Stay: The unpretentious Forum Motor Inn (609/399-8700 or theforuminocnj.com) offers large, clean, well-stocked rooms for much less than you’d pay a block away on the boardwalk. Rates range from $72 to $194 for double occupancy. To see available vacation rentals, visit oceancitynj.com.
Eat: Serving everything from scallops to grilled cheese, the Café Beach Club (609/398-7700 or beachclubhotel.com/restaurant.asp) is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with tables on the boardwalk. Everybody loves the saltwater taffy at Shriver’s (877/668-2339 or shrivers.com).
Shop: Leave the boys in the arcade while the girls visit Hello Dollies (609/399-2800 or hellodolliesdolls.com), a doll shop across from the Music Pier.
Local secret: Breakfast on homemade doughnuts at the open-air Oves restaurant (609/398-3712 or ovesrestaurant.com)—which also rents bikes for working off the calories.