April 18, 2017 | Active Adult Travelogue

Be inspired to live every day with hope, confidence, and joy at Lennar at Lake Ridge.

Active adult residents (55+) of Lake Ridge enjoy exciting outlets of energized entertainment and activity at the nearby beaches and metropolises –  Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and New York; and, they appreciate the state of rest and relaxation waiting for them upon return to the quiet suburban community of Whiting on the west side of Manchester Township.

Nestled within the New Jersey Pinelands, Lake Ridge appreciates the new-found tranquility inspired by the beautiful, serene backdrop of ancient, heaven-reaching timbers. Atlantic white cedars, black oaks, gray birches – there are twenty-counted tree species native to this National Reserve – charitably paint the landscape with a myriad of colors at the break of autumn; indeed, it looks as though the sun lipped their leafy heads – a fiery flurry of sun-dropped kisses. Then, in the springtime, and more-so in the summer, these natural giants brandish youthful caps of vibrant green and dutifully shelter a delightful array of rare and endangered orchids and wildflowers along the forest floor. Hidden brooks to the northwest of Lake Ridge babble careless whispers lapped up by assorted wildlife – beavers, porcupines, gray foxes, river otters, and the rare bobcat or black bear – and often carry a diverse assembly of fish, including sunfish, perch, and pickerel.

Most of New Jersey has a moderate climate, with warm, humid summers and relatively cold winters. Favorable winds off the Atlantic Sea roll inland 40 miles and combat solar radiation released by the porous sandy soils of the Pinelands to generate heavy thunderstorms that drop an annual 45 inches of rain on the dry woodland landscape. These coastal breezes tip the fluctuating seasonal temperatures by cooling regions in the spring- and summertime, and then draping a blanket of warmth over the territory in autumn. When winter lays its cold hand in December, it graces Manchester residents’ homes and surrounding communities with 18 inches of snow, inviting active adults with grandkids to build snowmen, sleigh in the park, and engage in epic snowball fights.

Manchester Township proudly boasts that it is “Ocean County’s best kept secret” due to its central location to several major city and coastal hot spots that host a rich assortment of recreational activities, educational attractions, and culinary refinements. Atlantic City – a 53-mile drive south on County Rd 539 S – is the entertainment capital of New Jersey, bursting with opportunities to satisfy your day- and nightlife cravings for fun and excitement. Visit the Atlantic City Boardwalk – the longest boardwalk in the world, stretching 5.5 miles – to access lively casinos, unique shopping venues, unusual exhibitions at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, and cultural extravaganzas interchanged with musical performances at the Kennedy Plaza amphitheater, where attendance is most often free. Across from the Plaza, you can watch the next Miss America Pageant at Boardwalk Hall, an acclaimed concert hall by Billboard magazine for hosting legendary artists such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Elton John; the Hall also puts on several theatric and sport entertainments. Unwind and relax at a luxury spa resort, such as the Immersion Spa at the Water Club at Borgata Casino, where you will be pampered to refreshing and exotic techniques of skin care and body therapy, while surrounded by pleasant 360-degree, floor-to-ceiling water views. Witness the spectacular flybys and aerial-acrobatic maneuvers of the most experienced military and civilian pilots in the nation at the Atlantic City Airshow in June, and enjoy multi-course meals at featured restaurants for fixed prices of $15.17 (lunch) and $35.17 (dinner) during the 6-day Atlantic City Restaurant Week, held in March.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – a 48.3-mile venture west on NJ-70 W – holds out a hand to seekers of history; “the birthplace of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, as it knows itself, Philadelphia offers up a treasure of historical landmarks, mixed in with several ethnic and artistic wonders. Tour Historic Philadelphia, which comprises Independence National Historical Park, home of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall; the Historic District contains over 20 historically-significant sights and attractions, from the President’s House, where George Washington and John Adams lived during their presidential terms, to the Benjamin Franklin Museum, to the Declaration (Graff) House, the inner walls of which saw Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. Admire the beautiful, one-of-a-kind mosaics of Isaiah Zagar at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, located in the South Street District – the premier shopping destination in Philadelphia, where you can peruse over 400 businesses that market modern and vintage fashion, records, comic books, antiques, and so much more. Experience a most-welcome assault on your senses, as you walk South 9th Street Italian Market; smell the union of pleasant aromas – spices, ground coffee, chocolate – intermingled with a symphony of crackles, crunches, and sizzles amidst a blend of international dialects when you shop America’s oldest outdoor market.

