Best of the Shore 2010

And we do mean the whole Shore. From great Boardwalk eats to fancy boutiques, quiet places for a sunset dinner to rowdy bars for partying, we bring you the tops up and down the Garden State coastline, including the Jersey Cape, LBI, and for the first time ever, the North Jersey beaches. Come on in, the water's fine.

  The aptly named BYOB Beach House offers the exact kind of meals you’d make in your own beach house, if you didn’t need to spend every last minute affixed to your beach chair: filler-less crabcakes, garden salads to share, chicken fingers, homemade brownie sundaes — and your favorite chardonnay (since you’ve brought it yourself).  13015 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-492-1997.

POST-JOE POP’S REFUELING   If you haven’t dug into a six-egg “ultimate” omelet between the hours of two and five a.m. at the Chegg, then you really haven’t partied on LBI. (And if you haven’t gotten help polishing off your omelet from that cute Bud-drinker you met at the bar a few hours earlier, then you probably haven’t gotten lucky on LBI, either.)  The Chicken or the Egg, 207 North Bay Avenue, 609-492-3695,

   Chowderfest, a bustling, bittersweet tribute to a summer gone by and cooler weather to come — and a fierce competition among the island’s chefs—is the biggest and best last hurrah around. (Just don’t refer to the star of the show as “soup.”)  October 2nd-3rd. Taylor Avenue Ball Field, 609-494-7211,

The Jersey Cape

From Avalon style to Wildwood thrills, A.C. debauchery to O.C. delights—the best of this season from Jersey’s south seaside


  When the tide isn’t too high, and the blues are running, and you’ve secured a permit to drive your SUV onto the beach, you won’t find a better, more relaxing place along the whole coastline to cast out your small rod and snag a couple of those deliciously oceanic one-to-two-pound bluefish than the southernmost jetty facing Atlantic City.   For a permit, go to 1417 West Brigantine Avenue, 609-266-7600,

Atlantic City

   Now that Harrah’s Pool is part of Perez Hilton et al.’s socializing-for-hire calendars, surely the paparazzi-addled, amply outrageous, inexplicably celebrated set will be making much-ado’ed appearances at the Loft, its newer mezzanine lounge.  777 Harrah’s Boulevard, 609-441-5000,

   In a casino where bling-arific excess reigns, the Borgata’s smorgasbord—just $28.95 a person at dinner—strikes us as the property’s best bargain. Spot-on sushi, rich pulled pork, endless seafood, a generous smattering of low-cal spa fare, and unlimited trips to the homemade gelato bar make us feel fine about taking a place in the cafeteria line.  1 Borgata Way, 609-317-1000,

RAINY DAY WITH KIDS  So what if the whole place is approximately the size of Adventure’s hippo tank? The Atlantic City Aquarium, helming the legitimately adorable lagoon village of Gardner’s Basin, derives its lure and charm from a touch-pool of friendly, smiling baby rays, an extremely patient and enthused staff, and the simple fact that the seahorses swimming behind glass come from bay waters a few yards away.  800 North New Hampshire Avenue, 609-348-2880,

  Eardrum-poppingly loud, neck-crickingly fast, and more head–turningly death-defying than pretty much any other spectacle you might encounter out-of-doors in this metropolis by the sea (and, trust us, there’s a lot to turn heads in A.C.), the all-day Atlantic City Airshow features some of the coolest, trickiest flying machines the U.S. military puts up into the ether. Last year, nearly a million people came to watch jets blast by the