With its lush greens and long stretches of beach, Asbury Park was chosen in 1871 to be the site of James Bradley’s dream resort. Beginning with only a boardwalk and a few homes, Asbury Park quickly attracted scores of vacationers who in turn attracted businessmen and developers. By 1888, the boardwalk was practically crowed with attractions, including the iconic Palace Amusements indoor amusement park. Hotels followed shortly after, as did waves of new residents throughout the 1890s and early 1900s. Victorian houses began sprawling outward from the coast. Art deco architecture was introduced with the arrival of 1920s as new and glamorous shopping strips emerged. The historic Paramount Theatre was built around this time, as was the Asbury Park Grand Arcade. By the 1930s, the city was in full swing.
In the decades that followed, with the New Jersey Turnpike opening and rail traffic to the Jersey Shore slowing, Asbury Park became less of a resort and more a town. The farms and forests which had previously surrounded the city were made into suburban neighborhoods to accommodate the diversity of middle class families who flocked to Asbury after the Second World War. Tragically, the tumultuous decades of the 60s, 70s and 80s saw much of Asbury Park fall into disrepair, taking with it Palace Amusements, as well as Tillie, the Jersey’s Shore iconic “fun face.”
Today, however, Asbury Park is fabulously resurgent. Beginning around the start of the new millennium, the city underwent scores of revitalization and redevelopment campaigns, both private and public. The new and improved boardwalk boasts live music, family fun, good eats and gorgeous sunsets. Rock out at the Stone Pony or relax at the Asbury Hotel with drinks and a rooftop view. If that’s not enough, fill up at any of Asbury’s trendiest and tastiest new restaurants. With world class dining, endless entertainment and one of the Jersey Shore’s most storied beaches, there’s something for everyone at Asbury Park.