New York City – a 78.9-mile travel northeast on I-95 N – overwhelms sightseers with a plethora of cultural enticements. Appreciate more than 2 million masterpieces at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that collectively span 5,000 years of global history, and wonder at the 45 exhibition halls of the American Museum of Natural History – the world’s largest natural history museum – that display over 30 million artifacts from earth and space. Venture to the top of the Empire State Building for the best view of the city, and be awed at the grandeur of the Statue of Liberty. Treat your eyes to a bedazzlement of lights at Times Square, a lively stretch of commercial enterprise and sorted entertainment that spans 7th and 8th Avenue from 40th to 53rd street. Amongst dozens of top-brand retailer shops, you can marvel at spectacular theatrical performances put on by more than a dozen Broadway theaters; gaze at the amazingly life-like 200+ wax figures of Madame Tussauds wax museum; and observe rare, large-scale exhibitions at Discovery Times Square that run for a limited time to educate visitors about the fascination and gravity of ancient cultures, artistic revolutionaries, religious relics, and modern film entertainment’s achievements. Times Square can keep you excitedly busy all day and night; therefore, treat yourself to fine dining experiences and exceptional eats on Restaurant Row, between 8th and 9th Avenue, to fend off sidetracking hunger pains. With over 30 restaurants that produce a satisfactory mix of cuisine from around the world, you and your party will delight in dishes of French, Asian, Middle Eastern, and other flavorsome influences; better still, you will eagerly return to this avenue, steeped in a century’s worth of culinary history, to savor the delicacies you missed the first, second, or fifth time you visited.

Beach-lovers will find a trove of fun-filled attractions along the coastlines of Jersey Shore, with most coastal towns conveniently less than 50 minutes away. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk at Point Pleasant Beach entertains guests with carnival rides, arcades, batting cages, a mini golf course, and the Jenkinson’s Aquarium, which educates and promotes a public awareness on the conservation of marine life. Live music concerts and dance-filled evenings are promised at Jenks Club, and you can savor oceanfront dining experiences at the Jenks Pavilion restaurant and sushi bar. Treat your sweet tooth at the Medleys Ice Cream Parlour in Seaside Heights, where you will be entertained by a vaudeville style cabaret, featuring upbeat American tunes sung by the Parlour’s performers, who may happily include you in the show; after a long day at Seaside Heights beach, a cool ice cream sundae is the perfect way to unwind. Enjoy a delightful dining cruise on The River Lady, an authentic replica vessel of a 19th century Mississippi paddle wheel riverboat that sets course along the Toms River and Barnegat Bay, offering up splendid views of enchanting gardens and hillsides, as you and your date tantalize your taste buds with gourmet meals and dance the evening away on the open-air floor.

Besides its ideal proximity to big-city and coastal magnetisms, Manchester Township prides itself for being close to several upcountry, outdoor recreational attractions. The New Jersey Pinelands span 1.1 million acres, enclosing state forests, wetlands, farms, and historic hamlets rich in folklore; indeed, the Pinelands are painted with legends of ghosts and monsters, the most notorious being the Jersey Devil. Adventurous souls can venture the trails of the Pinelands and visit old ruins of colonists from times past; canoe or kayak the Batsto and Mullica Rivers or Atsion Lake; go bicycling or horseback riding; and camp under the stars at one of the many designated campgrounds. From May to October, Hallock’s U-Pick Farm – 11 miles northwest – welcomes visitors to handpick over 35 different seasonally-fresh produce on the 269-acre property, and the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve – 45.1 miles northwest – hosts a delightful maple sugaring brunch and hike in early March, serving guests delicious pancakes topped with homemade maple syrup that was tapped from trees on the Reserve, and afterward a professional naturalist shows visitors the maple trees and evaporation station to educate on the maple sugaring process.

