Down The Shore
THE JERSEY SHORE OFFERS SAND, SURF & FUN FOR VISITORS
WORLDWIDE, AND BUCKS COUNTIANS ARE GOING DOWN THE SHORE ON VACATIONS TO STAY IN BEACH HOUSE RETREATS, HOTELS, B&BS AND THEIR OWN SUMMER HOMESBy Bob Waite
There were five words that my father would say on a warm Saturday morning that would always make me smile— “We’re going down the shore!” My mother would be wearing her straw beach hat and carrying bags that had towels, suntan lotion, sandals, paper cups, various items of clothing and a pair of sunglasses. We would carry our own buckets, shovels, balls and other beach toys. My father would bring a cooler with ice, sandwiches and treats, and he would bring water, Kool-Aid and a thermos of coffee. We would help load the trunk with folded beach chairs and blankets. And off we
would go—to Beach Haven, Seaside, Point Pleasant, Wildwood, Ocean City or where my grandmother lived—Asbury Park.
What is “down the shore?” The coastline of New Jersey is 141 miles from Perth Amboy to the southern tip of Cape May, and beaches cover 130 miles of the New Jersey Coast —from Sandy Hook to Cape May. It is those beaches and towns on the Atlantic and across the bay that are called the Jersey Shore. It is what makes the appellation “down-the-shore” mean no other place.
And there is no other place like the Jersey Shore. That’s why Bucks Countians travel, stay and play
there. In fact, people from Bucks County are among the many travelers from all over the world that visit the Jersey Shore every year. Many own summer homes and cabins while others stay for short getaways in hotels, resort hotels and rented beach house retreats. Some vacation there every year and others simply go for daytrips.
Down the shore you can stand on a beach early in the morning and see the sun come out of the Atlantic gradually lighting the blue ocean as it brings jetties out of the shadows. And if you stay long enough, the sun will be shining in full force bringing its devotees out with their body boards, beach chairs, blankets and umbrellas. If you turn from the ocean, you will see the boardwalk or large, beautiful beach houses with gardens full of flowers. And if you venture off the beach, past the boardwalk and beach houses, you will more than likely be on
the main street of a New Jersey beach town. There you will see stores for souvenirs, beach supplies, fishing equipment, art, hi-end clothing, little breakfast nooks and fine restaurants. And if you are where the island is narrow, you can look down side streets and see the marinas on the bay.
Down the shore you can walk on the boardwalk at night and ride a beautifully lit up Ferris wheel or sit by and have a slice of pizza or a foot-long hot dog. You can smile as you see children begging their parents to go on a ride or buy them a hermit crab. On the boardwalk you can eat, people watch, shop, be pushed in a rolling chair, stop in a beach bar for a cocktail or a beer or you can simply walk and listen to the sound of the sea.
The thing that makes this 130 mile stretch of the New Jersey beaches so special is the diversity you will find as you visit different towns and beaches.
The beaches have different kinds of sand, ranging from very fine and white to coarse and beige. Some towns have boardwalks and others do not. Some boardwalks are packed with amusements, while others offer a quiet walk by the beach. Some of the streets are lined with night clubs and brand name stores, while others are lined with gorgeous summer homes.
BEACH TOWNS SOUTH TO NORTH—A SAMPLING
Cape May suffered two devastating fires in in 1869 and 1878, which burned much of the city. The replacement homes were all built in the Victorian style, which has become the trademark style of the city. Many of these Victorian homes were converted into bed & breakfasts.
Victorian B&Bs at Cape May are upscale accommodations that are generally open year-round. These colorful remnants of an older more refined era offer romantic getaways for couples, havens for people living a fast-paced life and are perfect spots to celebrate an anniversary.
Cape May has a two-mile promenade, which once was a boardwalk but a storm in 1962 destroyed it and now it is paved. The promenade runs parallel to the beach and offers fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean. There are a few arcades, candy shops and ice cream stands on this picturesque walkway. Shopping and dining in Cape May attracts visitors’
year-long. Restaurants range from hot dog stands to world-class oceanfront dining. On the beaches at Cape May you can swim, skim board, surf, fish, play volleyball, have a picnic and build sandcastles.
Stone Harbor with its clapboard storefronts in muted pastel shades quietly says you are at the South Jersey shore. It shares an island and 7-mile beach with the town of Avalon. Stone Harbor is quiet and the lifeguard protected beaches are not crowded, and the
sand is white and clean. In fact its sandy beaches and gentle surf keeps loyal visitors coming back year after year. Water activities include surfing, kayaking and sailing. Stone Harbor beaches are also great spots for weddings, some hosted by The Reeds at Shelter Haven, a boutique hotel and spa on 3rd Ave. Stone Harbor is also known for its fine restaurants, an outstanding shopping district that has a relaxed atmosphere. Places to visit include the Wetlands Institute and The Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary, which has the only heronry sponsored by a municipality in the United States.
