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Our Fave Places to Hang Out This August

by: Sue Adler
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It’s August, and though fall is quickly approaching, summer is not over yet. If you’re lucky and heading out for vacation, have fun. But if you’ve blown through your vacation days and sticking around town, here’s a list of a few of our fave local spots where you will likely find us enjoying this August.

McCloones Boathouse on the waterfront at the South Mountain Reservoir Bring your four-legged friend and walk, jog or run around the reservoir at the South Mountain Reservation. Reward yourself with a cocktail on the patio at McCloones (yes, dogs are allowed). Read a book, watch the sunset and relax while sipping one of the many summer cocktail specials. We especially love half price Mondays!

Sunday Bike Rides and Fishing on Brookside Drive  Closed to vehicles between Glen Avenue and South Orange Avenue on Sunday mornings, Brookside Drive offers a mix of hills and flat open road that is perfect for biking, jogging, skating or just walking. Traversing the South Mountain Reservation, you might want to leave the open road and hike one the many trails found throughout the reservation.  One last thing. If you have one. bring a fishing pole since the reservoir is stocked with trout.

The Boardwalk at Asbury Park Who doesn’t love the beach during summer? If you haven’t been to Asbury Park lately, then a visit is a must-do. This once sleepy beach town has recently gone through a revitalization and gentrification. However, a lot of the old town remains, including the Stone Pony, the club that stoked the careers of Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovie.  Over the past decade, the restaurant scene has become one of the most dynamic in the state and the establishments found on the Bangs and Cookman Avenues offer an impressive array of eclectic cuisines. Like the East Village, the vibe is youthful, artistic and hip. However, the Asbury restaurants are also family friendly and located steps from the beach and boardwalk.

Stirling Hotel Don’t be misled by the name – the Stirling Hotel is not a hotel. Instead, it’s a restaurant with an outdoor tented beer garden where throughout the summer you can enjoy movie nights on Wednesdays and live music on Sundays and Mondays. The immense selection of craft beers will keep you coming back to discover new brands all summer long and the kiddos will love the yummy signature burger menu, mac n cheese and fried pickles.

Duke Farms Duke Farms is like having a slice of Central Park in New Jersey. Established at the turn of the 20th century by James Buchanan Duke, the founder of Duke Power and the American Tobacco Company, and the long-time home of his daughter, Doris Duke, the estate today has over 1,000 acres open to the public for outdoor activities. Paved biking trails, beautiful artwork, gorgeous fountains and a super cool Orchard House are worth making multiple trips for this summer. Don’t own a bike or bike rack? No problem – rentals are available for a minimal fee. If you visit on a Sunday, bring cash or credit to buy something at the very eclectic farmers market.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!


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