By Rachel Weston ~
I’m the kind of person that goes on vacation and drives around neighborhoods or walks through them slowly looking at houses and gardens. This started with trips with a friend and now my husband humors me while I take in the local sights beyond usual tourist attractions.
Luckily we live in a fabulous destination here at the Jersey Shore where we have the unique opportunity to visit historic homes, impressive estates, lush gardens and usually off-limits locales during special events throughout the year. What fun to be allowed in to closed off places, even if just for one day.
Here are a selection of seven events that are a perfect way to explore the community. Clear the day, call your friends and enjoy walking through heavy doors, peeking behind fences and delighting in the sights, sounds and tastes of what it means to live and garden like a local in modern times and history at the shore.
2019 Brielle Kitchen Tour
Friday May 10, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Tour five gorgeous kitchens, sample food from local eateries all while supporting The Brielle Education Foundation. Tickets are $30 each in advance, $35 day of the tour.
Keyport Garden Walk
Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2, 11 am – 3 pm
The Keyport Garden Club hosts this free event which allows entry to over 35 private and public gardens in town. Learn about rain gardens, explore a community garden, newly renovated Terry Park and enjoy private gardens in historic homes. The rain or shine event is pet friendly and bike friendly. Mosaic benches made by the Art Society of Keyport will be will be featured in a special Sculpture Garden.
Pick up guide to locations at the Pavilion on American Legion Drive.
Daily Garden talks are free but pre-registration is requested at email@example.com.
Saturday, June 1, 9:30 am
Butterfly Gardening with Jane Hurwitz, the editor of Butterfly Gardener magazine and author of Butterfly Gardening: The North American Butterfly Association Guide. Keyport Borough Hall 70 West Front Street, Keyport NJ 07735
Sunday, June 2, 9:30 am
” Attracting Spring & Summer Birds to Your Back Yard“ with David Saidnawey of Wild Birds Unlimited in Middletown at Keyport Borough Hall 70 West Front Street, Keyport NJ 07735
Atlantic Highlands Architectural Walking Tours
Saturdays at 4 pm on June 1, July 6, July 20, and August 3
Lace up your walking shoes for this guided walking tour of Atlantic Highlands with an emphasis on architecture. Learn the difference between a gable and a gambrel, about Sears Homes on the west side of town and much more from an Atlantic Highlands Historical Society guide. Tours depart from the Strauss Mansion Museum, 27 Prospect Circle. Admission is free to members and a $10 suggested donation for non-members.
Spring Lake House Tour
Thursday June 6, 10 am – 3 pm
The 40th annual Spring Lake Historical Society will feature several historic homes and buildings in town. The Historical Society Museum will also be open that day. Call (732) 449-0772 for tickets and information.
Tickets are $35 in advance and can be purchased in person at:
Kate and Company 1100 Third Avenue
Camel’s Eye 1223 Third Avenue
J Mclaughlin 1306 Third Avenue
Tickets will also be available on the day of the tour for $40 at the Spring Lake Train Station on Warren Avenue. Coffee will be served from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Annual Seaside Garden Tour
Wednesday June 26, 10 am – 3 pm
The Garden Club of Spring Lake hosts this annual tour of exceptional gardens in town. Delight in daylilies, hydrangeas, lush lawns, expansive borders, statuary and nibbles along the way. More information 732-449-1589.
Tickets are $30 in advance online or area retailers. $35 Day of tour at the Spring Lake Train Station on Warren Avenue.
A Tent Colony Tour
Friday, July 19, 11 am -3 pm
If you have ever wandered through the Ocean Grove tent community and wondered what was behind the canvas walls, you can see for yourself in this tour of 10 of these unique homes. Call (732) 774-1869 for more information.
Tickets $35 in advance, $40 day of event. Purchase tickets and pick up maps at Historical Society of Ocean Grove Museum, 50 Pittman Ave.
51st Annual Ocean Grove House Tour
Friday, August 9, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm
The Historical Society of Ocean Grove hosts this all day, self guided tour that explores historic homes, an inn, a tent home and other historic buildings in town. Call (732) 774-1869 for more information.
Tickets $35 in advance, $40 day of event.