Highlands Travel Guide

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Highlands Things to Do

  • Sandy Hook Lighthouse--The Oldest...

    Sandy Hook Lighthouse (1764) has the distinction of being the oldest standing lighthouse in New Jersey. It is located at Fort Hancock on the Sandy Hook Peninsula which is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area.Sandy Hook Lighthouse was originally called the New York Lighthouse because of money raised to build it came from New York lotteries...


    Sandy Hook is one of the beaches where I love to go shell hunting--especially after a storm. I've found a myriad assortment of shells on the beach here. In the Fall and the Winter you have the beach to oneself--in the summer...well, you've got lots of company.Pay by the carload ($10) and it makes it a real bargain in this area! Sandy Hook is the...

  • Take A Boat Ride

    In near-by Alantic Highlands you can take a dinner cruise around Sandy Hook bay and the Navesink River.

  • Fort Hancock

    At the tip of Sandy hook is a mostly deserted military base called Fort Hancock. Most of it has fallen heavily into disrepair, but it is interesting to view the old buildings and homes. Along the western side of the penninsula is a row of identical waterfront houses, all abandoned. It's erie.

  • Sandy Hook Lighthouse

    The Gateway National Recreation area on Sandy Hook is home to the oldest working lighthouse in the United States. Built in 1764, it's been working continuously from that time. The only exceptions being times of War. We were told by a local that the lighthouse had originally been on the end of the "hook" but after 200 years plus, the ocean had...

  • Navesink Twin Lights

    Just over the bridge off of Sandy Hook, you will find an unusual lighthouse. Oringinally built in 1828, Twin Lights looks more like a castle than a lighthouse. It's a large brick building with a light Tower at either end. Beautiful view of the river and ocean and surrounding towns can be had at the top of the light. Only the South tower is still in...

  • Fort Hancock

    Fort Hancock is located at the northern tip of Sandy Hook. It is still a semi-active army barracks. This is a great place to see what an actual military barracks look like.

  • Sandy Hook (Gateway National Park)

    Sandy Hook is a great place to spend a day at the beach. It is also a great place to learn about military history. This is all part of the New Jersey portion of Gateway National Park (New York has a portion as well). Admission into Sandy Hook is $10 from Memorial Day Friday to Labor Day.

  • Twin Lights

    Built in 1862, the Twin Lights are located on top of the hill in Highlands, across the bridge from Sandy Hook. You can go up one of the towers and get a pretty good views of Sandy Hook, Sea Bright, Shrewsbury River, and on a clear day maybe the Verazzano Bridge. The best part about the Twin Lights is that it is free. However, climbing the stairs is...

  • Sandy Hook

    Monmouth County in NJ contains the most accessible beaches to NYC, Northern NJ, and Philadelphia residents.When visiting Sea Bright or the Highlands, stop by Sandy Hook National Park and explore it's coves, beaches, and the lighthouse.

  • Fortifications and Military Presence

    The New York Harbor was set up to be very well protected against enemy attack. If you look at a map, coming into the harbor via the Ambrose Channel, there are two pieces of land that jut out to look like a Gate. This is where Gateway National Recreation Area got its name. Fort Tilden was constructed in the Queens arm of the "gate" and Ft. Hancock...

  • Beach and Forest Trails

    Sandy Hook has a pretty good trail system...the one through the holly forest is exceptional. Mostly because it's a holly forest. It's so peaceful--very few places I've been I can walk through the woods and hear the ocean in the background. There are also trails that go to little ponds and through the primary and secondary dune system down to the...


Highlands Hotels

Highlands Restaurants

  • Extremely Disappointed

    My was excited about having a nice dinner together early Friday so she called Wind and Sea. My wife spoke with the hostess and was promised there would be no issue to sit by the water at the agreed upon time. We arrived on time and were told we had a forty minute wait so we left.The following day, Saturday, we returned at 5:00PM. I let my wife out...

  • Best seafood restaurant anywhere!

    This is my favorite seafood restaurant anywhere in the world, and I have done a bit of traveling! I'm from the Jersey Shore but now live in Europe. I usually get back the Jersey once a year and this restaurant is part of my pilgrimmage home. The restaurant is right on the river, with that great salt air smell, which gets me in the mood for seafood!...

  • Restaurant with an ocean AND bay view!

    WindanSea overlooks a beautiful bay AND an ocean--who could ask for a better location? My husband and I like to invite out of town visitors to our favorite restaurant in Highlands, New Jersey. Manhattan can be seen in the distance on clear days and at night--the brightly lit bridges and the Empire State Building glow invitingly in the dark...

