08 Mar How to Go Down the Shore in Southern New Jersey
We think it’s fair to say most people love going to the beach. Just the thought of soaking up some warm rays, sticking your toes in the sand and feeling the occasional cool ocean breeze pass by is probably enough to make you forget your worries for a while. Or perhaps you could roam the boardwalk, ducking into cool gift shops and arcades while enjoying some French fries drenched in vinegar.
Either way, New Jersey’s southern coastal region serves up some of the best beach going in the U.S. Just don’t call it “going to the beach.” A trip to the New Jersey coast is coined as “going down the shore.”
And there’s something for everybody when you go down the shore in South Jersey.
Ocean City is a can’t go wrong down the shore destination if it’s the quintessentially “classic” Jersey beach experience you seek. A favorite for generations, the 2.5-mile boardwalk here goes all the way back to 1890 and is one of the most recognized of its kind in the world.
Take a trip down this timeless wooden road of fun and you’ll find plenty of equally timeless attractions. Amusement parks like Gillian’s Wonderland Pier and Playland’s Castaway Cove offer arcade games, indoor and outdoor rides and themed events. Enjoy a few go-rounds on the Giant Wheel, one of the biggest Ferris wheels on the east coast, for spectacular ocean views.
Or you can just relax on the beach and do some work…on your tan that is! Admission to the Ocean City Beach, which was named one of the best beaches in 2005 by the Travel Channel, is $6. Perhaps you need a quieter, upscale beachy experience. Avalon answers the call. A clean, tidy town of multimillion-dollar vacation homes, quaint shop-lined streets and pristine coastline, Avalon is perfect for relaxing in style.
The finely manicured beach is one of the most scenic in New Jersey. Large sand dunes barricade the beach from the town, making it feel like you’ve stepped into another world when you hit the sand. You can wade out into the ocean on a warm day or explore the waters by kayak. After relaxing on the beach, rent a bicycle and peddle up Dune Drive to check out the shopping and restaurants. The Princeton is a swank favorite among locals and tourists with a taste for fresh seafood and live music.
The motto here is “cooler by a mile” because Avalon extends out into the Atlantic Ocean a mile further than surrounding barrier islands. We promise you’ll feel quite comfortable during your visit. Beach passes in Avalon cost $6 daily or $12 weekly.
When it comes to glitz, glamor and entertainment, Atlantic City is the undisputed king of the Jersey Shore. While the Vegas-meets-the-beach persona of Atlantic City is alive and well, this shore destination is also famous for its boardwalk and amusements.
If top-shelf casino action and electric nightlife are what you crave, Atlantic City boasts seven resort casinos brimming with slots, table games and renowned clubs. Pick a casino property like Harrah’s, Borgata or Bally’s and you’ll find enough gaming excitement to last for days. After a day of betting and winning big, the Atlantic City casinos also serve up some of the best cuisine around in restaurants by top chefs like Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Guy Fieri.
Along Atlantic’s treasured beach and famous four-mile-long boardwalk are the conveniently located amusement parks, fun shops and attractions and a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! If you enjoy thrilling heights, take a ride on The Wheel at Steel Pier, a 227-foot high Ferris Wheel that opened in 2013.
Stepping out of the casino onto the beach doesn’t mean you have to leave the casino behind. In Atlantic City or any South Jersey location, you’re permitted to play online poker and casino games using a mobile app. It’s possible to spend a lot of money in Atlantic City but relaxing on the beach is free to all visitors!
Perhaps you just want to venture down the shore to enjoy natural beauty as designed by Mother Nature. We’ll let you in on a little secret: Strathmore Beach, located between Ocean City and Sea Isle, is the place to be. A secluded, undisturbed gem of a beach, Strathmere is a 1.5-mile stretch of sand and ocean paradise where you can kayak, surf and fish. Even dolphins are occasionally spotted out in the open water. There’s no boardwalk or shopping here. It’s just you among some of the prettiest coastal surroundings on the East Coast. Strathmere locals like to keep their serene beach on the hush. Even the oval decal stickers sold in Strathmere read “Shhh.” That’s not to say there are zero attractions. The beachside town features Twisties Tavern and The Deauville Inn, a pair of favorite eateries, and Pirate Island, a mini-golf center.
Beach access is free in Strathmere, and convenient parking is often available is along Commonwealth Avenue. Looking for a memorable beach experience? Or are you seeking an upscale getaway, unlimited entertainment or just a little R&R in nature? Either way, the beaches of Southern New Jersey have you covered. We’ll see you down the shore.