BY LAURA D.C. KOLNOSKI • PHOTOS BY ROBERT NUZZIE

Dubbed “The Irish Riviera,” on Spring Lake’s boardwalk and business district, one can frequently hear lilting Emerald Isle accents. A more genteel seashore town with its rambling majestic mansions (during the “Gilded Age” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it became an alternative to Newport and Bar Harbor for NYC and Philly gentry), the borough also offers a downtown with a distinctly unique array of small shops featuring wares simply not found elsewhere. Locals say bold face names and A-listers, including Broadway stars, can be seen along Third Avenue in season, hidden from summer crowds flocking to flashier burbs along the Atlantic.

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Word to the wise: coolers are banned on borough beaches (which is why they line the non-commercial boardwalk), as are tents/canopies, and a beach badge is required from Memorial Day through Labor Day ($10 daily [purchased at huts on the boardwalk], $105 for full season). On the upside, outdoor public showers also grace the boards.

Things to do LET’S GO
DIVINE PARK
This 16 acre spring fed lake, for which the town is named, is surrounded by a park that provides a habitat for fish, birds (including waterfowl), turtles, plants, native trees, and small woodland animals. The charming footbridges demand photos, and the local historical society offers nature walks. An “Art in the Park” event is scheduled for Saturday, June 8. 801 W. Lake Dr., 732.449.4220, springlake.org

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SEWARD JOHNSON PUBLIC ART
A member of the Johnson & Johnson family, artist Seward Johnson, now 85, established Hamilton’s Grounds for Sculpture. A free outdoor exhibit of 16 of his life sized works is on display downtown through July 7. Self-guided tours begin at the library, 1501 3rd Ave. springlake.org

IRISH FESTIVAL
Enjoy live music including costumed bagpipers, Irish step dancing, food, activities, vendors, a wine and beer garden, and more entertaining enticements. An Irish Soda Bread Contest is part of the fun! Noon to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, June 15, events@springlake.org

GP SPREAD

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THE SPRING LAKE COMMUNITY HOUSE & THEATRE
Gifted to the town in 1923 by its builder/owner, a local businessman and state assemblyman, this Tudor style facility houses both the local library and a 360 seat theatre. Shrek the Musical will be performed in July. August’s performance is 42nd Street. 300 Madison Ave., 732.449.4530 (box office), springlaketheatre.com

Shop ‘TIL YOU DROP

APRIL CORNELL
Fashion for babies, girls, ladies, and home. 1108 3rd Ave., 732.359.6983, aprilcornell.com

ART AND HEART
An art gallery and spiritual center featuring exhibits, guest speakers, and guided meditation. 308 Morris Ave., 732.996.6490, artandheartllc.com

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BARE WIRES SURF SHOP
Surfboards, clothing, equipment, footwear, and accessories for kids through adults. 1307 3rd Ave., 732.359.7780, barewiresurfshop.com

CAMEL’S EYE
East Coast cool style for women since 1968. Clothes, shoes, accessories. 1223 3d Ave., 732.449.3636, camelseyespringlake.com

CHARLESTON SHOE CO.
Women’s footwear to take you from cobblestones to cocktails. 1111 3rd Ave., 732.449.SHOE (7463), springlakeshoes.com

DANDY CANINE
Boutique items, accessories, and services, including dog walking and pet sitting. 1111 3rd Ave., 732.449.8811, dandycanine.com

FINISHING TOUCHES
Custom window treatments, furniture, bedding, gifts, décor accessories, and interior decoration services. 1313 3rd Ave., 732.449.8686, Facebook

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HIVE
A stylish baby and children’s boutique with clothing, toys, décor, and more. 1203 3rd Ave., 732.359.6999, hive-baby-boutique.business.site

JEAN LOUISE HOMEMADE CANDIES
Family owned since 1947. Old school favorites, chocolates, specialties, and seashore standards like saltwater taffy. 1205 3rd Ave., 732.449.2627, jeanlouisecandies.com

JULI MEI
Beauty and fashion destination for discerning women. 1303 3rd Ave., 732.449.0021, julimei.com

KATE & COMPANY
Furniture and décor shop on a corner location. Gifts, accessories, and accents, too. 1100 3rd Ave., 732.449.1633, kateandcompanynj.com

SMITH’S FARM MARKET
The seasonal favorite from Wall is back until fall. Fresh produce and homemade specialties. 1308 3rd Ave., 732.449.1928, smithsfarmmarketnj.com

SPRING LAKE CUSTOM GOLF
Equipment, repairs, custom fittings, accessories, gifts, and more. 1221 3rd Ave., 732.449.1116, springlakecustomgolf.com

SPRING LAKE KIDS
Clothing and gifts for tiny trendsetters. 304 Morris Ave., 732.449.4477, Facebook

STYLE IN MOTION
Women’s active wear and apparel. 1209 3rd Ave., 732.455.3223, Facebook

SWEET PEA
A home furnishings boutique, interior design, window treatment, upholstery, and décor store. 1222 3rd Ave., 732.449.6999, sweetpeaspringlake.com

THE IRISH CENTRE
A cozy boutique offering all things Irish for 40 years. 1120 3rd Ave., 732.449.6650, irishcentre.net

THE SPOT BOUTIQUE & BELLA ACCESSORIES
Jersey Shore fashion featuring Pashmina scarves, bridal, designer brands, special occasion items, and accessories. 1226 3rd Ave., 732.974.0099, Facebook.

