Made famous by Bruce Springsteen, Asbury Park, New Jersey, is a coastal resort on the rise. In the past 15 years, the city has come into its own, making the most of beautiful 19th-century architecture, a booming arts scene and, of course, the Atlantic Coast.
If you love the Boss, Asbury Park is the place to go. Take guided tours with fellow fans to the Boardwalk, Frank's Deli, and more locations associated with one of America's greatest musicians.
Just outside Asbury Park you'll find Allaire, a preserved 19th-century village where volunteers maintain the illusion with period costumes and you can explore a 3,000 acre state park.
Cheap rents have drawn hundreds of artists to Asbury Park recently, filling galleries like Art629 and the Parlor Gallery with exciting works.
Bordering Asbury Park to the south, Ocean Grove is a beautiful Victorian resort, boasting a fine beach and cultural attractions like the Great Auditorium.
ASPMFF is one of the Eastern Seaboard's premier cultural events, attracting hip-hop, jazz, and rock artists and featuring a busy schedule of screenings.
Asbury Park is at its best between July and late September, when the temperatures are warm enough to swim, and the town's cultural calendar is at its busiest.
Asbury Park is only 30 miles from New York's JFK, Newark, or La Guardia airports, so getting there is easy.
You can take the NJ Transit train from Penn Station, New York, towards Bay Head or South Amboy and get off at Asbury Park. It takes around 1 hour 40 minutes and costs $12 - $18.
From New York, take I-95 then the Garden State Parkway, while I-195 runs from Trenton and Philadelphia.
NJ Transit bus 317 runs from Philadelphia (3 hours 45 mins, $23) while Academy Bus run services from the New York Port Authority (1 hour 58 mins, $17 - $19).
The Empress Hotel and the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel are both great options near the boardwalk.
Asbury Park Boardwalk - built in the 1870s, Asbury Park's boardwalk has seen countless people come and go, and played a prominent role in Springsteen's 1972 album "Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.".
Ocean Grove - just south of Asbury Park, Ocean Grove is full of character thanks to its well-preserved Victorian houses and wonderful beach.
West Grove - just inland from the boardwalk, West Grove is home to the William F. Larkin Golf Course as well as Italian eateries like Jimmy's Italian Restaurant.
NJ Transit runs bus services all over the New Jersey coast. Single fares start at $1.60.
Taxis tend to charge a flag drop of around $3, followed by $2 per mile.
Rental options in Asbury Park include Budget and Enterprise. You should find packages for $15 per day.
If you want to pick up souvenirs, head down to the Boardwalk, specifically stores like the Asbury Galleria (with its memorabilia collection) and jewelry boutiques like Carla Gizzi.
Local supermarkets include QuickChek, Costco, and Wegmans, where 12 eggs will cost around $1.90.
Italian food is (unsurprisingly) king in Asbury Park. You'll find fantastic pasta and fish options at Moonstruck, great pizza at Porta, and great food by the sea at Stella Marina Bar and Restaurant. Meals usually cost no more than $20 - $25.