Niche reports, “Stone Harbor is in
From Spring Lake to Cape May the Jersey Shore is 141 mile-long coastline filled with amazing sandy beaches, boardwalks and quaint towns offering great places to visit and stay as well as some the best real estate with great views of the bay and ocean front.
If you’re up early you can see a parade of bikes on the boardwalk in Ocean City where they allow bike riding between 5am and 12 noon between June 16th and September 4th.
Cape May County and is one of the best places to live in New Jersey. Living in Stone Harbor offers residents a sparse suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Stone Harbor there are a lot of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops.”
The affluent town of Avalon offers a unique charm that you won't find anywhere else.
Avalon has been a popular vacation destination for beach lovers everywhere. It is located on a 7-Mile Beach and it shares the island with Stone Harbor. The white fluffy sand of its beaches, make real estate by the ocean highly coveted. Between the Avalon and Stone harbor are some of the most beautiful and palatial beach homes in New Jersey.
Activities on Avalon include boating, sailing, wave running, kayaking, paddle boarding, water skiing, wakeboarding, fishing, surfing and swimming in the ocean and back bays. Both shopping and
nightlife can be found on the island. There are more than 30 restaurants in Avalon to choose from and there are many nighttime hot spots, from acoustic singers to popular bands, places to dance the night away and smaller venues to sit and chat with friends.
Not too far north of Cape May are the Wildwoods, that include the city of Wildwood, North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. The Wildwoods, share a beach that runs the length of the fivemile island. Wildwood has a boardwalk that according to Wildwoodnj.com has “... 38 blocks packed end to end with shops, waterparks, eateries, entertainment and amusement piers with over 100 rides and attractions.” And there are three amusement piers and three wet ‘n wild waterparks.
Wildwood, sometimes referred to as the doo wop capital of America became nationally known when teenage idol Bobby Rydell recoded Wildwood Days in
1963. In Wildwood is a mural of Bobby Rydell and plans are in the works to for a statue to honor his contribution to this seaside city. Wildwood Days is played on boardwalk speakers several times, just about every day.
Sea Isle City
Sea Isle City has five miles of beaches that are picturesque, well-maintained and among the highest-rated in the Garden State. It also has a promenade that is ideal for bicycling, jogging or simply strolling along with a loved one. In addition to offering breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Promenade also features gift shops, eateries, arcades and boutiques. Sea Isle hosts one of the largest Polar Bear Plunges on the East Coast. Thousands of residents and visitors come back each February for a weekend of fun family events that includes a parade, a walk and run, a block party and a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. Sea Isle is also known for its
outdoor activities that include fishing, sailing, surfing and paddling.
Ocean City is often called America's Greatest Family Resort. Ocean City is proud of “... eight miles of pristine beaches, more than two miles of exciting boardwalk and its wholesome family atmosphere.” It is located at the northern part of Cape May County and is not far from Atlantic City. It’s beaches are clean and the boardwalk was named Best in New Jersey by NJ Monthly Magazine in 2022. It is also a dry beach—meaning that alcoholic beverages cannot be sold there, but right across the bridge, on the mainland are plenty of liquor stores bars, and restaurants.
Atlantic City’s four-mile boardwalk is the longest in New Jersey and one of the most exciting. The sweet aroma of boardwalk food, the stores, the hawkers, the casinos, the jitneys moving down the middle of the boardwalk, the rolling chairs being pushed by entrepreneurial operators, and the casinos make the boardwalk an exciting experience.
Nightlife is king in Atlantic City with its ten casinos, each having their own venues for concerts and comedic performances. There are clubs galore. Tropicana, for example has six nightclubs and several bars. Then, of course, there is gambling all night every night. Restaurants are plentiful and include boardwalk cafes, causal, family friendly, fine dining. Salt Water Taffy was invented in Atlantic City and can be bought in candy and ice cream stores on the boardwalk.
The City of Brigantine was recently featured on Travelmag.com as one of “The 12 Most Charming Small Towns in New Jersey.” It is also one of the few places in
“Hop on the tiki for a back bay cruise - morning, day, or night! You can relax with friends and family while listening to music, enjoying your favorite drinks, and surrounding yourself with breathtaking views. Make it a date night - a cruise for two! Or join us for a bachelorette or bachelor party. We offer it all at Cruisin’ Tikis.”
