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Jersey Shore

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The Jersey Shore is a popular beach destination for people around the world.


See also Southern Shore



Sea Isle
Scenic Avalon
Ocean City

The culture of the Jersey Shore (and most of South Jersey) is quite different from that of North Jersey. The locals are far gentler and more easygoing. They live and let live. They respect nature and treasure it. Some visitors appreciate that, and respect the local culture. Too many don't. You would be surprised to know how strongly the locals feel about that.

You will enjoy your visit much more if you adopt the local ways. Speak softly. Listen. Be gentle with everyone. Obey the laws. Take the time to explore the natural wonders like migratory birds, the Pine Barrens, and sunrise on the beach. Don't kill anything except to eat. Never litter.


In 1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano believed he discovered the New Jersey coastline, but it was already inhabited by the Native Americans. New Jersey continued to grow over the next couple hundred years while being fought over by the Dutch, Swedes, and English. It was not until the 1900's that the New Jersey shore became prosperous and popular. In 1916, there was a deadly heat wave that hit the New Jersey area. Thousands of people flocked to the shore for a break from the heat. Unfortunately, between July 1 and July 12, 1916 there were a series of Shark Attacks along the coast, killing 4 people and injuring 1. Although these attacks scared off some tourists, the New Jersey shore was already a favorite among many others. During the Great Depression, the shore became an ideal vacation spot for both the rich and the poor. While the poor usually traveled for day trips, the rich could relax in some of the shores most luxurious hotels. In more recent history, the New Jersey shore has become a popular destination for families and young adults looking for a great time during spring break.

Wariness Toward Outsiders[edit]

The natives tend to be extremely wary of the out-of-towners, or Bennies, who invade their beaches, make too much noise, litter, destroy property, trample dunes, and otherwise remind them of their own inhabitants. Bennies can officially be defined as tourists who visit the Jersey Shore from Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark, or New York. At shore towns in southern NJ (ex: Ocean City, Sea Isle, etc), you may hear the term shoobie to describe aggressive out-of-towners from Pennsylvania and New York.

But if you are polite and respectful, they will respond. They might even point you in the right direction to have a good time. Don't try to use any beach slang. There is none.


English is the predominant language of the residents and visitors at all of the New Jersey shore destinations, though Spanish is increasingly popular. Of course, many visitors come from other countries, particularly in Atlantic City, and use their native languages, often along with some English.

The New Jersey Shore is commonly referred to as "the shore." This is simply a shortening by omitting the proper adjectives, New and Jersey, in the same way The Atlantic City Boardwalk will be referred to as "the boardwalk" by those in Atlantic City, or the way people will just say, Jersey, when referring to New Jersey.

The term can refer to the entire Jersey" coastal area in general, or to a specific town or area. For instance, a Philadelphia family talking about their upcoming trip to Cape May might say, "We're going to the shore next week." They might, somewhat less commonly, also use the term "the beach" in the same way, with "the beach" referring not specifically to the sandy beach itself, but to the cities or towns with nearby beaches.

When in a shore town, both residents and visitors usually refer to the actual sandy area adjacent to the water--the place where they go to sunbathe and swim--as "the beach." For instance, when considering a hotel or room to rent, they might ask, "How close is it to the beach?" Or, a mother of father of a visiting family might say, "OK, kids, get your things together. We're going to the beach at nine."

Inexplicably, and unbeknownst to most outsiders, some residents of New Jersey's shore towns find the term "the shore" offensive or "tacky" and use this language test to identify outsiders. This aversion to the term may be partly due to a misunderstanding of the semantics involved.