The Central-South Jersey region presents golfers with a series of professionally-designed courses that equally challenge and develop their skill sets, be they pros or novices. The Pine Barrens Golf Club – 8.8 miles northeast – in Jackson is a premier private golf club that sits upon an award-winning 420-acre Championship course. Settled within the Pinelands, this 18-hole, par 72 course is beautifully secluded and strategically designed using the woodland’s natural elements of porous sands, local vegetation, and tightly-gathered pine trees. The clubhouse models an early American log cabin, with exposed cedar timbers and a great stone fireplace, giving the interior a warm ambiance, as club members and their guests wine and dine at the club restaurant.

Lennar at Lake Ridge is designed to support a well-rounded lifestyle, giving its residents easy access to resort-style, in-community amenities and inspiring social circles. The grand 8,000-square-foot clubhouse treats tenants to a fitness center, heated outdoor pool, card room, craft room, billiard room, library, and grand ballroom, all to enliven one’s weekly routine and encourage socialization with fellow neighbors by way of fun extracurricular activities. Additional recreational features include lighted tennis and bocce ball courts to accommodate evening games, and the community’s quiet streets encourage joggers and bicyclists to train at any hour. Residents can join one of the many community clubs Lake Ridge hosts, such as the Mahjong Club, Da Vinci Social Club, or Singles Club – there are so many to choose from, to forge new friendships and relations over similar interests. Furthermore, to assist denizens with active enterprises outside the community, Lake Ridge’s onsite lifestyle coordinator organizes day trips to Atlantic City, Philadelphia, New York City, and several of the Jersey Shore resorts.

The homes of Lake Ridge favor a traditional ranch style, open-concept design, where the available floorplans – Palm Springs (1,428 square feet), Merion (1,933 square feet), Saratoga (1,846 square feet), and Montauk (1,728 square feet) – provide a seamless flow through the home, from one room to the next, with a focus on space and flexibility. Each one-story floorplan has a two-bedroom, two-bathroom layout – one master and one guest, in addition to a spacious kitchen that opens into a large family room, creating an open channel of communication between guests and the potential culinary artist at work. The formal dining room of the Palm Springs and Merion admits warm-hearted gatherings over delicious spreads, while the optional sunroom and screened porch of the Saratoga and Montauk afford quiet, well-lit spaces for reading, conversing, and/or appreciating nature. An optional second-floor layout, available with the Palm Springs and Merion floorplans, can be left as an unfinished flex-space, allowing your home to readily accommodate your lifestyle, should you ever desire a study, in-home gym, or storage area; or, it can showcase a third bedroom and bath, plus a small flex-space. Elective design treatments – raised ceilings, stone fireplaces, box bay windows – and integrated floor-to-ceiling luxury features and add-on amenities, such as granite countertops, stainless steel GE® appliances, and a two-car garage, enhance the appeal and satisfaction Lake Ridge residents feel with their new homes.

Lennar at Lake Ridge combines the serenity of the Pinelands with the accessibility of fun, exciting locales to provide active adult residents with a wholesome, even satisfied, style of living. The canvas of your retirement should be washed over with colorful memories of dynamic adventures; occasionally splashed with moments of relaxation and rejuvenation; and polished with no regrets. Submerge yourself in new experiences and day-to-day thrills when you dive into life at Lake Ridge!

Additional Sources:

Explore Atlantic City – Entertainment Capital of the Jersey Shore

Visit Philadelphia – Official Visitor and Travel Site

Things to do in New York City

Things to Do at the Jersey Shore, New Jersey by USA Today

Top 50 Jersey Shore Attractions

Monmouth and Ocean Counties Top 20 Attractions (2015)

New Jersey Golf Courses – Recognized by the PGA

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