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7 Reasons to Visit the Jersey Shore This Summer

Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore hard last October, but with summer in full swing many towns are back and booming once more. From afternoons spent strolling the new boardwalk in Seaside Heights to hot nights in Ocean City, Charlotte Steinway rounds up seven reasons to hit the (new) Jersey Shore this summer

See recent posts by Charlotte Steinway

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The New Boardwalk, Seaside Heights

This Ocean County town was one of the hardest-hit by Sandy — images quickly circulated of the boardwalk’s two shattered amusement parks, with rides washed out at sea. Following a $3.6 million rebuild, the Seaside Heights boardwalk is back with dozens of new and improved restaurants, shops, and arcades. And while Casino Pier may have lost its iconic Jet Set rollercoaster to Sandy, it’s returned this summer boasting over 18 rides, with one pendulum thrill ride even named “the Super Storm.”

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Night In Venice, Ocean City

Now in its 59th year, Ocean City’s “Night in Venice” is considered to be one of the world’s largest boat parades, featuring a whole fleet of themed boats adorned by flowers, lights, and decorative signage. The July 20 event will welcome non-motorized boats for the first time this year, which means visitors can expect to see festively decorated kayaks, gondolas and sailboats, too. This year’s theme is “Good Old Summertime,” a nostalgic nod to beach towns of yore.

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Wine Tasting Grill Nights, Cape May Winery

Just in time for summer, Cape May Winery, the South Jersey winery and vineyard spanning over 150 acres in Cape May County, launched "Summer Grill and Tasting Nights" on Wednesdays until mid-September. Guests can take in live music from local acts and a rotating chef-selected menu (think summer staples like jalepeño-grilled swordfish, roasted new potatoes, and triple berry shortcake) alongside some 20-plus wines from its expansive back terrace, courtyard, or patio overlooking the winery’s scenic vineyards.

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South Beach Arcade, Point Pleasant

Jenkinson’s Boardwalk was officially up and running in time for President Obama’s visit in late May, and visitors this summer expect a new 7D theater (a simulated motion thrill ride) at the recently-revamped South Beach Arcade, showing two family-friendly features this season: “Los Banditos” and “Zombies.” While you’re there, be sure to check out the newly re-opened Jenkinson’s Aquarium, which features a “touch tank” (think of it like a petting zoo for marine life).

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The Reeds at Shelter Haven, Stone Harbor

This posh little town occupies the southern tip of Seven Mile Island, and is known for its quaint downtown shopping and high-end seafood restaurants. Boutique hotel The Reeds at Shelter Haven just upped the ante with its June opening, offering 37 bright and airy rooms atop the ground floor Water Star Grille, a sophisticated farm-to-table restaurant offering outdoor dining with sweeping views of the bay.

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The Borgata, Atlantic City

This summer marks the 10th anniversary of The Borgata, the blinged out mega-resort that launched Atlantic City's style revival. It's a touch of Vegas on the East Coast with more than a dozen restaurants, a 161,000-square-foot casino floor, four clubs, a 54,000-square-foot spa and a rowdy pool scene. New for summer 2013? The redesigned mur.mur nightclub, private jet service for high rollers, a sexy weekly burlesque show and in-room gambling. So many ways to get lucky.

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Stand up Paddleboard Yoga, Sea Isle City

The Jersey Shore’s latest fitness craze is far from hackneyed mantra of “GTL.” Rather, “SUP” — Stand Up Paddleboarding, the surf-inspired craze that’s hit lakes, rivers, and oceans worldwide, has taken a new spin on the shore with another fitness inclusion. Harbor Outfitters in Sea Isle City offers SUP Yoga and Pilates classes for all levels, as long as you’ve had at least one basic Stand Up Paddleboard class under your belt.

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