By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
Asbury Park has been named the Coolest Small Town in America by Budget Travel Magazine.
The magazine’s stated mission is inspiring and informing travelers “to see more for less” as they visit national and state parks, beaches, restaurants and lodgings for under $200 per night.
In making Asbury Park number one on the list the magazine cites the city’s cultural and ethnic diversity, creative energy and unparalleled natural beauty.
Mayor John Moor was pleased with the honor.
“Well it’s one helluva compliment and recognition,” Moor said.
Sylvia Sylvia-Cioffi, director of the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce, said she couldn’t agree more.
“It’s such an honor to be named the coolest city in America by Budget Travel Magazine,” she said. “It used to be that people said Asbury Park was making a comeback, this really acknowledges that we are back, and in a big, cool way. Asbury Park is an extraordinary community. Once you’re here, you feel like you’re home. It’s a seashore community that’s warm and welcoming all year round. You just can’t help but fall in love with Asbury Park.”
Offering his hopes for the upcoming vacation season the mayor said, “I hope we get better weather than the first two weekends; I’d like to see a banner summer season.”
A release from Budget Travel Magazine states, “The Coolest Small Towns in America program is an editor-curated celebration – inspired by thousands of reader suggestions and photos shared across platforms over the past few weeks – of the communities across the United States that we feel best exhibit the qualities we prize.”
The magazine cited Asbury Park’s easy road trip accessibility from New York City or Philadelphia, its revitalized boardwalk and beautiful beaches, which they said were one of the best on East Coast.
The article also spoke of the city’s reputation as a “music mecca” noting Bruce Springsteen’s launch to fame from the Stone Pony and other legendary music venues including the Paramount Theater and Convention Hall.
In the cultural diversity category they wrote about the welcoming vibe and year round events such as Oysterfest, Zombie Walk and more.
Budget Magazine called Asbury Park the Jersey Shore’s coolest comeback and said all of the towns in this year’s list represent a “one-of-a-kind vacation waiting to happen.”
Following Asbury Park on the list are: 2)Bisbee, AZ; 3) Nevada City, CA; 4) Chatham, MA; 5) Mountain View, AK; 6) Cannon Beach, OR; 7) Philipsburg, MT; 8) Milford, PA; 9) Glens Falls, NY and 10) Indianola, MS.