FREEHOLD, NJ – It’s not just the beautiful beaches that make Monmouth County a summer hot spot, it’s the abundance of activities and entertainment. From world-class shopping and dining to concerts, festivals, theater, car shows, history and art shows, Monmouth County offers something for everyone.

Festivals and outdoor events fill the June calendar from beginning to end. The best way to keep up with all of the tourism activities is by “liking” Monmouth County Tourism on Facebook and receiving daily Twitter updates.

Or, you can visit the county tourism’s Calendar of Events for the most comprehensive list of summer entertainment. Find it by clicking on the Tourism icon at www.visitmonmouth.com. The calendar is updated nearly every day, so it’s the best source for current information. You may call 800-523-2587 and ask to have a packet of information mailed to you, or stop by 1 E. Main St., Freehold, to browse the extensive literature between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

There’s no need to travel far for summer fun with the June schedule. It all starts Friday, June 1, with Red Bank’s Riverfest in Marine Park, featuring great food and live music all weekend.  Closer to the beach, the Ocean Grove Giant Flea market is June 2 on Ocean Pathway. The historic town’s famous Great Auditorium will also feature the B-Street Band on June 23 and ShaNaNa on June 30. 

The Jersey Shore Partnership is celebrating its start of the summer party on June 4 at Fort Hancock, Sandy Hook.  An exceptional evening is planned with specialty food, great music and a gorgeous view.

The following weekend, get your appetite ready for Belmar’s 26th Annual Seafood Festival June 8, 9 and 10.  Come out to Silver Lake Park to enjoy samplings of some of the finest seafood the state has to offer. Be sure to stop by the Monmouth County table and pick up county information and sign up to receive the county’s newsletter by email.

The Irish Festival, at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport on June 10, is always a fun event with live music, food and heritage. Maybe the luck of the Irish will even help you win a race! 

First Saturday Night in Asbury Park is June 2, where you can enjoy sidewalk sales and great dining.  The Red Bank Food & Wine Walk is in restaurants throughout town on June 10 and 24.

There is no shortage of events for car lovers.  June 9 is the Ocean Grove Vintage Car Show on Main Avenue and the Atlantic Highlands Classic Car Show on First Avenue.

On June 17, Long Branch presents its 18th annual Cruise to the Jersey Shore, where customs, hotrods, classics and collectibles all gather on the Oceanfront Promenade. If cars do not excite you, the Cruise is still a fun event to attend with live music, food and vendors.

Also in Long Branch is Thursdays by the Sea on June 14, 21 and 28 in Festival Plaza, as well as Blues on the Beach on June 10 in West End Park, where local acts get a chance to shine.

There is Art in the Park at Divine Park in Spring Lake on June 16; the Pro Am Skim Bash on the Sea Bright oceanfront on June 23 and 24; flea larkets in Allaire Village and Dorbrook Recreation Area on June 23 and concerts in the park in Belmar and Bradley beach every weekend throughout the summer.

The Wall Township Fair is at the Wall Municipal Complex, running from June 28 through July 1.  Enjoy traditional fair favorites such as food, rides, crafts and games, as well as some not-so-traditional ones such as a skydiving show, softball and Wiffle Ball tournaments and a helicopter landing.  The Asbury Park Jazz Festival comes to Bradley Park on June 30, attracting jazz enthusiasts near and far.

Looking to take a break from the summer heat? No problem. The list of indoor theater and concerts is extensive.  For example, visit the Center Playhouse in Freehold to see the heartwarming play, “Tuesdays With Morrie,” running from June 1 to 17.  The Two River Theatre in Red Bank has “My Wonderful Day” on June 2 and 3, and the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal will present “42nd Street” on June 27 and 28. The famous Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank has a musical act for all ages and genres, including smash hit artists such as Steve Miller Band, Hot Tuna and Crosby Stills & Nash.

For a taste of history, stop by the Spring Lake Historic House tour on June 7, celebrate King George III’s Birthday on June 2 at Marlpit Hall or relive Maria Allaire’s wedding followed by a garden party on June 10 at Historic Allaire Village in Wall. 

This is just a sample of what summer 2012 in Monmouth County has to offer. To find out what else is happening this summer, simply click on the Calendar of Events at www.visitmonmouth.com.