Chances are if you’re in your 20s, you’ve visited the seashore towns of Belmar and Lake Como at some point. Packed with beach bungalow rentals and popular hangouts, Belmar and Lake Como often get the brand of a “beach party town.” However, as we’re about to show you in our Local Guide to Belmar and Lake Como, these towns have so much more to offer than a hot day lounging on the beach and nights of revelry.
Your Jersey Shore Local Guide to Belmar and Lake Como
Perhaps two of the most vibrant seashore towns in Monmouth County, Belmar and Lake Como is home to a range of long-term and short-term residents, thousands of visitors, and even more locals who come here to eat, drink, and yes, be merry.
These towns don’t quit, no matter what month of the year it is, there’s always something going on. In March it’s their Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of the largest and best attended parades in the country, attracting over 5,500 marchers and more than 40 bands (not bad for a small beachside town in the middle of March!) Then in June, Belmar is back at it again with the New Jersey Seafood Festival that just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. (Trust me, I failed looking for a parking spot this year). The events continue all summer long with movies on the beach, surfing competitions, lifeguard tournaments and sandcastle contests. And in between those events, there’s still plenty to do!
It’s no secret that if you love the water, you’ll love Belmar. Play in the surf, jump in the river, or even visit the Belmar Marina for a trip out on the water on the Miss Belmar Princess who’s been sailing the seas catching fluke, sea bass, and blues for over 70 years! If you have your own boat, dock at one of the 70 boat slips for a day (for free) at Belmar Marina. Pretty much surrounded by water, Belmar is home to an expansive 1-mile long ocean beach (and boardwalk to go with it) and a small beach along the Shark River that has become quite popular with the locals (especially those looking to try out paddle boarding or kayaking).
If you’d rather just eat the fish instead of catching it yourself, visit Klein’s Fish Market and Waterside Café for fresh seafood dishes, oysters, and sushi rolls while you watch the fishermen unload on the dock. If pizza is more your thing, you’re in luck because Belmar has their fair share of Italians. One of our favorites is Federico’s Pizzeria and Restaurant on Main Street for a classic margarita pie.
No trip to Belmar would be complete without spending time at the beach. Luckily for beachgoers, there’s plenty of “go to” boardwalk favorites for those hungry or looking to cool off. We love Playa Bowls and their unique selection of Acai Bowls & Smoothies. Their frozen fruit is also a delicious healthy treat that will cool you off! It’s fresh fruit that is served frozen, except without added chemicals and dairy! It’s GMO-free, gluten free & vegan! For those looking for a quick beach breakfast or great slice of pizza, Jimmy’s located next door to Playa Bowls is our go to spot!
The Belmar Mall is also quickly exploding into a dining destination of its own. The newly opened Simply Southern Cuisine has been turning heads with its southern cuisine, and Belmar staple 10th Ave Burrito.
For those looking to spend a night out on the town or even just relive their glory days (after all Bruce Springsteen did name a song after Belmar’s intersection of E Street and 10th Avenue), a visit to D’Jais Bar & Restaurant may be in the stars for you. Or check out Bar Anticipation (lovingly known as Bar A) in Lake Como (no not the one in Italy, but still beautiful), for New Jersey’s largest indoor/outdoor happy hour and Beat the Clock on Tuesdays. Either way, this hometown favorite attracts visitors of all ages.
However you choose to spend your time this summer, taking some (or all) of the advice given to you in our Local Guide to Belmar and Lake Como would be a smart move. So grab your beach bag, some sunscreen, your appetite, and maybe a coffee, because there’s plenty to do from sunrise to long past sunset.
Each week, Jersey Shore in Motion will spotlight towns along the Jersey Shore, sharing their history, local favorites, and unique attractions. Last week we visited Atlantic Highlands and Highlands. Stay tuned for next week’s Local Guide to Bay Head, Mantoloking & Lavallette.