Let’s face it… shopping at the Jersey shore isn’t going to be a whole lot different from shopping at home. It’s not some foreign country! You’ll see a lot of the same stores and names you’re used to. You may notice that the closer you get to the beach, the higher prices become. It is a strange phenomenon, possibly related to the gravitational pull of the moon, or something.
Shopping Zone #1: The Boardwalk
Whatever boardwalk or promenade you are on will likely be lined with places to eat and places to shop. Tee shirts, beach gear, surf shops, jewelry, hermit crabs, toys, knick-knacks, shells, stuffed animals… the list goes on and on. Boardwalk shops are often aimed at the kiddies, because where the kids go and see and want, the parents are sure to follow.
One worthwhile shopping stop is the candy stores. Just try to resist all the different kinds of fudge and the colorful salt water taffy! Send some home — a lot of candy shops offer mailing service. If you bring it back to the hotel, you may be tempted to sample it before you make it home.
Someone once commented that on the boardwalk, the shops range from the “very seedy” to the “slightly seedy” — and that’s kind of harsh! You may find some treasures to bring home; the trick is to not buy the first thing you see. It’s very easy to spot the same exact thing at another boardwalk stand for a lower price.
Keep your eye on the local papers for special events like craft fairs, art shows, and other daily or weekly festivals. Not only do you have a chance to find a great deal, you may be able to pick up something unique and handmade to remember your trip by!
Shopping Zone #2: Cape May
For a slightly more upscale shopping experience, you can’t beat Cape May! Visit Washington Mall, an outdoor pedestrian mall in the heart of the historic district. Leave your car behind and stroll from store to store. You’ll find clothes, souvenirs, culinary supplies, surf gear, and the famous James’ and Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy. You’ll have a hard time tearing the kids away from Zoo Company, a fantastic and unique toy store!
Shopping Zone #3: Atlantic City
All right, you high rollers… tear yourselves away from the casino floor and check out some of the shopping. You can easily lose your winnings in all the stores the casinos have to offer!
Don’t miss The Quarter at the Tropicana. Styled after sultry Havana, in the Quarter you’ll find the finest clothes retailers, hats and shoes, jewelry stores, Swarovski crystal, high-end cosmetics, and even souvenirs for your pups! Check out cool surveillance gear at the Spy Shop or pick up some sleight of hand at Houdini’s Magic Shop.
Shopping at the other casinos may not be as expansive as the Quarter, but you’ll still find plenty of haute couture and fine jewelry.