New Jersey’s summer faves: alfresco dining, flea markets and farm stands

Summer is all about enjoying the great outdoors. So take a fresh approach to dining and shopping, and go alfresco in New Jersey! Foodies will discover much to tempt their palates—from indulgent boardwalk snacks to Jersey Fresh® produce. Trendsetters can tread outdoor malls to pick up designer fashions and blazing-hot bargains—or stroll through flea markets in search of quirky accessories and affordable basics.


Boardwalk Cuisine—You Know You Love It!


New Jersey invented the boardwalk—so you know you’re going to find some tasty boardwalk food. As you take a stroll along the Jersey Shore ‘boards, you’ll see (and smell!) pizza, funnel cakes, fried pickles, crab fries (the perfect amount of seasoning and amazing cheese dipping sauce), ice cream and the timeless New Jersey boardwalk treat: salt water taffy. Stop along the Atlantic City boardwalk to chew on the original Fralinger’s taffy (made since 1885) in assorted flavors, including the intriguing Teaberry. Another boardwalk staple: Kohr Brothers® frozen custard, made with the original 1919 recipe and found in various locations, including The Wildwoods and Ocean City. Vanilla-Orange Twist, please! 


Get Fresh with Trips to the Orchard, Field and Farm Market


Counter the fried pickle with a trip to a farm market for sweet corn, peaches and Jersey’s famous tomatoes. Or why not pick your own? Agri-tourism is a growing interest in the Garden State. Make “eating your veggies” a fun family outing: pick your own peas at DeWolf’s U-Pick Farm, blueberries at DiMeo Farms (by appointment only for the 2021 season), blackberries at Terhune Orchards (call ahead for availability), apples at Mackey’s Orchard, and even lavender at Pleasant Valley Lavender. Take advantage of the seasonal bounty to join the home canning movement or the even hotter trend of pickling. And we’re not talking your standard cucumber here. In fact, Delish called out pickled red onions and radishes as part of their 15 Food Trends You’re Going to See Everywhere. Get tips on purchasing, picking and preparing Jersey Fresh® vegetables and fruits, and make your table the freshest one around! 


Take It Outside, Friends


If you prefer your produce peeled, prepped and served to your table, you can taste Jersey fresh cuisine at fine restaurants throughout the state. And let’s retire the practice of dining “al desk-o,” and move the feast outdoors. Whether you prefer a trendy café patio with Manhattan views like Maritime Parc, an elegant terrace overlooking the mountains (consider Restaurant Latour at Crystal Springs Resort) or any of the numerous seafood restaurants on the bay or ocean, New Jersey is brimming with open-air dining choices like Basking Ridge’s Focacceria Ristorante, just named one of the country’s top 100 alfresco spots by OpenTable. Of course, summer food fests are a tasty way to dine alfresco—sample a variety of cuisines at food truck events


Plan a Designer Spree or Trip to the Fleas


Is your outdoor sport of choice shopping? New Jersey offers every shopping experience imaginable, from funky flea markets to outlet shopping. Jersey Shore Premium Outlets in Tinton Falls boasts an impressive collection of over 100 stores. You can also find designer and name-brand bargains (plus get in a good outdoor power walk) at Atlantic City’s Tanger Outlets, The Walk, Flemington’s Liberty Village Premium OutletsGloucester Premium Outlets or Jackson Premium Outlets. However, if you need some air conditioning, you can rack up some deals at The Mills at Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth or Outlets at Bergen Town Center in Paramus. Look for good deals on summer’s big trends: strappy styles, tie-dye and metallics.

If you’d rather search for antiques, collectibles, outerwear, and even pet supplies, Englishtown Auction has been a bargain hunter’s paradise for over 80 years. Another place for treasure hunters: the Golden Nugget in Lambertville, one of the Northeast’s largest antique and flea markets. Take a tip from the flea market pros and get there early!


Go “alfresco” this summer, but first get updates at, where you can download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.