A Bradley Beach Real Estate Agency
Katora Realty is a boutique agency located in the heart of Bradley Beach on the Jersey Shore! Our goal is to make your home buying and selling process as streamlined as possible. With over 20 years of real estate experience, it is our pleasure to serve you.
We are a full service real estate agency. If you’re looking to buy, sell, or rent along the Jersey Shore, our team can help you! Your satisfaction is our top priority.
CONTACT KATORA YIM, OWNER AT 732-693-4545 OR KATORA@KATORAREALTY.COM
New Jersey where you can enjoy a genuine all natural beach. It bills itself on Brigantinebeachguide.com as “... one of the most peaceful cities in south New Jersey, Brigantine is the ideal place for anyone looking to get away from the stresses of daily life. With miles of pristine coastline, soft white sands, and an active and friendly local community, you’ll never run out of things to do in Brigantine, NJ.”
Boating is popular in Brigantine and you are invited to cruise around the waters or fish and crab or just float along and chill. For visitors there several fishing boat charters available across the island.
Long Beach Island
Long Beach Island is 18 miles long and has 22 towns, if you include those which are a part of Long Beach Island Township.
We have a wealth of experience in the vacation rental market and have been helping families with their Cape May vacations for years now. We will help you find that perfect home near the water, in town or beach front. Let us find quickly find your perfect getaway within your budget.
Your Cape May Experts!
The municipalities at LBI are Barnegat Light, Beach Haven, Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Island Township, Ship Bottom and Surf City. Long Beach Island has many summer homes, cabins and cottages and people come to visit all its towns. It is one of New Jersey’s favorite resort towns.
All the towns on this island have beautiful, well-kept beaches. The Barnegat Lighthouse in Barnegat Light, at the northern tip of the island has a museum and the lighthouse itself is open to visitors who have enough wind to climb the swirling staircase to the top. Once at the top, though, the climber is rewarded with a beautiful view of the island, ocean and bay.
At the southern end of the island is Beach Haven and according to Niche is “... one of the best places to live in New Jersey. Living in Beach Haven offers residents a sparse suburban feel and most residents own their homes ...”
For visitors, Beach Haven has great beaches for swimming and other water-
sports. It is not only a great town to live in but also a great place for a family vacation. For the kids there is Fantasy Island Amusement Park which has 18 rides, games, an arcade, food, a classic carousel, and private parties. Thundering Surf Waterpark in Beach Haven is the longest continually operating waterpark in the world.
On the mainland, Forked River is considered a great place to retire. Niche states, “Living in Forked River offers residents a rural feel and most residents own their homes. Many retirees live in Forked River.” There are several retirement communities in Forked River and its advantages are its proximity to the Ocean County beaches and it friendly residents.
Jersey’s most popular tourist attractions. Food is everywhere in breakfast cafes, pizza stands, bars and grills, candy stores, ice cream stands, and other venues—selling cheese steaks, hot dogs, sausage sandwiches, foot-long hot dogs, cotton candy, salt water taffy, and everything you would expect to find on an amusement oriented boardwalk. And there are rides, amusements, massage studios, jewelry stores, arcades and fun—the boardwalk is always jumping. It is aways full of people having a good time. During the day, laying on a beach for a couple of hours in the piercing sun, the boardwalk is a short walk to grab water or another hydrating drink.
“Jersey Shore,” a reality tv show that ran on MTV followed the lives of eight housemates at a vacation home in Seaside Heights. And besides the controversy about the cast not really living in Seaside, the show was big success and ran for six seasons, four of them at Seaside Heights.
Point Pleasant Beach
Point Pleasant is a favorite beach town for families and is very child friendly, with rides, arcades, Jenkinson’s Aquarium, a sweet shop and lots of food on the boardwalk—perhaps the largest sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions. The beach itself is clean and the ocean is delightfully blue. Jetties jut into the water and are fun to walk on but getting too close to the edge, can be dangerous. People fish off the jetties and there are ample opportunities get a charter boat fish on a party boat.
Point Pleasant Beach has a thriving art scene and is known for fine restaurants specializing in seafood. The so-called Frank Sinatra house that used to play Frank Sinatra music to passersby on the boardwalk is up for sale, so it is not known whether it will be playing the Chairman of the Board’s songs this season. Have to wait
Spring Lake, often referred as “the jewel of the Jersey Shore.” became a getaway for New York and Philadelphia high society during the gilded age of the late 19th and early 20th century, and it still maintains its elegance. The boardwalk in Spring Lake is totally non-commercial, and in fact, it is the longest of its kind at the New Jersey Shore. The bed & breakfasts, stately inns and homes still speak to the elegance of another age.
