What's New at the Jersey Shore: Whale Watching, Concerts, Baseball, Cruises and More


International Kite Festival, Wildwood, courtesy of Cape May County Tourism Department

With no masks required for people who are vaccinated and reduced social distancing, the Jersey Shore is back and revved up to welcome visitors to all 51 beaches where all the attractions, museums and historic sites have re-opened


This spring and summer, Jersey Shore expert and author (100 Things to Do at the Jersey Shore) R.C. Staab is walking the entire 139 miles of the Jersey Shore from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Read his profiles of beaches and Shore towns as he walks along their beachfronts, boardwalks and promenades at www.JerseyShoreWalk.com.

Courtesy of Jon Foreman and SWITCHFOOT at Stone Pony Summer Stage

Summer-Long Concerts, Baseballs & Cruises

Jersey Shore Blue Claws, Lakewood -- Minor league baseball is back at the Jersey Shore in Lakewood at FirstEnergy Park, the home of the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, a Class A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies. Through early September, you can see major league stars like Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels—who both spent time at this ballpark—begin their professional baseball careers. The modern stadium with more than 6,500 reserved seats features a mini-golf course, a game area, and new picnic areas for families and has plenty of space for social distancing. www.milb.com/jersey-shore


River Lady Cruises, Toms River -- Returning to Toms River after not cruising last year is the River Lady, which takes its passengers on a 2.5- to 3-hour cruise aboard a reproduction of a Mississippi paddle wheel riverboat. Many historic towns, yacht clubs and boardwalks line the river as you cruise toward Barnegat Bay. Most people buy a ticket that includes a full lunch or dinner during the cruise, but sightseers can opt for a non-meal cruise on the top deck. Through early October. www.riverlady.com


River Lady Cruises, Toms River

The Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park – Although the legendary Stone Pony has not announced any concerts indoors, the club’s terrific outdoor Summer Stage has concerts starting with the punk rock band Rise Against on Saturday, July 31. A full schedule of events follows including Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Sad Summer Festival and Shadow of the City: Bleachers & more. All events are general admission. (Note: Because concerts have been cancelled and reschedule, read the website carefully.) www.stoneponyonline.com/summer-stage


Concerts on the Green, Suneagles Golf Club, Eatontown – Presented by Red Banks’ Count Basie Center for the Arts, Concerts on the Greeen is a socially-distanced pop-up venue that accommodates 500 people seated under a tent. Through the end of the summer, headliners include Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet with Wynton Marsalis, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Judy Collins, Indigo Girls and Dar Williams. Act quickly; many concerts are sold out. www.thebasie.org/venue/concerts-on-the-green


The PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel Park – Featuring nationally known recording stars and bands, this large outdoor venue off the Garden State Parkway opens with Steely Dan and Steve Winwood on Thursday, June 30. Other artists scheduled to follow are Chicago, The Black Crowes, Luke Bryan, Rod Stewart, Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean and more. (Note: Because concerts have been cancelled and reschedule, read the website carefully.) www.banksartscentre.com


Jersey Shore Whale Watch, Belmer

Whale Watching, Walking Tours, Attractions and More

Whale Watching, Belmar, Highlands & NYC – For dozens of years, whale watching at the Jersey Shore was only available in Cape May. That continues. On the northern part of the Jersey Shore, Jersey Shore Whale Watching in Belmar has expanded, offering daily trips starting in mid-June.