Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and at Crane’s Mill we’re ready to celebrate the season with a trip to the beach! