Whenever you leave New York City, you will appreciate it twice as much once you return. Perhaps that’s the reason why I love the Big Apple so much; I get away whenever possible. If you’ve been following “Planet NYC,” you know that I never wander very far. But then again why should I? Just about everything I could want is accessible within 250 miles. So, whenever Kelly, my wife, and I need a break, we plan a getaway. I’m happy to share some of them with you here.
Today, we’re heading over to the Garden State. That’s New Jersey for those of you from outside of the tri- state region. The destination is a small town in Monmouth County called Red Bank. The city of 12,000 plus residents is both charming and welcoming. Red Bank goes by the motto “A cool little town.” That’s an appropriate handle for this culturally sophisticated and somewhat ritzy hamlet.
Located 24 miles due south of the tip of Manhattan Island, Red Bank is an excellent getaway for a day trip. You should arrive in an hour and a half leaving from Penn Station by railroad. The ride down is direct, and New Jersey Transit tends to run like a clock. A round trip ticket will cost $29.50 per person. Once you arrive at the Red Bank Station, you can either hire an Uber or catch a cab to your destination anywhere in town the drop should not exceed $4 to $5.
Red Bank is a town of many possibilities; you can’t go wrong. Depending on the season of your visit, there are different events on the town calendar. That’s not to mention the musical venues, theater events, art galleries, farmers markets, and various outdoor festivals. Let me not forget to mention the Jersey Shore beaches which are just a cab ride away from the Red Bank railway station as well.
What Kelly and I most appreciate is the shopping in Red Bank. There are several upscale retailers in the town. You’ll find Garmany, Tiffany&Company, and Urban Outfitters to name a few. Of course, there are high-end stores in New York City too. However, the sales tax in New Jersey is almost 2% lower than it is in New York City. Is there a better excuse to shop?
That brings us to the subject of food. There is no shortage of excellent dining in Red Bank. A few of my favorites are Via45, Dublin House, and Soul Kitchen. I love good food more than I should. On our last trip to Red Bank, we did Via45. Kelly had the eggplant parmigiana, and I dined on chicken marsala. It was delizioso.
We usually enjoy a glass of wine when we go out for dinner. However, that night we were following our meal with a date at Pinot’s Palette. That’s a painting studio where you bring your wine and paint and drink for two to three hours. It is just down the street from Via45. We carried a bottle of Muscato with us from the city.
By the time we finished painting, we certainly felt like a couple of Picassos. Thanks to the vino! Local artist conducted the class. There was good music, and I believe the experience helped us both discover our inner artist. As usual, it was a marvelous evening in nearby Red Bank. I highly recommend that you put this "cool little town" on your list of places to visit in the New York metropolitan area.
Pinot’s Palette Paint Studio is at 12 Broad Street. ( Important: Bring your own wine or beer. Pinot’s provides the wine glasses.)
Via45 is at 45 Broad Street.
A cab or Uber from the railroad station to anywhere in Redbank should cost between $4 and $5.