You'll "shorely" delight those special someones on your list with these 15 Belmar-inspired holiday gift ideas. 🎄 And when you shop local in our community, you're making a difference for the independent, family-owned small businesses and the people they employ. With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting hard, our local businesses need your support more than ever this holiday shopping season.
1. Nostalgic Belmar Memorabilia
The Belmar Historical Society has an important mission to document and preserve the treasured memories of Belmar as the beloved seashore community has grown since the days of grand oceanfront mansions. From vintage postcards and wall art, to 19th-century maps, etchings, and reproductions of flyers advertising the town's very first property lots for sale — you can't go wrong with a gift that showcases a bygone era in the history of our town.
View items for sale and contact information for the Belmar Historical Society on their website.
2. Basket of Cheer
The craft beer lover on your list will appreciate a gift basket of IPAs, pilsners, spiced ales, and lagers from Beach Haus Brewery, 801 Main Street in Belmar. The retail store and website also sell Beach Haus gift cards, as well as logo hoodies, hats, t-shirts, koozies and more. Call 732-202-7782 or visit www.beachhausbeer.com.
3. Hand-Poured Candles
Light someone's fire with a USA-made candle from Surf's Up Candles or Midnight Candle Company in Belmar. From its flagship location at 1703 Main Street, Surf's Up Candles is a popular local brand of all-natural soy wax candles poured by hand at the Jersey Shore. In addition to mason jar candles in three sizes, the Surf's Up product line includes air fresheners and paint can candles in three sizes. Take your pick of beach scents, seasonal scents, and fruity/floral scents.
Also check out Surf's Up bath and body line, which includes all-natural sugar scrubs, hand sanitizer (new for 2020), body sprays, bath bombs, lip balms, and whipped body creams. The sugar scrub is a personal favorite!
Although the Surf's Up retail store is currently closed due to the pandemic, the online store is open 24/7 for your holiday orders. Local folks can order online and arrange for curbside pickup.
At Midnight Candle Company, 1108 Main Street in Belmar, you'll find a rainbow of richly scented hand-poured scented jar candles, votives, and wax melts. You can even bring in your own heat-safe candle container for a custom-poured creation — pick your own candle scent and color. Midnight Candle Company also supports local charitable organizations with candle fund-raiser sales and Fundraise Fridays.
In addition to selling great candles, Midnight Candle Company offers private candle-making classes at their shop. The workshops accommodate up to eight people to allow for social distancing. Call 732-947-7861 to reserve.
For fall 2020, the store hours are: Thursday, 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
4. A Sweet Surprise
Who could resist a decadent doughnut creation or a box of gourmet chocolates? Just in time for holiday festivities, Main Street Donuts, 705 Main Street, is offering its crowd-pleasing pull-apart cakes specially decorated like Christmas trees, ornaments, wreaths, and candy canes, as well as doughnut "ornaments."
Main Street Donuts was named the "Best of Monmouth 2018" in the category of Food and Restaurants - Donuts. Call 732-681-2100 to order your holiday treats.
Another "Best of Monmouth" winner in Belmar, Sweet candy shop, is a great place to buy shore-themed goodies such as saltwater taffy and boardwalk fudge. Sweet, located at 702 10th Avenue, also offers gourmet gift baskets ranging in price from $100 to $250 (great for corporate gifts).
Our go-to place for holiday cookie trays is Sweet Tease Tea Room and Café, 604 Main Street. Large platters brimming with freshly baked cookies are $36. Small trays and custom orders are also available, and they will ship anywhere in the United States. Call 732-722-8030 for more information.
5. Locally Roasted Gourmet Coffee
One of our favorite independent coffee shops in Belmar, Turnstile Coffee Roasters, sells sampler boxes (some with Taza Stone Ground Organic Chocolate), ranging in price from $45.00 to $89.00, as well as custom gift boxes. Turnstile's online store also sells whole-bean coffee in 12-ounce or five-pound bags, with four different grinding options, whether you prefer to brew by drip, pour-over, espresso, or French press. Pick up your gifts at their contact-less pick-up window (located on Route 71 across from Mr. Shrimp), or order online and have it shipped anywhere in the United States (shipping charges apply). Turnstile's coffee bean grinders, presses, and brewing devices also make great gifts.
6. Family Fishing Trip
Surprise someone special with tickets for a fishing trip off the Jersey Shore coast. Buy tickets in advance for one of the numerous party head boats or private fishing charters that set sail from the Belmar Marina.
Morning excursions depart the marina generally around 7:00 or 7:30 a.m. and return in the mid-afternoon, between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Some ships also go out for afternoon fishing charters and special excursions, such as sunset cruises, whale-watching expeditions, and July 4th fireworks. Read our guide below for more information.
7. Belmar Beach Tags
Stuff their stockings with Belmar beach tags, which are now on sale for the summer 2021 season and may be purchased online. Beach badge prices for summer 2021 are $70.00 for seasonal beach tags and $30.00 for seniors (age 65 and older).
Shipping is $10.00, and please note that the town is also now adding a "processing fee" to all online purchases, as well as to in-person cash purchases made at Belmar Borough Hall, 601 Main Street. Pick-ups and in-person purchases may be made weekdays between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
For more information, call Belmar tourism officials at 732-681-3700, ext. 214.