Locals will often use the terms bennies (most often heard in Monmouth and Ocean counties) or shoobies (most often heard in Atlantic and Cape May counties) when referring, especially when in a derogatory way, to summertime tourists.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Most shoregoers will travel by car, usually on the Garden State Parkway (from North Jersey/New York) and the Atlantic City Expressway (from South Jersey). The Garden State Parkway is 173 mi (278 km) long and runs north and south along the state’s eastern seaboard from Cape May north and ultimately connects to the New York State Thruway. The Atlantic City Expressway operates 47 mi (76 km) of roadway and connects the Delaware Valley and Philadelphia metropolitan area with Atlantic City and other South Jersey communities. An alternate route for travelers from the northwest to the southern shore points is to use Route 55, which runs from the Camden/Philadelphia area to the Millville area, not far from Cape May and Wildwood. Travelers from the west can take I-95 to I-195 east to Route 138 toward the shore points.


Street parking at many of the beaches north of Atlantic City is free. South of A.C., and including A.C., the streets close to the beach are metered. There are also lots that charge daily and nightly fees.

By bus[edit]

The N.J. Transit operates 1900 buses on 178 routes throughout the state. Coach buses can also be accessed with Academy Bus Lines, Coach USA, and Suburban Trails Bus Co.

By train[edit]

Shore points from Long Branch to Bay Head are accessible by New Jersey Transit's North Jersey Coast Line, which runs from Penn Station. The Atlantic City Line also serves the area, offering service from Philadelphia. For more information, see NJ Transit's website [1]. Since a number of stations are small, you will need to arrange for transportation to your destination.

The Cape May Lewes Ferry unloading in Delaware

By plane[edit]

The closest International airports are Atlantic City International, Philadelphia International, JFK International, LaGuardia and Newark International. Smaller airports for private planes, small corporate jets, forest fire planes, the Civil Air Patrol and emergency services aircraft include RJ Miller Airport, Central Jersey Airport, and Monmouth Executive Airport.

By boat[edit]

Jersey shore destinations can be reached by boat via the New York Waterway. The Belford Terminal ferry can hold 500 cars and runs to Pier 11, Wall Street. The Seastreak serves Atlantic Highlands, Highlands & Pier 11 Wall Street and East 34th Street, NYC. The Cape May-Lewes Ferry runs between Cape May and Lewes, Delaware. It holds both foot passengers and cars and is a seventy minute trip.

The Farley State Marina is located in Atlantic City, NJ and managed by The Golden Nugget. The Marina provides 640 floating docks and can dock yachts up to 300 feet in length. It is located 44 statute miles from Cape May and 64 statute miles offshore from the Manasquan Inlet. The harbor is well protected with no wakes and little current.

Get around[edit]

Royal rolling chair in Atlantic City

Most houses are within a reasonable walk from the beach, although there may be a major road crossing required.

A car is easier to get around (especially to procure groceries or other necessities), but going to the beach itself may require money for parking lots or meters (varies by town).

Bike rentals are available at almost every Jersey Shore destination. Get the beach feel riding around on your Beach or Boardwalk Cruiser! Also, some beach spots have Surrey rentals.

Atlantic City features such means of getting around as Trolley tours, Royal Rolling Chairs and Jitney Shuttles.

See[edit][add listing]

Summer after summer, the Jersey Shore lures travelers with its blue skies, refreshing breezes and 127 mi (204 km) of beautiful, white sandy beaches. It is one of the most desired year-round travel and vacation destinations on the East Coast. For the excitement of fun and fast nightlife, there’s Atlantic City with its many casinos and night clubs. For laid back family fun, enjoy famous boardwalks like Wildwood, and Ocean City. Whether it’s Sandy Hook, Cape May or one of the diverse shore areas in between, you’ll find world-famous resorts, an abundance of historical sites, legacies and breathtaking scenery at the Jersey Shore.

  • Barnegat Light [2] — "Old Barney" is located 45 miles south of Sandy Hook, at the north end of Long Beach Island, at Barnegat Inlet. This 40 ft (12 m) tower stands in a well-maintained park, and the is open daily for climbing.
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park — Site of a 1778 battle in the Revolutionary War. There is typically a reenactment of the battle in mid to late June.
  • Island Beach State Park[3] — 10 mi (16 km) of undeveloped barrier island. You can enjoy the swimming beach, surf fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, and kayaking. There is an entrance fee of $5.00 - $10.00 per vehicle depending on the season.