Spring Lake is also known for fine and casual dining, cozy cafes, coffee, and delicious bakeries. Shopping can keep you occupied by visiting boutiques, jewelry stores, candy stores, a bookstore and art galleries. VisitSpringLake.com states, “Downtown is a short tree-lined walk from continued on page 113
With quality food, professional service, and a beautiful dining setting, Captain’s Inn Restaurant offers the best dining experience in Forked River. We are rated one of New Jersey's Top 25 waterfront restaurants, and we know that you will love every moment of your unique dining experience at Captain's Inn Restaurant.
304 E. Lacey Rd. | Forked River, NJ 609.693.3351 / Captainsinnnj.com
Specializing in Sales & Rentals in Point Pleasant, Bay Head, Mantaloking, Normandy Beach, Silver Beach, Chadwick Beach, Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley Beach, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park and every little beach in between.Scott
Welcome to the Jersey Shore Bucks County! My name is Scott Atkins, and I am a lifelong resident of the Jersey Shore. As a full-time agent, I am focused, determined, and dedicated to making your needs my number one priority. My goal is to find you the perfect home that meets all your must-haves without compromising on your needs. One of my specialties is my extensive knowledge of the flood-prone areas in all the Shore towns. I am unmatched in my expertise in the waterfront areas, as I make it a point to drive and study those roads every day. As a buyer's agent, I will go above and beyond to preview homes, send you videos and pictures (including both the good and bad aspects) so that you have a clear understanding of the entire area and the property. You can trust me, Scott Atkins, to guide you through the buying or selling process with ease and confidence.
Cell: 908-884-3356 • Office: 732-295-8600
2204 Bridge St., • Pt. Pleasant,NJ • dianeturton.com
continued from page 107
the soothing ocean waves and non-commercial boardwalk, charming B&Bs and hotels, and an enchanting park surrounding a spring-fed lake.”
Belmar has a reputation for being a great place to rent a cabin and take a vacation. The wide beaches are perfect for sunbathing, surfing, swimming, and fishing. And the boardwalk is scenic. Once known as a party town, Belmar is now more of a family town. Belmar also hosts lots annual events on the beach such as volleyball tournaments, a triathlon, free movies on the beach and the annual New Jersey Sandcastle Contest.
Downtown Belmar offers numerous culinary options, including authentic Mexican, Cajun, Italian and old-fashioned American fare and many restaurants offer sidewalk tables.
In the warm months there is always something going on downtown.
After a period of decline in tourism, Asbury Park embarked on a restoration program in 2007 that revamped this star among New Jersey seaside resorts. The Paramount Theatre and Convention Hall were restored and so was the waterfront. Now Asbury Park is a major destination for Bucks Countians. On the boardwalk craft shops, eateries, fancy boutiques, nightlife, and lot of music make it a fun place to go. VisitNJ.org states, “The boardwalk has a mix of fine restaurants where you can sample a wide variety of cuisine, including Korean fusion tacos, oysters, sausages, ice cream and Italian ice. It also boasts a surf and swimwear shop, handcrafted and organic goods, vintage-in-
spired gifts.” In the downtown area of the city are fine restaurants and upscale boutiques. Art is everywhere and there are several boutique hotels.
Asbury Park beaches are great for bathing, surfing and fishing. The beach is wide and convenient to the boardwalk. During the summer they are packed with sunbathers and swimmers so it is a good policy to arrive early for a dip.
Ocean Grove is only one square mile in area, yet it has the largest assemblage of Victorian architecture in the country. It began as a Methodist camp meeting town and is still owned by the camp meeting association and leased to individual homeowners and businesses. Ocean Grove remains the longest-active camp meeting site in the United States. And in addition to a long standing Christian tradition, it is one of the Jersey Shore’s finest yearround seashore destinations. Attractions include an old-fashioned boardwalk, hotels, eateries and a very well-kept beach.
Bradley Beach is known for its gorgeous beaches and small boardwalk. The boardwalk is small, just under a mile long, but it is still a great place to take a stroll along the water. There's a mini-golf course right off the boardwalk as well. The town is considered a suburb of New York and Niche says, “Living in Bradley Beach offers residents an urban suburban mix feel...” It gets an “A” in nightlife by Niche. It is also considered a great place to retire.
Sandy Hook is in the Monmouth County Borough of Highlands. It is a 2,044-acre barrier peninsula that is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Sandy Hook has sand dunes, salt and freshwater marshes, a bird sanctuary, trails for walking and biking, and near the tip of the peninsula is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States. There is also Fort Hancock and the Sandy Hook Proving Grounds.
Bob Waite is the editor of Bucks County Magazine.