My Top 3 Summer Bay And Beach Weekend Getaways
We first took the Long Beach Island, New Jersey trip in the summer of 2007 when we rented a two
story house one block from the ocean. Our college friends of 25 years and our families rented the top
floor of an ocean view house in Barnegat near the Lighthouse at the end of the Island. The trip was
so relaxing that we decided to do it all over again in 2011.
This time, instead of staying a block from the ocean, we stayed 50 feet from the bay in Surf City.
Once again we found ourselves on the top deck of a two story house this time over looking the bay.
We detail this trip for you below but in the middle of our week long stay, as we sat on the top deck
having some cocktails and facing the bay, we turned to our left as the sun was setting. I quickly ran to
get my digital camera and took the sunset picture as the sun disappeared between two other LBI
homes. The picture of this hub reflects what we say that early summer evening.
• Cost: 1,500 US Dollars
• Duration: 5 days
• Travel Time: 2.5 hours from Philadelphia
• Rating: 5 out of 5 Sail Boats
When we decided to go to LBI for a 2011 summer getaway, we thought we would never be able to
afford a decent house in LBI. Having grown up two blocks from the beach in Asbury Park, New
Jersey, we had an idea of what beach rentals could cost. We decided to look anyway and found a
house in Surf City. The price was reasonable so we book the house for a getaway. The Saturday we
arrived at the house and quickly unpacked. I decided to take a walk around to see the surrounding
area. When I walked across the narrow street heading towards the bay, I turned around 180 degrees
to look at the house. That is when I took the first of five LBI pictures shown above. After I returned to
the house and climbed the stairs, in the back by the house near the outdoor shower, I snapped the
second LBI picture of five from the entrance of the main sitting room. The room had sliding glass
doors which lead to the deck facing the bay. Facing the sitting room, the glass doors are to the right. I
took about five paces toward the couch, turned to my right and captured LBI the third picture of five.
As the two couples sat on the deck enjoying our morning coffee (the kids were all still sleeping), my
wife came up with a crazy idea. "I am going to catch a crab", she yelled. So she got up from her chair,
after she finished her coffee and proceeded to the downstairs garage. The garage was the place for
all water equipment. She emerged with a cage and swiftly tied some bait to the bottom. My wife grew
up in a fish market so this was like being home for her. After she got the bait secured in the cage, she
headed towards the bay (about 8:30 am). It only took about four hours but she came back yelling "I
caught one". As we all approached the deck balcony and leaned over, there she stood holding up her
prize. It was a real bay crab. This is not the part where I share crab cocktail stories but the time that
we took the fourth LBI picture of five.
Still excited from catching the crab and during our morning coffee on Tuesday, someone (my wife)
thought it would be a good idea to take the kayak for a spin. I always wanted to take a kayak paddle
on the bay but she beat me to the punch. So we went downstairs to the garage, suited up in our gear,
carried the kayak to the bay launch site, gave our digital camera to our friends (when they took the
fifth of five LBI pictures) and we sailed for a 30 minute paddle. That was so much fun we swore to
dedicate one afternoon in during next visit for a kayak ride.
Between the crabbing and kayaking, we chose to sit on the deck all day Wednesday. Several
cocktails, meals and cds later, we founds ourselves looking at an official LBI bay sunset that nearly
disappeared before we caught one of the most colorful sunsets we have ever seen.
No summer bay or beach trip would be the same without some kind of water clip. When we took the
video footage of the boats in the bay, we had no idea that someone queued the sailboat to pass as
we filmed :) I hope you enjoy the video as we continue to enjoy it reflecting on our most recent great
There is not much to tell you about Friday because that was primarily a clean and pack day so we
could head back to our Pennsylvania home early Saturday morning.
I do not remember a great deal about 2010 but I can tell you it was one of the most stressful years
that we have ever known. In January we brought my mother in law (from New Jersey) to live with us
(in Pennsylvania) due to her failing heath. By the time May rolled around, my 90 year old mother in
law was healthy again since the bulk of her problems were related to lack of nutrition and necessary
medication adjustments. We tinkered with the idea of keeping mom with us but she was driving all of
us crazy so we elected to hire a live in nurse to stay with her in New Jersey.
