Best Places to Travel in 2016

Asbury Park NJ
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Russ Meseroll/ Image Brief

The 50 biggest, buzziest destinations to visit this year include France’s new culture hub, a revived Hawaiian hideaway, and Mexico’s next great arts city.

10. Asbury Park, New Jersey

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In the song “My City of Ruins,” written in 2000, Bruce Springsteen described Asbury Park as a city of boarded-up windows and empty streets. A battering by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 didn’t help. But the Jersey Shore town, 90 minutes south of New York City, has started to recover, led by its gay and live-music scenes. Visitors to Asbury’s boardwalk can still have their fortunes told at Madam Marie’s Temple of Knowledge and play on vintage pinball machines (preserved at the Silverball Museum), but now they’ll also find clothing and jewelry at the Market at Fifth Avenue, sushi and tacos at Langosta Lounge, and surfboards and skateboards at Lightly Salted. A short walk from the beach, the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten serves almost 100 varieties of beer, and famous venues like the Stone Pony—a Springsteen haunt—are still packed. The Empress Hotel on the oceanfront is the place to stay, at least until the 110-room Asbury opens this year. The first new hotel in the city in 55 years is part of a multimillion-dollar plan to revive a one-mile stretch of beachfront. Also in the works: a face-lift for Asbury Lanes, the beloved 1930s-era bowling alley. —David Shaftel

Asbury Park NJ

Best Places to Travel in 2016

10. Asbury Park, New Jersey

In the song “My City of Ruins,” written in 2000, Bruce Springsteen described Asbury Park as a city of boarded-up windows and empty streets. A battering by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 didn’t help. But the Jersey Shore town, 90 minutes south of New York City, has started to recover, led by its gay and live-music scenes. Visitors to Asbury’s boardwalk can still have their fortunes told at Madam Marie’s Temple of Knowledge and play on vintage pinball machines (preserved at the Silverball Museum), but now they’ll also find clothing and jewelry at the Market at Fifth Avenue, sushi and tacos at Langosta Lounge, and surfboards and skateboards at Lightly Salted. A short walk from the beach, the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten serves almost 100 varieties of beer, and famous venues like the Stone Pony—a Springsteen haunt—are still packed. The Empress Hotel on the oceanfront is the place to stay, at least until the 110-room Asbury opens this year. The first new hotel in the city in 55 years is part of a multimillion-dollar plan to revive a one-mile stretch of beachfront. Also in the works: a face-lift for Asbury Lanes, the beloved 1930s-era bowling alley. —David Shaftel

Russ Meseroll/ Image Brief
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