Northeastern New Jersey Triangle: Rumson-Sandy Hook-Sea Bright + ADD NEW ROUTE
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Departure from Rumson- Bingham Ave. (north), cross the Navesink River, turn right onto Locust Point Rd. and right at Locust Ave. Turn right onto Navesink Ave. and continue to NJ-36. Turn right onto Highland Ave. and continue to left turn onto Light House Rd. to Navesink Twin Lights. Return to Highland Ave., turn right and continue to NJ-36 (east). After crossing the Shrewsbury River turn left to Hartshorne Dr. (north) through the Gateway Nat'l. Recreation Area, and continue to Sandy Hook Lighthouse. Head south and continue on Ocean Ave. to Bingham Ave. Turn right onto Bingham Ave., and cross the Shrewsbury River. Continue on Bingham Ave. to return to Rumson.
Scenic views from the Navesink River bridge and bridges over the Shrewsbury River, affluent homes, and coastline vistas of the Atlantic Ocean accented with sweet aromas of ocean air. Several beaches, including a suit-less beach at Sandy Hook Gateway Nat'l. Recreation Area.
Average quality roads and minimum traffic with the exception of NJ-36 and Ocean Ave., which may have heavy traffic during good beach weather. Drive conservatively at Sandy Hook to avoid encounters with pedestrians, wildlife and wind-blown sand on asphalt and turnouts.
Highlands, located on the northern side of NJ-36 before crossing the Shrewsbury River, has seafood restaurants on the water. Sandy Hook provides Atlantic Ocean swimming at one of the finest parks on the eastern seaboard. Sea Bright has a few restaurants to select from and Barnacle Bill's in Rumson has good seafood in a nautical setting.
At Barnacle Bill's, www.barnaclebillsrumson.com, look for the cache of complimentary peanuts in the antique roaster by the bar. Here, an order of steamed soft-shell clams with drawn butter and a ten-ounce burger is a nice combination for two to share. (Have the staff demonstrate the technique for skinning a clam before dining on these succulent morsels.)
Using the latest nine-foot diameter Fresnel electric-arc bivalve lens, Navesink Twin Lights built in 1898, projected light 22-miles to distant mariners. Also at this site in 1899, Guglielmo Marconi tested his "Wireless Telegraph" to report The America's Cup yacht races off Sandy Hook.
Built in 1764, the Sandy Hook lighthouse is still a working navigational aid. In the past, the peninsula was a military base with gun batteries, mortar batteries and Nike missiles.
Among prickly pear cacti in the dunes, remnants of structures and artifacts from earlier periods remain, including an 1869 Rodman gun that lobbed 1,000-pound cannon balls almost five miles out to sea.
Nickname (optional) : Chopper Chas