The beach is closer than you think. Folks are flocking to Asbury Park this summer and it’s not just because it’s the hometown of Bruce Springsteen. Making a full recovery after Hurricane Sandy, the beautiful beach front community is booming left and right, starting with the grand opening of The Asbury Hotel that took place this past Thursday night. For those looking for a reprieve from the typical Jersey Shore summer or especially those who identify with the LGBT community, which The Asbury is looking to cater to, checking in to a beachy room at the new boutique hotel is the move of the summer.
The Grand opening unveiled a clean and colorful hotel offering white washed rooms complete with nostalgic postcards, a pool surrounded by bushels of lush hydrangeas, and a lobby with a very happening vibe. The opening started at the bottom and worked its way up to the rooftop bar, offering a near 360 degree view of the town of Asbury, the oceanfront, and a manmade lake boasting the shape of New Jersey. Folks snapped fun photos in the Photo Booth, sipped irresistible watermelon and tequila cocktails, and had a grand old time. The Asbury, leaning towards the gay crowd (I accompanied my friend Micah Jesse, a correspondent for NBC’s Out) had legendary Fire Island DJ Lina on the turn tables.
While our stay was short and sweet as I had to rush back to the city in the morning for castings, booking a weekend trip to Asbury Park is more ideal. A night’s stay at the Asbury starts at just $125, and booking a bunk bed in their communal style rooms is an excellent alternative for a low budget. The boardwalk is less than a five minute walk from the hotel and offers easy access to beautiful beaches, shops, restaurants, and even a pinball museum and arcade. And for an hour and a half train ride on NJ transit right from Penn Station, how can you say no?
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