By, Pam Teel
Belmar is a beautiful community blessed with small town charm, rural beauty, and a rich community life with an abundance of recreational activities enjoyed by visitors and residents alike.
The Borough of Belmar’s beaches and boardwalk are open on a year-round ba- sis with a mile long boardwalk and a panoramic view of the ocean. During the summer there is plenty to do. You can swim, lay out in the sun, fish, surf, boogie board, and kayak on their clean, safe, sandy white beaches. The 7th avenue beach is ranked the highest in New Jersey in the “Testing the Waters” report. There are beach playgrounds for children located in all five beach areas. A surf camp at 3rd avenue Beach is available during the summer where children can learn to surf. Others who prefer dry land activities can enjoy volleyball games on the beach.
The boardwalk has been completely redone with a composite material made of wood and plastic fibers and is a great place to walk, jog, or just sit and watch the ocean. Restrooms are also available on the boardwalk every few blocks. Mobi mats make the beach accessible to wheelchairs and baby strollers.
You get the best of both worlds in Belmar; a downtown and a beachfront in one. Coming over the bridge into Belmar is breathtaking with boats going in and out of the marina and the smell of good food from local restaurants wafting through the air and don’t forget to stop in at Strollo’s just over the bridge. The best Italian ices around!
Downtown Belmar offers numerous culinary options, including authentic Mexican, Cajun, Italian, old-fashioned American fare, and more. Many restaurants offer sidewalk tables for people watching. There is also a brewery in town. You’ll find a relaxing atmosphere after a long day of sunbathing with some of the best pizza on the east coast, fresh catches of the day, and plenty of restaurants with cuisine from around the globe. Most of the restaurants are downtown on Main Street but there are some that overlook the beach on Ocean Drive. There are also many restaurants to choose from in neighboring boroughs, which include Asbury Park and Avon By the Sea.
Shops on Belmar’s Ocean Avenue offer surfing gear, souvenirs, beach sundries, snacks and fine dining while Belmar’s Main Street features chic boutiques, art galleries, home decor specialists, coffee houses and diverse and delicious eateries.
In the warm months there is always something going on downtown. Beautifully restored classic automobiles are abundant on Cruise Nights. Fresh New Jersey fruits and vegetables are available at the weekly Farmers Market. Pyano Plaza hosts live entertainment weekly and retail merchants offer a wide variety of products. There is a great Saint Patrick’s Day Parade every year, usually the week before St. Patrick’s Day, with thousands of people from all over Jersey coming to watch and join in. In October there is a kite Festival. The fourth of July kicks off with fireworks at the beach. The Italian feast of San Gennaro is celebrated downtown in July. The Sandcastle competition also takes place in the summer months. This year in May the town will be hosting the NJ seafood festival. Toy might want to check it out.
Spaces for parking in Belmar are provided along the boardwalk on Ocean Avenue. In the summer months these spaces are metered and require that users pay 25 cents per every 15 minutes that the space is occupied. As an alternative to using quarters, Belmar also offers parking cards that work with the meters. The parking cards can be purchased for 20 dollars at any one of our 7 ticket booths dispersed along the boardwalk and will carry over from summer to summer. In addition to metered beach parking, spots can also be found along the residential streets of Belmar and in parking lots at the train station and marina.
Visitors may also choose to travel to Belmar by boat. Belmar Marina is home to the largest number of transient dock spaces in Monmouth County with 70 boat slips, and docking for the day is free! There are fishing boats and tour boats waiting for you at the docks.
Downtown Belmar is a “must visit” on your vacation itinerary. There’s so much to see and do in Belmar and its neighboring boroughs; music, arts, beach activities, fine dining, and more. One can easily spend a long weekend at the beach, dining, relaxing, and exploring the area. Make sure you book early, as this is a summer hot spot!
Belmar has plenty of airbnb homes to choose from. You can also book at The Mayfair Hotel, The Belmar Motor Lodge, The Inn at the Shore B & B, The Tandem Bike Inn, The Saltwater Inn and more.
For more information on events, places to stay, activities, best dining, etc., go to: http://www.visitbelmarnj.com/