Last Updated on September 25, 2023
Family vacations offer wonderful opportunities to create lasting memories. These experiences, however, can also create conflicts when dealing with different age groups and interests. It can be particularly difficult to plan vacations with teenagers, for example, who have their own ideas about fun and entertainment.
Recently, a close friend of mine was looking to share a special weekend with her three teens on the New Jersey shore. The coastal communities along the shore are extremely popular with New Yorkers looking to escape the heat of summer.
Marriott Fairway Villas
The Marriott Vacation Club is a vacation ownership property with vacation rentals around the world. Currently, there is only one of these properties close to the Jersey shore; this was the property my friend decided on for a three-night stay: the Marriott Fairway Villas in Galloway, New Jersey.
Located two-and-a-half hours by car from New York City, Galloway is a quiet, family-friendly town close to the popular beaches of Atlantic City and Brigantine. A home-away-from home, the Marriott Fairway Villas provides rest and relaxation along with a variety of fun-filled activities.
Situated in a natural, woodland setting, this fully-furnished property with 270 units features two-bedroom, two-bath accommodations with a complete kitchen. Along with modern kitchen appliances, each unit includes a washer and dryer, cable television, and Wi-Fi.
Enjoy the picturesque countryside while sipping cocktails or morning coffee on your own private balcony. The young travelers with us were delighted from the start and eager to explore the resort.
Fun Resort Activities
A resort for all seasons, Marriott Fairway Villas’ activities include adult and children’s pools, a hot tub, playground, a bocce court, and a nearby 18-hole golf course. The property also offers a billiards and game room, and a full fitness center.
Marriott staff strive to please guests with daily bingo, ice cream socials, and craft events. It wasn’t long after arriving before we heard a gleeful group calling out, “Bingo!” Adults can also enjoy wine tasting events during their stay and mingle with other vacation rental guests.
The resort has a seasonal cafe, Mulligan’s Grill, serving lite fare such as burgers, hot dogs, and salads, along with your favorite beverages. It is a cashless resort so no need to worry about carrying cash.
If you’re looking to dine out, McGettigan’s 19th Hole is a short walk from the resort. This Irish pub offers a complete menu including burgers, chicken wings, steak, and your favorite libations. Our young travelers gave this restaurant a “thumbs up” for its generous portions and crispy French fries.
Perhaps you’d prefer some Italian specialties? If so, we recommend Vincenzo’s Ristorante and Pizzeria. A short drive from Fairway Villas, Vincenzo’s offers a wide selection of meal choices ranging from pizza to frutti di mare (a seafood dish).
The Town of Smithville
While your stay at Marriott Fairway Villas offers lots of fun and activities, one shouldn’t miss the chance to visit other fascinating attractions in the area.
The historic village of Smithville is just a ten-minute drive from the resort. Smithville dates to Revolutionary times and was originally a stagecoach stop. Nowadays, it is a quaint shopping village with over 50 locally-owned businesses. It also has a game arcade, carousel, and a train ride around the perimeter of the village.
The Peanut Butter Company is a must-try during your visit. It offers a wide variety of peanut butter treats, such as Reese’s peanut butter cookies. After all, who doesn’t love peanut butter?
Long Beach Island and South Haven
Looking to venture out a bit further? A 30-minute drive to the north takes you to the barrier island of Long Beach Island, commonly known as LBI. After crossing the Dorland J. Henderson Memorial Bridge, known as the “Causeway,” you arrive mid-island in the area known as Ship Bottom.
Head north on LBI and you arrive at the Barnegat Lighthouse. Walk the 217 steps to the top for a breathtaking view of the New Jersey coastline.
If you’re looking for kid friendly activities, head south to Beach Haven where kids of all ages can enjoy water slides, amusement rides, games, miniature golf, and souvenir shopping. You also won’t be able to resist watching the waves as they constantly roll into shore.
Off to Atlantic City
A quick 20-minute drive from the Marriott Fairway Villas will take you to buzzing Atlantic City. While Atlantic City is famous for its casinos and Miss America pageants, there is much more to see and do there.
Once a place where only the rich and famous vacationed, you can stroll four miles of boardwalk and indulge in good old-fashioned saltwater taffy or candied apples. There is also a hop-on hop-off tram accessible for a nominal fee.
If you’re feeling nostalgic, consider a ride on the rolling chairs. The Steel Pier has a number of amusement rides and games that will excite younger guests. Also, an enclosed water park, Island Waterpark, opened in summer 2023 in the former Showboat Casino, in case you get a rainy day.
A stay at Marriott Fairway Villas was the right fit for a multigenerational getaway. Lovely comfortable accommodations and exciting day trips left all of us wishing the vacation would never end.