Fort Hancock — this historical attraction was once a strategic site for naviational and defense purposes.

  • Sandy Hook Lighthouse — the nation's oldest lighthouse still in operation. Constructed in 1764 to curtail growing number of shipwrecks.
  • Other historical buildings and structures — Sandy Hook Museum, History House, Guardian Park Nike Missile Display
  • Ghost Tours — tour haunted areas in Asbury Park, Ocean Grove and Ocean City
  • Dune Walks — Avalon has one of the only remaining high dune systems on the east coast. Guided Dune Walks are offered by Wetlands Institute staff
Sandy Hook Lighthouse
  • Twin Lights of Navesink, Navesink. --a double lighthouse that sits like a fortress over the northern tip of the Jersey Shore. Complete with a canon, a tower to climb, a huge rotating light beacon, a museum, and, of course, a gift shop, a visit to the Twin Lights will be sure to interest visitors of all ages. The Twin Lights is so named because it is two lighthouses attached to one structure. One of the lighthouses, the North Tower, is open regularly for visits; the other, the South Tower, only on select occasions, such as the NJ Shore Lighthouse Challenge.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Beach Tags Most of the beaches on the Shore require a "beach badge" to enter. The badges are purchased for a fee, and are only good for the town in which they were purchased (e.g. a badge bought in Belmar would not be good in Seaside Heights). These fees go towards beach maintenance. Some hotels may offer guests complimentary badges as a perk. A few communities do not charge for the beach, most notably Atlantic City and Wildwood.

  • Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau (Bob Hilton, former Executive Director), was located in Tinton Falls and Asbury Park (Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, Neptune). The Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau was the only State of New Jersey Non-Profit organization representing the northern Jersey Sore Points, from exit 117 on the Garden State Parkway to Exit 64 before closing in the fall of 2015. After the Executive Director retired early, and the organization could not find another dedicated person to run tourism, they folded leaving a gigantic hole in tourism in Monmouth County especially. The operated a welcome center on Exit 98 on the parkway and have a comprehensive website and mobile website providing information on the Jersey Shore Destination, events and festivals as well as the Jersey Shore's Role in the Super bowl events leading up to the New Jersey Super bowl in 2014. The Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau won many awards for it's successful Open for Business campaign and the Jersey Shore Rookie Idol Competition between 2012 to 2015. It received national recognition for the remarkable marketing surrounding the rebuild of the hardest hit areas of the Jersey Shore between exit 117 down to exit 62.  edit

Monmouth County Beaches[edit]

