Jersey Shore for winter visitors: Not like MTV

/ Source: The Associated Press

It's not summertime and it's nothing like the MTV reality show.

But the Jersey Shore does offer plenty to do for visitors this time of year: Main Street shopping, outlet malls and holiday activities.

Jersey Shore Premium Outlets in Tinton Falls and Jackson Premium Outlets in Jackson both have bus departures from Manhattan's Port Authority and NJ Transit stops. For Main Street shopping, check out Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park and the downtowns of Ocean Grove, Toms River, Spring Lake, and Red Bank. For antiques, hit Point Pleasant Beach for the Antique Emporium, Fond Memories Antiques and Canvas House Antiques.

To make a weekend out of it, boutique hotels include Blue Bay Inn in Atlantic Highlands, the Victorian style Majestic B&B in Ocean Grove, and the Oyster Point and Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank. The outlet malls also have shop and stay deals with over two dozen area hotels; for details. Hotels Unlimited is offering special holiday rates for corporate, military and leisure travelers at the Ramada of Toms River and The Holiday Inn of Toms River.

While you're in the area, check out the Red Bank Gingerbread Walk, through Dec. 23, with gingerbread creations on display at 14 local businesses. The PNC Bank Arts Center Holiday Light Spectacular is a drive-through show with 225 displays. In Asbury Park, on Dec. 23, participating restaurants offer a 6:30 p.m. prix fixe dinner with a ticket to catch a showing of "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Paramount, or just come to the show and pay $5 at the door.