Carl Craft

Carl Craft

Carl Craft

Everyone on the Jersey Shore knows the best place to see a sunrise; just head to any local boardwalk and point your eyes to the east and you’ll be treated to a fantastic view almost every time! But, I was recently asked the question, “Where’s your favorite place to see a Jersey Shore sunset?”.
The question got me thinking about the various characteristics of a restaurant or bar that’s great to catch a Jersey Shore sunset.  Here’s what I came up with:

  • Has to face to the west, preferably with a view that is over a body of water. The water view is key, in my opinion.  A sunset over a group of houses in some urban hellscape isn’t quite as magical as a beautiful red sun sinking into a hillside on the other edge of open water.

I mean, that’s it, right?  A great spot for a Jersey Shore sunset only needs to face west.. and when I got thinking about it, there are not a ton of places with a water view that actually faces west.  Only a spot along one of our inland waterways (a bay or a river) will set this up properly.

I did some research, scanned my memory, I asked the Rat Rock Nation on our social media, and took paper into hand, and here’s what I came up with:  The best places to catch a Jersey Shore Sunset.

I make my list from north to south from Monmouth County to Ocean County.  If you’d like me to consider adding a place that I’ve missed, please send me a note because I’m always looking for a great place.

  • Classic Boat Rides, Sunset Cruise

    I’m starting this list with a very unique place to catch the sunset… aboard an actual river boat that cruises the waters of northern Monmouth County. The Navesink Queen is operated by our former coworker, Capt. Dannie Schade.  His lifelong love of wooden boats has brought him to the forefront of boating life owning multiple boats for hire for various events and functions.

    Classic Boat Rides is based out of the Atlantic Highlands and offers many different types of on water experiences.

  • Burlew's Seafood and Steak, Keyport

    We’re starting off on land in the Bay Shore part of the Jersey Shore; an often overlooked area. So many people think that the Jersey Shore starts at Sea Bright, but in my opinion, it’s already established in the Bay Shore region. Call me out on it if you think I’m wrong.

    Burlew’s is dropped just over the walkway and road in Keyport. It’s a little limited in getting a great sunset from Cliffwood Beach and Matawan Point but at the right time of the year on the top deck, Burlew’s will give you the goods.  My thanks to our Facebook pal, Jeannine, for the reminder!

    Add a full kitchen with a large selection of steaks and seafood and Burlew’s Seafood and Steak on the top of Monmouth County is a great option.

  • Tommy's Tavern and Tap, Sea Bright

    Tommy’s is a New Jersey-based chain that delivers quality food in an open-air-type atmosphere.  Thanks to our Facebook friend, Kim, for mentioning this to be part of our list. Tommy’s in Sea Bright has an electric vibe even when half full, there’s an elegance to it because it’s in a building that’s from the 1800s.

    Tommy’s in Sea Bright is located on the Shrewsbury River at a pretty skinny part of the river, just south of the Shrewsbury River bridge.  Their water view is kinda limited but the vibe of the outside deck is chill and it makes it a cool spot for the end of the day.  You’ll be close enough to the ocean to be able to enjoy the cooler temps of the sea breeze, while still getting a decent sunset.

    GALLERY | tommystaverntap

    take a look at Tommy's Tavern + Tap.

  • Eventide Grill, Sea Bright

    Kim on our Facebook strikes again with this Shrewsbury Riverfront bar and grill with tons of space to catch the sun dip just past the beautiful boats and Sedge Island.  Their slogan, “come for the food stay for the view” strikes home as the day leans towards evening.

    Their deck isn’t the biggest, but if you’re lucky enough to grab a spot, it’s going to make for a really nice sunset.  Just like Tommy’s which is just up the street, the ocean still provides a great cooling effect on these hot and muggy days of summer.  Eventide, as in not going out, not coming in… it’s a quality spot.

  • Rum Runner, Sea Bright

    Talk about a classic Jersey Shore location.  Tim McCloone’s Rum Runner used to be a kinda small, unobtrusive place along the Shrewsbury River with an amazing vibe and great service.  Superstorm Sandy put an end to that place… but the beautiful restaurant that Tim was able to rebuild is a true stand-out along Ocean Avenue.

    You’ll still get great service… but the vibe is a bit more upscale than it was before the rebuild.  Either way, a sunset at the Rum Runner can’t be beat.

  • Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park

    One of the greatest things about the Stone Pony Summer Stage is that the sun basically sets right behind the artist as they perform.  The band is playing your favorite songs and mother nature herself is adding to the sweet light show. I think that this is part of the reason why Summer Stage shows are such a cool social event.

    Because I love live music so much, I’ve enjoyed more sunsets at the Stone Pony Summer Stage than pretty much anywhere.

    This is the one place on the list that breaks the water-view rule.  And I think it’s worthy!  Very much so!

    Sunset behind the Stone Pony Summer Stage

  • Marina Grille / 9th Avenue Pier, Belmar

    I’m listing these two places together because they’re basically right next to each other and they’re owned by the same company.  You’re getting the same light show at either place, but the vibe is definitely different between the two.

    If you’re asking me, the Marina Grille is a bit more upscale than 9th Avenue Pier… but that’s not a dig at 9th Ave.  You could argue that the sunset view at 9th Ave is actually a little better because there’s less obstruction from the boats docked at the marina.  Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with either choice!  Appreciate the tip from Deanna over on our Facebook page!

    You know that Marina Grille is keyed into the sunset vibe because they have a sunset ticker in the top right corner of their website.  LOL!

  • River Rock, Brick

    The River Rock is our next stop on our “sunset tour” of the Jersey Shore, one of a handful of great bar/restaurants on the Manasquan River.

    River Rock is on the south side of the river at a point that faces in a northwest direction which means it can get a pretty sweet sunset at particular times of the year.  They’re known for a vibrant crowd from the local Herbertsville section of Bricktown.  We’ve recently hosted a number of WRAT appearances at River Rock and can say that we’re digging their new outdoor dining deck and their new outdoor bar that resembles a cool island vibe.  And the food is something you can count on too.

  • Clarks Landing, Point Pleasant

    A little bit down river from River Rock we find Clark’s Landing tucked off a sharp turn off Arnold Avenue in Point Pleasant.  Their placement on the banks of the Mantoloking River – with a view nearly due west with the beautiful river and Osborn Island in front – is a perfect place to catch a sunset and a cocktail.


  • Warfside Patio Bar, Point Pleasant Beach

    A bit downriver we’re stopping at the Warfside Seafood and Patio Bar although, for this list, the Patio Bar is where it’s happening.  What is it about the Patio Bar, man… the Manasquan lapping, boats coming and going, maybe it’s the fact that there are hard working fishing boats…

    The Jersey Shore vibe here is strong.  And sunsets are pretty sweet too.

    The restaurant has been around since the 1960’s so they know what part of the lobster is up but the Patio Bar vibe is more of a, “great place to hide in a rum bucket”.


  • Shrimp Box, Point Pleasant Beach

    Now this place has a patio and a license to booze.  So… We’re stepping up for the Shrimp Box and the Outside The Box Patio Bar.  Not that this is a bad thing, but the patio is so close to the dock that sometimes the really nice big boats can block the view of the sunset.  LOL!

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