Greetings from Asbury Park
  • Allenhurst — Stately 19th century homes, magnificent beaches and residential neighborhoods give Allenhurst a unique “hometown" feel. The beaches feature bathhouses, a promenade, and snack bars.
  • Asbury Park — A rock Mecca of the 1970’s and 1980’s, this seaside town is enjoying a cultural renaissance. This modern day "ghost town" is the home of many abandoned buildings standing from the early 1900's. Also the home of "The Boss", Bruce Springstein, Asbury has a boardwalk and a fishing pier.
  • Avon-by-the-Sea — Avon-by-the-Sea is a four season, New Jersey Victorian beach community surrounded by three different bodies of water. Enjoy a snack bar and fishing on the beach.
  • Belmar – Belmar is a draw for young families and singles. This beach has a boardwalk twenty blocks long and snack bars. More than 100,000 seafood lovers gather in Belmar every year at the New Jersey Seafood Festival.
  • Bradley Beach – Bradley Beach is one of the best surfing spots in NJ. It features a half-mile boardwalk and such attractions as mini golf.
  • Deal — The attraction and charm of Deal lies in its beautiful, well-kept mansions. Beach snacks can be enjoyed at a snack bar there.
  • Highlands — The Highlands are river beaches and do not require purchasing beach tags. One can enjoy picnicking and fishing here.
  • Keansburg — Keansburg beach is a bay beach and there is no fee to bathe. Keansburg features fishing, a bathhouse, a boardwalk, a water park, amusements and entertainment.
  • Loch Arbour — Ranging only two blocks wide and five blocks long, Loch Arbour is a charming residential area with an oceanfront pavilion with a snack bar, outdoor showers and a small commercial area.
  • Long Branch — Long Branch was one of the earliest and most glamorous seaside resorts in the country from the 1860’s to World War I. Long Branch features a two-mile boardwalk and several attractions along its beaches including Pier Village, a shopping and dining center.
  • Manasquan — Manasquan has been a popular destination for the under-30 crowd for many years, with its beautiful beaches and hip club scene. Manasquan's beach has fishing, a snack bar and tennis courts.
  • Monmouth Beach – This beach destination features four different beaches to chose from, with snack bars.
  • Ocean grove – Ocean Grove is a tree-lined ocean beach town with some of the finest examples of Victorian architecture north of Cape May. Beaches feature a snack bar and tennis courts.
  • Sandy Hook — There is no beach fee in Sandy Hook, but there is a daily parking fee for visitors. Sandy Hook is a National Park that is also home to a military base and lighthouse. The beach features a bathhouse, snack bar, sufing, fishing and bayside wind surfing.
  • Sea Bright — 70 min from NYC, it is a popular destination throughout every season. Home to an abundance of bluefish, albacore, weakfish and stripers for those who enjoy fishing. Snack bar available.
  • Sea Girt – This beach community features clean ocean beaches, fabulous restaurants, upscale shopping , an old-fashioned boardwalk, and the Victorian Sea Girt Lighthouse, dating back to 1896. Snack bar and a boardwalk.
  • Seven Presidents Ocean Front Park — The town of Long Branch was placed "on the map" in 1869 when President Grant made the city the nation's "Summer Capital," a tradition followed by Presidents Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, McKinley, and Wilson. Visitors have an abundance of activities from bumming on the beach, to testing their extreme sports ability in the “Skateplex” concrete skate park.

Cape May County[edit]

  • Discovery Seashell Museum — A museum located in Ocean City with over 10,00 species of the most finest and rarest sea shells. They also carry an extensive collection of nautical gifts.
  • Historic Cold Spring Village — This Village brings to life the day-to-day activities of villagers living in South Jersey during the “age of homespun". Visitors can make a personal connection between the past and present through the interactive, educational, and hands-on family activities.
Victorian style homes in Cape May
  • Wetlands Institute — "The Natural Place to have fun." They promote the conservation and preservation of coastal ecosystems by providing a fun and educational experience for families, school groups and vacationers of all ages.
  • Laura's Fudge Shop-Complete your visit to the shore with a pound of Laura's Fudge, Ocean City, NJ.
  • Cape May Bird Observatory — They are dedicated to research in bird conservation and education.
  • Cape May County Park & Zoo — Has 200 different species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles totaling nearly 550 animals
  • Elaine's Victorian Inn & Dinner Theatre — located to other attractions in Cape May
  • Morey's Piers — Three different Amusement Parks along the boardwalk of Wildwood
  • Sunset Hydrofest — Hydroplanes and flat bottoms compete on the beautiful bay area of Wildwood Crest.
  • Delaware River & Bay Authority — A way of traveling between Delaware and New Jersey
  • Original Fudge Kitchen — They make Home-made fudge for centuries now with a variety of 18 different flavors. This is located in many of the boardwalks located in New Jersey.
  • Sensia Therapy — A store that specializes in aromatherapy, independent music and arts & crafts.
  • Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts — Authorities in charge of events, tours and activities
  • NAS Wildwood Aviation Museum- They want to restore Hangar #1 at the Cape May County Airport, Lower Township, New Jersey, into an aircraft museum honoring the 42 Naval airmen who perished while training there during World War II.
  • Splash Zone Waterpark — A family-friendly water park with the biggest and intense water rides in the East Coast. It's just steps away from the boardwalk.
  • Cape May Jazz Festival — Cape May Jazz Inc, a non-profit organization, develops and implements a jazz event to show great appreciation for this genre of music. It is scheduled annually in the Spring and Fall.
    Morey's Peir in Wildwood
  • Cape May County Culture & Heritage — They promote public interest in the arts and history and help create an environment that appreciate arts and history.
  • Cape May Beach — A more quieter beach for the residences in the area. It has a promenade filled with food vendors, gift shops, and restaurants.
  • Wildwood Beach — A more hip beach with a boardwalk including games, amusement parks, food, and restaurants.

