It seems like we travel somewhere at least every weekend during the summer. It’s either to see family or to a wedding or, occasionally…for fun! On Saturday morning, we took an Amtrak train to Philadelphia on our way to visit Marnay’s Mom in Margate, NJ. Margate is on the same barrier island as Atlantic City, just two small towns to the south.
It takes about 2 hours to get to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. We grabbed a bite to eat in the station and then sat outside at The Porch at 30th ( @theporchat30th ) while we waited for our NJ Transit train. The Porch at 30th is an urban oasis on the formerly barren sidewalk outside the train station. It is a beautiful example of placemaking. They transformed the sidewalk by adding swinging porch chairs, public art, things for little kids to climb and some impressive plants. I would hang out there on my own even if we weren’t waiting for a train.
When we arrived in Atlantic City, we met two college friends and went to Barrels of Margate, your standard Jersey Italian red sauce joint…the kind of place that we grew up with.
Afterwards, we headed to the Ocean City boardwalk. We walked almost the entire thing and made sure to get some famous frozen custard from Kohr Brothers. The ice cream definitely made up for a so-so dinner. We walked some more but at 11:00pm everything shuts down in Ocean City, so we knew it was time to head home.
We woke up and walked to get some bagels from Margate Hot Bagels and coffee from Wawa, which are right next to each other on Ventnor Avenue. Ventnor Avenue is the “Main Street” of Margate, Ventor and Atlantic City. I got a sesame bagel with nova and Marnay got an everything with an egg.
Fueled by our bagels, we took a 3 mile walk on the beach to Longport, the next town south. I need to mention how incredible the weather was all weekend. Low 70s with a sea breeze and not too much sun. We could have stayed outside the entire day in this weather.
We decided to have lunch at Aversa’s, an Italian Deli on Ventnor Ave. I got an Italian sub which had amazing housemade bread, but otherwise bland ingredients. The others had meatballs and said that they were not great, either.
After relaxing, we headed for dinner at the Greenhouse, mainly a spot for pizza and drinking. Greenhouse is next to the most famous attraction in Margate, Lucy the Elephant…a 65 foot tall elephant! Lucy was built as a tourist attraction in the 1860s and as a way to generate interest in the area. Today, she is a National Historic Landmark.
Margate is very narrow and has the ocean on the east and the bay on the west. We got delicious ice cream from the Margate Dairy Bar and then walked over to the bay side to enjoy it. We sat on the dock long after we had finished our ice cream and watched an incredible sunset, along with fireworks from the towns on the other side of the bay. It was well after dark when we headed home to the apartment.
On Monday morning we headed home. We made a quick trip to Wawa for some coffee on the way to the Atlantic City train station and then took NJ Transit to Philadelphia. Once again, we had lunch on the swinging chairs at the Porch at 30th. Then, we took Amtrak back to Union Station. Miraculously, there was no track work on the Red Line and we got a metro to Silver Spring immediately.
The food on our Ultimate Jersey Shore Weekend was only OK. But the scenery and the walks were certainly made it an ultimate weekend! There’s no denying, however, that we were happy to be back in Silver Spring.
Places we visited
The Porch at 30th: 2955 Market St, Philadelphia, PA
Barrels of Margate: 8409 Ventnor Ave, Margate City, NJ 08402
Kohr Brothers: Wonderland Pier, Ocean City Boardwalk North End, Ocean City, NJ 08226
Margate Hot Bagels: 9414 Ventnor Ave, Margate City, NJ 08402
Wawa: 9300 Ventnor Ave, Margate City, NJ 08402
Aversa’s Bakery: 9309 Ventnor Ave, Margate City, NJ 08402
Ventura’s Greenhouse Restaurant: 106 S Benson Ave #106, Margate City, NJ
Margate Dairy Bar: 9510 Ventnor Ave, Margate City, NJ 08402