  • Ask First

    Not all places are good. Some are tourist traps. Up-scale eating wpuld be "Doris & Eds" which is one of the best resturants in NJ. For the best view and being a classy place at a modest price "Wind N Sea" is one sharp place.

  • Fresh Seafood with Waterfront Seating

    Since our trip to Maine Lou has had a thing for Lobster. We had heard lots of good things about Bahr's from friends of ours who are frequent visitors, so we included in our Sandy Hook plans.Most of the menu is Seafood; Lobster, clams, fresh fish, ect... There is a small section for "landlubbers". If your not into fish, you better like steak,...

  • Lunch with a View

    Instead of sitting in traffic waiting to get over the bridge into Sandy Hook, we decided to pull into "Off the Hook", a restaurant and bar with great views of the river and ocean. We were hungry for lunch and it seemed to be a perfect spot for a bite to eat. They have tons of outdoor seating and an outdoor bar, even some palm trees to add to the...


Highlands Nightlife

  • Party On The River

    This resturant opened just a few years ago and was mainly noted as just a nice up-scale place to eat on the river. Seems now that it's one of the top places to hang and have fun. Th tikki bar is packed in the summer time with live music. And there's a rather large bar inside with nice views of the river. No dress code.

  • good middle of the week spot

    We've been on the weekends too and it's good to start out here or stay if you just want to go to a regular bar. It's cheaper and less crowded than the Windansea in Highlands. Also, the bartenders are great. They usually have live bands or karaoke, too. There's pool in the back room, a good menu and easy parking right out front. It's also very close...

  • always a great time:)

    They have great food here and it's a bit of a pain when they are making the transition from restaurant to strictly bar but it's still a great place. The dance floor is a decent size and the bands are usually good. We went every week, sometimes a few nights a week. There is a cover...Thurs. nights was ladies night, not sure if that's still the case,...


Highlands Transportation

  • kazander's Profile Photo

    by kazander Updated Sep 10, 2004

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    To get onto Sandy Hook from Rt 36 you must cross over the Shrewsbury Bridge. It's a picturesque draw bridge that spans the shrewsbury river.

    Shrewsbury Bridge
    Related to:
    • Beaches

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Highlands Local Customs

  • 88Starflite's Profile Photo

    by 88Starflite Written Aug 3, 2006

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    This is a very old fishing town that has a mix of hard working fishermen and rich NYC workers. It can be reached, Middletown also, from NYC by high speed ferry.

    Dinner With A Great View An Old Fishing Town. Some people are putting a lot of $ into this town

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Highlands Warnings and Dangers

  • Ocean Bacteria

    You always have to be alert about the bacteria levels while bathing in the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey. A few beaches were closed the day I was down there due to high bacteria levels. It is all that sludge from New York and New Jersey.

  • Shrewsbury River Bridge

    The Shrewsbury River Bridge, which is Route 36 and connects Highlands with Sea Bright, opens quite frequently. This can cause delays, especially on the Sea Bright/Sandy Hook side.

  • Highlands Hotels

    3 Hotels in Highlands

Highlands Off The Beaten Path


    Sandy Hook is actually a six mile long sandbar along the New Jersey coast that is separated from the rest of the state by the estuary of the Shrewsbury River. The peninsula varies in width from one tenth to one mile and is off the southern entrance to Lower New York Bay.On a clear day, you can easily see the highrises of Manhattan. Sandy Hook's...

  • Soprano's Tour of New Jersey

    Being from Jersey, it was about time that I did my own version of a Soprano's tour. Well, there were two of us on this trip. My friend Lori and I thought we should travel around North Jersey and find landmarks from the TV show, especially the sites from the opening credits when Tony Soprano is driving his car while the theme song plays. We started...


    This beach is located at The Seagull's Nest restaurant where there are extensive changing areas, restrooms, fountains, outdoor showers and ample parking space. To enter Sandy Hook National Park an admission of $10 is charged per carload. Sandy Hook has a policy that whatever trash comes into the park, has to go out with those who bring it. In other...


Highlands Favorites

  • The Lighthouse Challenge!

    Once a year there is a weekend adventure called the NJ Lighthouse Challenge. The challenge is to visit all of New Jersey's eleven lighthouses in just 2 days. All of the lighthouses are open to the public on these days. Some of them usually are not, so it's a great chance to see the interior of a lighthouse that on a regular day you could not.Each...

  • Walk the nature trail on Sandy...

    Walk the nature trail on Sandy Hook. Stop by the Sandy Hook Visitors Center first for a map and the nature trail begins on the left-side of the parking lot. Well-marked trail with observation spots for bird-watching (only bird I can recognize is a pigeon), the trail meanders through natural vegetation, cacti (no idea how that got there) and along...

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