveling from other areas of the country. This sprinkling of beaches, boardwalks and quaint Victorian towns along more than 200 miles of shoreline provide the perfect backdrop for some real-life romance.

Atlantic City Boardwalk

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If you and your sweetheart are truly kids at heart, then you’ll want to make a stop at the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk to try your hand at go-carting and take a stroll down what National Geographic calls the “grandfather of boardwalks.” Stop by Steel Pier to take a spin on the Ferris wheel or test out the double-decker carousel.

Laurita Winery

Located just a short drive from the Jersey Shore, Laurita Winery follows old world traditions and focuses on sustainability and respect for natural resources (the building is made almost entirely of recycled and reclaimed materials). The winery is named for the owners’ mothers, Laura and Rita, and its marketplace offers tastes of its award-winning vinos, artisanal cheese platters and homemade sandwiches.

Hereford Lighthouse

Built in 1874, Hereford Lighthouse is one of the oldest and most romantic of the many historic lighthouses on the Jersey Shore. While it originally had a very practical use - its shining beacon guided 19th century mariners to safety - today the lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The gardens at Hereford Lighthouse are constructed in the English cottage style, making them a romantic place for couples to spend the afternoon.

Ocean City Parasail

High above the New Jersey skyline, Ocean City Parasail gives visitors and residents alike a different perspective of the Shore - from 300 feet in the air. While tandem parasailing is certainly for the more adventurous couple, Captain Joel (the company’s owner and operator) and Captain Rich claim to have a 100 percent safety record, so you know it’s going to be a great experience.

Avalon Beach

Often touted as one of the most romantic beaches in the United States, Avalon Beach is the perfect place to pack a picnic, spend the afternoon and watch the sunset with your sweetheart. There’s 7 miles of coastline, and the beaches are separated into categories (protected, raft and surf) depending upon the level of privacy or quiet you desire. While you do have to pay a small fee to access the beaches ($6 for a day pass), it’s well worth it.

Cape May Whale Watcher

Head to the Miss Chris Marina and get ready to embark on an epic 3-hour adventure of dolphin and whale watching aboard the Cape May Whale Watcher. Captain Jeff will take you into the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean where you will get to see marine life up close. The company also offers a sunset dinner cruise that serves all-you-can-eat pizza and hot dogs in true Jersey fashion.

Milagro Spa

Surprise your sweetheart with a 60- or 90-minute couples massage at Milagro Spa! Located in the tiny town of Manasquan (a popular spot among young couples thanks to its active nightlife), Milagro Spa is a favorite among locals and prides itself on its blend of ancient rituals and modern science to create an unforgettable experience.

Stroll Through Spring Lake

If you’re looking for a quiet, secluded place to take an evening stroll, Spring Lake is where you need to be. This “Jewel of the Jersey Shore” is well-known for its stately summer homes, quiet beaches and namesake lake. The lake is located in the middle of town, but the weeping willows make it feel more secluded. You can also saunter over to the beach to enjoy the longest non-commercial boardwalk in New Jersey.

Drink at the Wine Loft

A hot-spot in Long Branch’s Pier Village, The Wine Loft offers 65 different types of wine by the glass - 150 by the bottle - making it the perfect place to have a romantic night out. Lounge on comfortable couches and take in the relaxing atmosphere as you sip on varietals from some of the most prestigious wine-producing regions in the world. The Wine Bar also hosts happy hour from 4-8 p.m. every night and has live music on Fridays.

Island Beach State Park

While Island Beach may be well-known for its nightlife and crowded beaches, Island Beach State Park is actually quite serene - the park contains nearly 10 miles of protected beaches. Whether you prefer to swim in the ocean or try your hand at surfing, a day at Island Beach State Park is the perfect way to end a romantic trip to the Jersey Shore.

By Nicole Martinez