One of the largest cities on the Jersey Shore, Long Branch was very glamorous in its early days as it attracted many wealthy New Yorkers, as well as more notorious adventurers like Diamond Jim Brady and Lily Langtree. Presidents Grant, Hayes, Harrison, McKinley, Wilson and Garfield all summered in Long Branch. During the 1920’s, Long Branch declined in popularity due to gambling laws restricting this popular pasttime. Long Branch is currently experiencing a revival, which can be seen along the waterfront with its many new buildings, restaurants, and active night life.
The centerpiece of Long Branch’s new 2.5-mile boardwalk is Pier Village, a shopping-dining-lifestyle center known for its fashionable shops, shorefront living, eclectic eateries, and hot nightlife. Pier Village continues to develop innovative events throughout the seasons and even hosts heated tents that are home to Holiday Court, an updated holiday market with snacks and live entertainment, in December. Just north of Pier Village is a full-service oceanfront hotel that offers luxurious treatments in its world-class spa and a variety dining options at its own onsite restaurants.
At the north end of Long Branch is Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, a sprawling country park named in honor of the several U.S. presidents who vacationed in Long Branch in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The park offers a sheltered picnic area, playground, volleyball courts, guarded swimming, fishing, surfing, and launch area for kayaks and canoes. Moving inland, onto the Broadway and Brighton Avenue corridors, are even more boutiques, nightspots, and cafes.
Events can be found to suit all tastes throughout the warmer months. Art shows, jazz and blues festivals, and weekly summer concerts in Pier Village are all local summer attractions. Long Branch is also known for hosting the annual Olympic-distance Jersey Shore International Triathlon in late September.
Click here to take a short driving tour of Long Branch!