Gay Asbury Park, New Jersey

Published Date Author: , September 3rd, 2014

Asbury Park, New JerseyGay Asbury Park is a pretty special place. Not your ordinary Jersey Shore town, there’s a quirky and freewheeling spirit here, and a GLBT influence that’s become part of the very fabric of the town. Once one of the great seaside resorts, it fell on hard times in the 1970s, and it was only through the infusion of LGBT creativity, devotion, and money that it became what it is today: a dining destination so good that New Yorkers will come down just to have a meal here, and a music magnet that attracts performers and fans from all over, perhaps hoping to be or see the next Bruce Springsteen, who was a major figure in putting his adopted hometown on the map.

It doesn’t have the glitz of Atlantic City or the cutesy Victorian appeal of nearby Neptune. What it does have is an artistic and independent spirit that constantly surprises, making Asbury (as locals tend to call it) the most interesting and singular town along the Shore. It also has, of course, the Atlantic Ocean and an alluring boardwalk, which is still the primary attraction here. Take some time, though, to explore the rest of the town: this is one city with a thriving life away from the boardwalk. It’s only a little over an hour from New York or Philadelphia, so you can just visit for a day or a long weekend.

Enjoy the unique Asbury spirit, get a major dose of fascinating history, check out several of the alluring restaurants and fun gay nightspots, and, above all, just revel in the proudly idiosyncratic atmosphere. Maybe it’s a stereotype that “the gays come in, and the place improves,” but in Asbury Park any local will tell you that’s what happened, which makes the community here not just “tolerated” but appreciated to the point of reverence. If you take the train in, you’ll see in the Transportation Center a sign from the old Rainbow Room, a popular lesbian hangout from the 1930s to the 1950s. The Historical Society here spent $15,000 to restore and hang this lesbian bar sign in the most public spot possible in the city. Doesn’t that really tell you all you need to know about Asbury Park?

By Rich Rubin – Full Story at Passport Magazine | Central New Jersey Gay Travel Resources

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