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In the Grove

A happy throwback on the Jersey Shore

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Down the coast from crumbling Asbury Park and not far up from teenager-thronged Bradley Beach lies Ocean Grove, possibly the quietest place on the Jersey Shore. It's the kind of town where an old-school ice-cream parlor, Nagle's, is the centerpiece of the commercial strip. Big Victorians face the boardwalk, and the side streets are lined with tentlike houses -- permanent structures with wooden frames and canvas walls. Why tents? Because this town, largely owned by a Methodist organization, was at one time a great big season-long revival meeting. Classical concerts take place every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day at the huge wooden concert hall. (Wednesday and Saturday recitals on the hall's world-class pipe organ are free.) The newest of many quaint bed-and-breakfasts, the Love Letter Inn, opens in the spring. For lunch, there's the Starving Artist, which serves grilled food and sandwiches and has a nice little dining garden. And though there's water, water everywhere, there's not a drop to drink: Ocean Grove is a dry town.

DETAILS Love Letter Inn, 732-897-0700; the Starving Artist at Days, 732-988-1007.


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