During the early summer weeks, I implemented a technology project which kept me busy with a 60
hour work week for nearly two years. After implementing the project within a tight July schedule we
looked forward to coasting through August into the fall. There was only one weekend, in August,
where we had nothing planned and decided to head for Ocean City, Maryland.
• Cost: 1,000 US Dollars
• Duration: 2 days
• Travel Time: 2.5 hours from Philadelphia
• Rating: 4 out of 5 Palm Trees
We found the Quality Inn (OC picture one of five) located in uptown Ocean City Maryland, and
booked a balcony room for the weekend. It was a cloudy Friday in late August of 2010 when we
arrived at the hotel and that was after stopping for lunch at a place down the road from the hotel.
Even though we stopped for lunch we still had arrived a bit early and our room was not yet ready so
we headed to the back of the hotel towards the pool (OC picture two of five). We did not mind waiting
for the room because the hotel had an outdoor bar and sold a pretty good variety of canned beers.
When we got our room, it was almost dinner time so we headed across the street for some food. It
was Johnny's Pizza Bar and Grill that we went to for dinner.
By the time breakfast was done on Saturday, I took a walk to our ocean view balcony and noticed that
the beach was filling up already and it was not even 10:00am yet. From the balcony, I took OC picture
three of five. With a half day at the beach and only one day left from our weekend getaway, we
wanted to go to a relaxing dinner. We saw an advertisement in the hotel brochure for a place called
Macky's. We thought it was a great name so we elected to go have a meal and see if the food lived
up to the name. We drove a total of five minutes before we found the parking lot into Macky's. We
found a parking spot in the Zebra lot (if you name parking spots alphabetically by animal where
Anteater is closest to the restaurant and Zebra is furthest away) then headed to the restaurant. When
we got inside, the hostess asked us if we wanted to eat outside and we said yes. As she walked us to
the back of the restaurant and down the steps to the beach we saw several tables nearly submerged
in water. After we sat down, I took OC picture four of five and we ordered our seafood dinner to go
with our water cocktail. One of the coolest things, about dinner that night, was watching the jet skis
pull up to the beach and dock for dinner.
Returning back to the hotel, from dinner, we noticed a giant cage in the walkway heading towards our
room. We stopped and met Fred the parrot. A beautiful redhead (or I should say feathered) bird which
had a personality that matched a charming human. If you spent even five minutes with Fred (OC
picture five of five) you would want to take him home. Like many human males, Fred had a knack of
getting people to scratch his head. The bird would lean into the cage and tilt his head in a way that
asked you to scratch him. We finally finished playing with Fred and we went back to our room. We
decided to sit on the balcony for a bit and recorded the video. I hope you enjoy the video as we
continue to enjoy this getaway by the browsing the pictures and watching the videos.
Back in 2004 my wife purchased a copy of Philadelphia magazine. This particular copy boasted the
best unknown getaways in the Philadelphia area. As we read the magazine, one place in particular
appealed to us - St. Michael's, Maryland. We decided to give this little town (east of Baltimore) a visit.
The magazine indicated that this was a quiet small town to visit. I will let the pictures speak for
themselves but Wades Point Inn is not meant for small children and there are no television sets in the
rooms. The town is a five minute drive (maybe ten if you gaze out of the windows like we did) from
Wade's Point Inn but is full of boats, seafood and town shops. We have been to this getaway almost
every year since 2004. The two years that we missed were 2009 and 2011 but we have plenty of
media to get us through when we cannot get to St. Michael's. I hope you enjoy the video as we
continue to enjoy it reflecting on our most recommended getaway trip.
• Cost: 500 - 1,500 US Dollars
• Duration: 2 days
• Travel Time: 3.0 hours from Philadelphia
• Rating: 5 out of 5 Crabs
North Shore Hotels