THIRD AVENUE CHOCOLATE SHOPPE
Candy maker Matt Magyar, crafting super sweets since, 1972, also offers summertime ice cream. Second location in Manasquan. 1118 3rd Ave., 732.449.7435, thirdavenuechocolateshoppe.com

VILLAGE TWEED
Fine clothing, sportswear, name brands, footwear, and accessories for men since 1977. 1213 3rd Ave., 732.449.2723, villagetweedinc.com

WATERLILY FASHIONS
Trend setting name brands in women’s clothing and accessories. Other locations in Bay Head and Manasquan. 1202 3rd Ave., 732.449.0912, waterlilyshop.com

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BARELLI’S BY THE SEA
Contemporary Italian cuisine in the Grand Victorian Hotel. Ocean view dining on the wraparound porch. Original location in Secaucus 1505 Ocean Ave., 732.769.5700, barelisbythesea.com

LARIMAR
A shore legend for fine gourmet dining by award winning chefs. 1311 3rd Ave., 732.359.6700, larimarrestaurant.com

ON THIRD CAFÉ
Fresh local ingredients make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a cheery casual atmosphere—by an able and affable owner and staff. Outdoor patio, catering. 1300 3rd Ave., 732.449.4233, onthirdcafe.com

SPRING LAKE MANOR
A restored 1901 estate for weddings and special catered events. 415 Rt. 71, 732.449.6630, springlakemanor.com

SPRING LAKE TAP HOUSE
Modern sports bar serving upscale tavern cuisine with two pour your own draft tables. 810 Rt. 71, 732.282.1530, springlaketaphouse.com

ST. STEPHEN’S GREEN PUBLICK HOUSE
Named after a park in Dublin, Ireland (a favorite of Sir Arthur Guinness), this authentic Irish bar serves a fresh, modern take on traditional cuisine. 2031 Rt. 71, 732.449.2626, ssgpub.com

TOM BAILEY’S MARKET
Specialty and gourmet items, butcher shop, gift baskets, indoor and outdoor seating, and catering. 1323 3rd Ave., 732.282.0920, tombaileysmarket.com

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Lights Out WHERE TO STAY
DOOLAN’S SHORE CLUB
Many a memorable special event has been enjoyed at legendary Doolan’s, a banquet facility, restaurant, and inn (with an outdoor pool) one mile from the beach. Live entertainment, including doo wop and Irish tunes. Good times! 700 Rt. 71, 732.449.3666, doolanshoreclub.com

HEWITT WELLINGTON HOTEL
On the lake at Divine Park, the Hewitt Wellington is an historic turn of the 20th century boutique property offering rooms with lake and pool views. 200 Monmouth Ave., 732.974.1212, thehewittwellington.com

NORMANDY INN BED & BREAKFAST
Built in 1889 and open all year. A variety of period decorated rooms and suites is complemented by a dining room and conference facilities. It’s also a wedding and special events venue—one block from the beach. 21 Tuttle Ave., 732.449.7172, normandyinn.com

OCEAN HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST HOTEL
Award winning for its beauty, and recipient of Trip Advisor Certificates of Excellence (2011 through 2017), this 1878 Italianate style pink palace offers a full breakfast, afternoon refreshments, special events, and more. 102 Sussex Ave., 732.449.9090, theoceanhouse.net

SPRING LAKE INN BED & BREAKFAST HOTEL
European style hospitality, an 80 foot Victorian porch, and modern amenities distinguish this vacation experience. Built circa 1888, it was originally a stagecoach stop. 104 Salem Ave., 732.449.2010, springlakeinn.com

THE BREAKERS
The three star oceanfront classic is home to Verandas Northern Italian restaurant, and is the site of many memorable wedding and parties. The Piano Lounge is a popular draw in season. Outdoor pool. 1507 Ocean Ave., 732.449.7700, breakershotel.com

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THE CHATEAU INN & SUITES
Charm, elegance, and well-appointed inside and out, this boutique hotel sits across from Divine Park and its scenic lake. Amenities and modern touches abound, as do lush floral plantings on the grounds. 500 Warren Ave., 732.974.2000, chateauinn.com

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