Long Branch is an oceanside city of 30,000 people (2019) in New Jersey. Visitors to Long Branch will enjoy the beautiful beachfront, the boardwalk, and the Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park. There is also a large selection of outstanding restaurants and a lively nightlife. Pier Village is the focus of most of the rebuilding and most tourist attractions.
The town of Long Branch is one of the largest cities on the Jersey Shore. From the period of the 1860s through the First World War, it was also the most glamorous. Long Branch started out as a resort town, including such names as Astor, Fisk, & Drexel – and even more notorious names such as Diamond Jim Brady and Lily Langtree. First Lady Mary Lincoln visited in 1861, but it was in 1869 that Long Branch had its first presidential visit by President Ulysses S. Grant. The President continued to visit every summer that he was president, and continued for many years after that.
In 1870, a racetrack opened, which is still a main attraction today and later on casinos began opening up. After an attempt was made on President James Garfield’s life, he was brought to Long Branch in hopes of a recovery aided by the sea air. Indeed, a railroad spur from the main line to his house was built to make him more comfortable in his travels.
The 1920s was witness to the beginning of Long Branch’s decline as a summer destination. Gambling laws stopped many of the rich and famous from visiting. In addition storms eroded Long Branch’s beachfront. By the late 1960s, organized crime settled in Long Branch, further declining its image. Buildings and houses became run down, and many locals had to depend on welfare. The St. James Episcopal Church built in 1879, is where all seven presidents worshipped and is all that is left of what structures were built during that period. It has since been renamed Church of the Presidents and is located at 1260 Ocean Avenue.
Long Branch is now enjoying an amazing second coming. High-rise condos have replaced many of the old summer bungalows.
Getting to Long Branch is extremely easy. Get on the Garden State Parkway to Exit 105. Follow Route 36 East 4 miles into Long Branch.
Getting around Long Branch is like getting around most any other city. Public Transportation is available but not widely used. When at Pier Village or the boardwalk walking or bicycle riding is the only form of transportation.
There is plenty to do in Long Branch that will suit your entire group's needs. From fine dining to fun in the sun, Long Branch can offer it. If you have some fisherman in you, not far from Long Branch is the 'Big Mohawk Party Boat' in the Jersey Shore town of Belmar. It offers fishing for New Jersey Fluke, New Jersey Blackfish, and other varieties of fish.
The 7 Presidents Oceanfront Park, a facility of the Monmouth County Park System, features: 38 acres including an activity center, a boating launch, fishing, a playground, swimming, sand volleyball, pavilion with snack bar, and restrooms. Admission and parking fees are charged from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Admission is free during the rest of the year. The park is open every day from 8AM to dusk.
- [dead link] Aloha Grove, 84 Ocean Ave, ☏ . Aloha Grove is a surf shop. The owners, Chad and Leslie, are huge supporters of the Surfrider Foundation.
- Gold's Gym, 4 Ocean Ave, ☏ . Gold's Gym Long Branch offers a wide range of exercise programs, activities, and people to help you accomplish those goals. We can accommodate the person that has never worked out a day in their life, to the avid exercise enthusiast. We inspire our members with unrivaled energy and provide the finest equipment and fitness knowledge available to help our members achieve their individual potential.
- The Stone Hut (in Pier Village), ☏ . Supplies a variety of hand-crafted jewelry including bracelets, necklaces, earrings and various other accessories. Stone Hut supplies the largest selection of sterling silver and semi-precious stone jewelry at the Jersey Shore.
The restaurants in Long Branch vary from fine French cuisine to great burgers.
- Avenue Beach Club, Avenue Restaurant, 23 Ocean Ave, ☏ . Avenue Restaurant is one the most popular dining and club destinations on the Jersey Shore. It provides an elegant oceanfront dining experience with French-inspired cuisine. There is an international wine list, and drink specials every night of the week. The 5,000-square-foot space has floor to ceiling windows, and a patio open late into the night during summer months.
- [dead link] MC Loone's Pier House, One Ocean Ave, ☏ . McLoone’s Pier House opened in spring of 2005. With amazing oceanfront views, delicious cuisine and friendly service, McLoone‘s Pier House has become the place for weddings, parties, entertainment, and scrumptious indoor/outdoor dining.
With any beachfront the nightlife will be an integral part and a main attraction. Long Branch is no different with its many bars stretching down the boardwalk, and all along Ocean Ave., the bars/restaurants have become a big draw for tourists.
- The Brighton Bar, 121 Brighton Ave, ☏ . The Brighton Bar is a notable venue for great live music in Long Branch. You’ll hear everything from rock to jazz and even poetry here, and the schedule is usually varied so you can catch a show you like. It attracts a younger crowd.
- [formerly dead link] Berkeley Hotel, 1401 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, ☏ .
|Routes through Long Branch|
|Woodbridge ← Red Bank ←||N S||→ Allenhurst → Bay Head|