8. Belmar Restaurant Gift Cards
Gift cards to Belmar restaurants are a great gift not only for locals in the Monmouth County area, but also for far-away family or friends who like to vacation in Belmar or visit for a day trip. Even though New Jersey restaurants are currently subject to COVID-related restrictions for indoor dining, you can still use your gift card to get takeout, curbside pickup, or delivery if outdoor dining is not an option for you. Belmar restaurants with gift cards for sale include the following:
10th Ave. Burrito Co., 732-820-1515
Beach Haus Brewery, 732-202-7782
Brandl Restaurant, 732-280-7501
Comfi of Belmar, 732-749-3583
Don's Pizza King, 732-681-6373
Federici's Restaurant, 732-681-3337
Flames Brazilian Steakhouse, 732-681-7680
Jake's Downtown, 848-404-9834
Kaya's Kitchen vegan and vegetarian cuisine, 732-280-1141 or buy online
Klein's Seafood Market and Waterside Café, 732-681-1177
La Dolce Vita, 732-749-3177
La Terrazza Cucina Rustica and Bar, 732-894-3855
Mr. Shrimp Seafood Restaurant and Market, 732-681-7755
Playa Bowls, 732-556-6897
Rajin' Cajun, 732-280-6828
Simply Southern, 732-243-9259
Stay Gold Café, 732-894-9270
Surf Taco, 732-681-3001
Sweet Tease Tea Room & Café, 732-722-8030
Turnstile Coffee Roasters, 732-894-9012
To inquire about ordering a gift card, call each establishment directly or visit the restaurant's website or Facebook page. Most places should be able to take a credit card payment over the phone and mail the gift card directly to you or to the lucky recipient. RELATED: Dining In Belmar
9. Custom-Printed Belmar Apparel
Wear your Belmar pride with a custom-printed t-shirt, hat, or hoodie from Beckman's on the Beach or Big Frog Custom T-Shirts and More. Beckman's on the Beach, located at 1605A Ocean Avenue, specializes in custom screen printing, embroidery, and direct-to-garment printing. In addition to t-shirts, polos and tank tops, your selected design can be imprinted on hats, hoodies, and other apparel. Same-day printing services are available, and Beckman's also serves corporate clients and school sales, in addition to retail customers. Call 732-245-5020 or visit www.belmarshirts.com for more information. Free shipping on online orders $50 and over.
Big Frog Custom T-Shirts and More in downtown Belmar also specializes in custom-printed apparel, embroidery, and direct-to-garment printing in sizes for women, men, youth, and infants/toddlers. Big Frog's in-house graphic designers can help you create a custom design for your t-shirt, bag, or apparel gift. Visit their retail location at 801 Main Street, Unit H (enter from Belmar Plaza), or check out www.bigfrog.com/belmar or call 732-749-7700 to learn more. RELATED: Discover The Dining And Shopping Delights Of Belmar, New Jersey
10. Surfing, Sailing, and SUP Lessons
For stand-up paddle board (SUP) enthusiasts, give a gift card from the Endless SUP Company, which maintains a seasonal presence at Belmar's L Street bathing beach on the banks of the Shark River. Gift certificates may be used for SUP lesson packages, paddle yoga classes, and SUP boards and accessories.
Endless SUP's on-water activities will resume May 1, 2021. To learn more, please visit www.endlesssupcompany.com.
Summertime Surf School in Belmar sells gift certificates for its youth and adult surfing camps and private lesson packages — perfect for anyone who has always wanted to learn how to surf. Save $100 through December 22 on a kids surfing camp gift certificate when you checkout with the code "holiday19" on www.summertimesurf.com. RELATED: 11 Ways To Celebrate Summer In Belmar, New Jersey
11. Handcrafted Sea Glass Creations
Nothing says "Jersey Shore" like sea glass, shells and driftwood. We love these adorable Christmas tree ornaments that are handcrafted by Joyce at Simply Sea Glass Art. See more of Joyce's amazing work at www.simplyseaglassart.com. Email the artist with questions or to place a custom order.
12. Beach Cruiser
Who wouldn't be delighted with a shiny new bicycle under the tree? Belmar Bike Shop, 1318 Main Street, sells a full line of Electra beach cruisers for women, men, and kids. Customize your new ride with Belmar Bike Shop's wide selection of baskets, bells, night lights, helmets, and other accessories. RELATED: Edgar Felix Memorial Bike Trail In Manasquan, New Jersey
13. Jersey Shore Cookbook
New Jersey food blogger Deborah Smith ("Jersey Bites") has published a compendium of recipes from 50 of the Jersey Shore's most popular restaurants, diners, cafés, and bakeries.
Contributors from the area include Brandl in Belmar; the Buttered Biscuit in Bradley Beach; Fratello's Restaurant in Sea Girt; Waypoint 622 in Brielle; and Porta, Talula's Pizza, and Brick Wall Tavern in Asbury Park. From cover to cover, you'll find recipes for every course, from starters, salads and soups, to main dishes, sides, breakfast, and desserts. Colorful custom photography showcases the restaurants and their culinary creations. Each recipe is also accompanied by a brief profile of the contributor.
The Jersey Shore Cookbook is available for purchase at www.jerseyshorecookbook.com.
Live Like A Local: Rent A Belmar Beach House
Day trips down the shore are fun, but it's even better to rent a beach house for the week to experience everything wonderful about the Belmar area. For couples, solo adults and small families, the two-bedroom Blue Hydrangea Cottage rental in Belmar, New Jersey, is the perfect getaway place. The home sleeps up to four people and is consistently rated five stars for comfort, cleanliness, amenities, location, and homelike decor. See more photos at www.vacationinbelmar.com. Weekly summer rentals at the Jersey Shore. Rent directly from the owner and save.
Except where noted, all content and photos © copyright by Christine Cardellino, owner of www.vacationinbelmar.com and publisher of the award-winning Belmar Beachcomber Blog, a travel and tourism guide for the Belmar region of the Jersey Shore. Do not copy any content (including images) without our permission. All rights reserved.