Atlantic County[edit]

  • Nightlife – Many fine Atlantic City restaurants transform to night clubs after hours. There are also plenty of trendy night clubs, like the 40/40 Club, owned by rapper Jay-Z, the Blue Martini, Casbah Nightclub, The House of Blues, and the brand new Eden Lounge.
  • Atlantic City Surf – See the Surf, AC’s baseball team, play May through October at Bernie Robbins Stadium on the Black Horse Pike.
  • The Walk – AC features The Walk, an outlet shopping venue with brand outlet stores, great restaurants, and unique entertainment.
  • Steel Pier – Boardwalk attraction features amusements and entertainment.
  • Central Pier Games & Speedway – home to NASCAR Go-Kart racing and “Shoot the Geek” paintball range.
  • Central Pier Arcade – the largest redemption arcade in AC.
  • Absecon Lighthouse – With 228 steps, it is the tallest of NJ’s lights.
  • Atlantic City Aquarium – aquariums, touch tanks, and interactive exhibits
  • Ripley’s Believe it or Not – The amazing, interesting, and just plain weird, right on the AC Boardwalk
  • Brigantine Beach- A welcoming and warm family beach town. Just a drive over the bridge by Harrah's across the Absecon Inlet, visitors find comfort in gorgeous nighttime views of Atlantic City without the hustle and bustle of the city itself. The beaches are clean and the community is friendly. There are wonderful restaurants and hotels located throughout the small island of Brigantine.

Atlantic City Casinos and Resorts[edit]

  • Bally’s Atlantic City – Boardwalk resort with 80,000 ft² (24,384 m²) of meeting space, a health spa, golf course, and two separate casinos, one being the western themed Wild Wild West casino
  • Borgata – an ultra modern resort with a spectacular casino floor and a wide variety of restaurants.
  • Ceasar’s Palace – features a health spa, tennis, a pool, eight restaurants, and is located right on the boardwalk
  • Harrah’s – A bay front resort with seven fine restaurants, entertainment, a health spa, and an indoor pool.
  • Resorts – ocean front casino/hotel
  • Showboat – a uniquely themed Mardi Gras casino where the colors and spirit of New Orleans spring alive
  • Tropicana Casino and Resort – the home of “The Quarter”, this resort features 200,000 ft² (60,960 m²) of dining, entertainment, and retail shopping

Eat[edit][add listing]

When you travel to the New Jersey Shore you will find every type of cuisine. Between cafes, restaurants, and boardwalk shops, one can find exotic international delights, gourmet specialties, seafood, steaks, vegetarian, all American cuisine and traditional takeout.

There are also some great restaurants where one can sit waterside and enjoy the gorgeous view as they enjoy their meal. Try the Pilot House for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. If you prefer fine dining, give the Water's Edge a try, they are right on the bay. Of course when you are on the boardwalk, you have to eat some of the hot dogs, steak sandwiches, pizza, and drink some of the "fresh squeezed" lemonade. Don’t forget the caramel corn and famous salt water taffy, which the original recipe originated in Atlantic City. In Ocean City, visitors can watch salt water taffy being pulled at the store front of Shriver's on the boardwalk. After driving over the 9th Street bridge in Ocean City, you can't miss the Chatterbox, a bright pink restaurant, welcoming visitors to the shore and serving excellent food. Also, don't forget to eat at Mack and Manco's, one of the most popular pizza stops on the boards. A visit to the shore is never complete without a pound of Laura's Fudge, at 9th and Asbury. If you travel to Seaside Heights, you have to try the very large pizza at the Saw Mill or Three brothers. It is excellent and 1 slice is more then enough! Wildwood is home to some fantastic zeppoles and Italian sausage and pepper sandwiches. One big thing about visiting the Jersey Shore and its many boardwalks, promenades and snack bars is that anything can be fried, and it will be delicious. Oreos, candy bars, twinkies and those amazing intertangled webs of dough we know as funnel cakes can all be enjoyed down the shore.

