Feb 12, 2020

My Visit to Beautiful Atlantic Highlands

By Julia Mortimer

Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey –Home to many who enjoy the scenic outlooks, beautiful homes, and quaint downtown full of some of the best restaurants and cute shops along the shore. I am from the Red Bank/Middletown area, so my general stopping grounds include downtown Red Bank and the countless strip malls along Highway 35. When I am home from college, I try my best to visit the beautiful towns neighboring my own.

As often asthe weather allows, a beautiful sunset graces the skies over Monmouth County, and when it does, I floor it to Sandy Hook. And while on my journey to Sandy Hook, I often think, “Why don’t I pop into downtown Atlantic Highlands?”

So upon anticipating a colorful sunset, I head to First Avenue in Atlantic Highlands to browse some stores and enjoy a happy hour. My sister and I walked along the strip of shops and restaurants (It was one of those weird days in January when it was around 60 degrees). We wandered into Bungalow Road where we laughed at the quirky signs and smelled some delightful candles. As we were leaving the store, we kicked ourselves for not thinking of Bungalow Road while Christmas shopping.

Bungalow Road

It’s happy hour o’clock. We decided to go to On the Deck; I had never been there before, but the happy hour specials were promising. The appetizers were half off, and Smirnoff drinks were $7 (The glass is tall…I’ll leave it at that). There were some other specials, that do not appear to be on their website, but if you call, they will rattle them off to you. My sister and I each got a vodka cranberry and shared the calamari. The calamari came on a huge platter, and thank goodness it did because we pretty much cleaned the plate –probably the best calamari I’ve had along the shore. On the Deck has such a nice atmosphere, with the beautiful view of the water and the welcoming employees. I wish I hadn’t discovered this happy hour gem at the end of my winter break, or I would have spent many a happy hour at On the Deck’s bar.

The sun was beginning to set, so we took our last sips, paid the bill and split. We took the scenic drive to Sandy Hook, parked the car in Lot C and watched the sunset from the bay side, sitting on the sand. Right when I think I want to spend my 20s living in a city, Sandy Hook reminds me just how peaceful and beautiful it is to live by the ocean. The Sandy Hook breeze whispers in my ear, “How could you live without me?” It’s always a breath of fresh air from the bustle of everyday life.

I try to soak up these moments because pretty soon I will be going back to reading academic journals and writing papers. My mind will wander to Sandy Hook’s watercolor sunsets.

Atlantic Highlands, thank you for having me. I will be back soon enough.