24 HOURS IN ASBURY PARK

As the warmer temps were coming to an end, Matt and I wanted to cross off one more destination that has been on our list, so we decided to spend 24 hours in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It is a small seaside city on the New Jersey coast and located about an hour-ish outside of the city. Known for their sandy beaches, boardwalk and live music, we were hoping to bump into Bruce Springsteen while there as he is a native and got his start at the Stone Pony. Sadly, no such luck, but we hear he frequents often!

If you have a pup and are looking for a getaway that includes them, Asbury Park in a whole is extremely dog friendly and where we stayed (The Asbury Hotel), welcomes dogs with open arms more than anywhere we have ever stayed. Hadley could hang in the lobby, at the pool, you name it! The only spot that didn’t allow dogs (or children under 21) was their rooftop bar. It was in the mid 80’s so we spent a great deal of time hanging by the pool, get there early and try and snag a swinging day bed, it was perfect for our little family and a great spot to hang for a few hours.

Side note….Logan’s schedule while traveling:

Also, a bunch of you have had the same question about Logan and keeping him on a schedule when we travel so I will try and answer that again here. We do our best to keep him on his typical schedule, but clearly that is tricky and not super easy to do unless we want to just hang in our room for both naps (no thank you). The nice part about having him on a schedule is that we know when he will go down for a nap, so we try and time things as best as possible. For example, when we left NYC that morning, we knew he goes down for his first nap of the day at 9am so planned to leave as close to that as possible so he would take that nap in the car. When we were out to lunch, we knew to keep him awake and out of his stroller until close to 1pm when his next nap was. We then try and simulate his nap environment at home as best as possible, we put him down in the stroller, covered the top with a light blanket to darken it a bit, turned on his sound machine and had him take this nap that way. At night, he typically goes down at 7pm, so before we went to dinner we changed him into his pj’s and brought his last feeding. We fed him like we normally do at 7pm and then had him go to sleep in his stroller, covering the car seat with this AMAZING cover that darkens it, turned on his sound machine, gave him his paci and then when we got back to the hotel we transferred him into the Merlin and his crib!

If you don’t know by now, Matt and I are a bit of foodies and always scoping out the scene ahead of time to find the best restaurants. We had a few recommendations from friends heading into the trip and knew where we wanted to try.

Places we ate/grabbed a drink:

Pop’s Garage – shortly after we arrived we headed here to grab some Mexican cuisine and check out the boardwalk. They had a good bit of outdoor dining, so it was a great option with Hadley.

The Wonder Bar (yappy hour) – The concept behind this bar is AMAZING, allowing dogs to be off the leash, hanging out and playing in a fenced in area, where there is also a bar to grab a drink and enjoy. Their fall schedule for yappy hour is Mondays 4-7 (small dogs only), Friday 4-7 (all sized dogs), Saturday and Sunday 12-7 (all sized dogs). They charge $5 per person to enter, but all proceeds go to Asbury Boardwalk Rescue. The only downfall is anyone under 21 isn’t allowed into the dog run (I am assuming for safety reasons), but you can go on the other side of the fence to the bar outside where dogs aren’t allowed (the picture on their site helps give a visual). Matt and I had to do this since we had Logan. While Hadley was very concerned why I couldn’t be on the same side form her, Matt and I were only separated by a fence and could still hang out. Not ideal, but not terrible either.

PORTA – We came here for dinner as it was one of the most recommended spots to grab brick oven pizza! Huge place with indoor/outdoor seating, toys for kids to play with and an overall family friendly environment. While there is typically a wait, they take your number and call you when your table is ready. Matt and I sat at the bar outside and grabbed a drink and snack while we waited.

Cardinal Provisions – Such a yummy brunch spot! The benefit of having a little one is that you can hit up the brunch spots before a big crown. We got there right at 9am when they opened and sat right away. When we left there was a big line waiting for tables. Whatever you do, order the pastry that they are known for (blanking on the name, but have a little lemon custard inside). They were so sweet and surprised us with one since it was our first time, but oh my gosh I could have ate 5 of them!

TAKA – While we were torn between here and Talula’s for our last meal in Asbury, we both were craving sushi and we were told this spot was a must-try by a local we met. The fish was fresh and specialty rolls delicious!