Asbury Park is a city in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States, located on the Jersey Shore and part of the New York City Metropolitan Area.
As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 16,116, reflecting a decline of 814 (−4.8%) from the 16,930 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 131 (+0.8%) from the 16,799 counted in the 1990 Census.
It was ranked the sixth-best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium.
Asbury Park was originally incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 26, 1874, from portions of Ocean Township. The borough was reincorporated on February 28, 1893. Asbury Park was incorporated as a city, its current type of government, as of March 25, 1897.
A seaside community, Asbury Park is located on New Jersey's central coast. Developed in 1871 as a residential resort by New York brush manufacturer James A. Bradley, the city was named for Francis Asbury, the first American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. The founding of Ocean Grove in 1869, a Methodist camp meeting to the south, encouraged the development of Asbury Park and led to its being a "dry town."
Bradley was active in the development of much of the city's infrastructure, and despite his preference for gas light, he allowed the Atlantic Coast Electric Company (precursor to today's Jersey Central Power & Light Co.) to offer electric service. Along the waterfront Bradley installed the Asbury Park Boardwalk, an orchestra pavilion, public changing rooms and a pier at the south end of that boardwalk. Such success attracted other businessmen. In 1888, Ernest Schnitzler built the Palace Merry-Go-Round on the southwest corner of Lake Avenue and Kingsley Street, the cornerstone of what would become the Palace Amusements complex; other attractions followed. During these early decades in Asbury Park, a number of grand hotels were built, including the Plaza Hotel.