Upon visiting the Jersey Shore, it is necessary to try a Pork Roll sandwich. Pork roll is a breakfast meat rarely found anywhere except New Jersey and Philadelphia. A common pork roll treat is the "Jersey Shore Breakfast" which consists of pork roll, egg and cheese often on a bagel or english muffin. Pork roll originated in Trenton in 1856 and has been a Jersey tradition ever since.

Another Jersey Shore staple is Wawa, a convenience store providing a variety of fresh foods for breakfast and lunch. Along with customized sandwiches and fresh salads, Wawa also provides award-winning coffee at a very low price. Customers throughout the Mid-Atlantic enjoy the convenience of Wawa.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Stay safe[edit]

Use caution in Asbury Park at night. While the areas around the bars in Asbury are safe, some of the city's residential neighborhoods are less hospitable for outsiders. Also, the highways are extremely dangerous, due to tourist traffic as well as drunk drivers. Police are known to enforce traffic laws vigorously in some smaller towns. Expect to be hit with a hefty fine if you're caught driving under the influence. Police will also ticket more aggressively than the rest of the state (especially in summer) for parking infractions and driving above the speed limit.

Although Asbury Park is a major LGBT tourist destination as is Ocean Grove, Red Bank and now parts of Bricktown, be aware that the rest of the Jersey Shore is extremely conservative. Intolerance towards homosexuals is changing and October 2013 Gay marriage became legal providing equal right to everyone in the state. It is still wise to use caution with openly gay or transgender behavior on many boardwalks. The Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau, a nonprofit Destination Marketing Organization website is a great resource for LGBT friendly towns, restaurants and attractions in the northern part of the shore. Local police tend to be very indifferent towards LGBT issues, even though NJ has strong hate crime and anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

Wildwood, while generally safe near the boardwalk, has some neighborhoods that aren't as nice as those in most other shore towns. Serious crime against tourists is rare, but use common sense and try to avoid walking alone late at night, especially in the unlit neighborhoods more than a block or two from the boardwalk.

Atlantic City has some crime problems, but these areas are far away from the Boardwalk. Panhandlers on the Boardwalk may become annoying, since there is so many of them, but if you don't want to give anything, just keep walking. Casinos are safe due to the high number of security personnel and video cameras. Do NOT explore Atlantic City at night. All night life is limited to the casinos.

Get out[edit]

When you visit the New Jersey shore there are many nearby attractions and destinations to visit. All of these places can be seen in 1 day trips.

  • Pick-Your-Own fruits and vegetables at various farms around the Medford Lakes and Hammonton areas.
  • Freehold Raceway
  • Keansburg Amusement Park and Runaway Rapids Waterpark
    Six Flags Great Adventure
  • Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, Ocean County
  • Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
  • Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
  • Camden Adventure Aquarium
  • Liberty State Park
  • Lucy the Elephant — a national landmark that you can walk through. Lucy is the mascot of Margate, a six-story pachyderm with guided tours.
    Lucy the Elephant
  • Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township
  • 11 different Light Houses located throughout New Jersey's coastline
  • Various Sports Venues including the New York Giants and Jets stadium, Trenton Thunder, and Meadowlands Sports Complex (Hosts various events such as concerts and the Disney On Ice series)
  • Monmouth Park Racetrack
This is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!