I have family that live in New Jersey (Toms River, Freehold and Red Bank) and have been visiting there for years. Let me say at the outset, it is not one of my favorite places. The traffic and density of population seemed to diminish my travel experiences there. However, on a recent trip my wife and I stayed at the Blue Bay Inn in the Atlantic Highlands. It was great. You take a turn off of one of New Jersey's "jug handles" and find yourself on First Avenue, a neat "downtown" street, kind of a throwback to the pre-mall past. The Blue Bay is located a short distance from the turn. Parking is in the municipal lot just behind the Inn and is free. The Inn is visually appealing and our room was huge and very tastefully decorated.
The location provides a great way to visit New York City--by ferry. Turn left after leaving the lobby and walk about 5 minutes to the ferry terminal. A modern ferry takes you to just south of the South Street Seaport. We explored lower Manhattan for the day and took the afternoon ferry back. Also at the ferry is a bar and restaurant looking out over the water. Beautiful view. A second restaurant, located on the bottom floor, serves breakfast and lunch inside or on an outdoor patio. From the ferry/marina area, you can take a walk along the ocean from the Atlantic Highlands to the Highlands on a nice wide path. A round trip walk is easy for anyone in average physical condition.
There are nice restaurants very near the Inn and one, the Copper Canyon, is located in the same building as the Inn. It is an upscale Mexican restaurant and it was very good. If venturing out by car, the Jersey Shore is right there and the neat town of Red Bank is also very close. The staff at the Blue Bay Inn was very helpful and housekeeping was very prompt in making up our room. I would highly recommend this place.
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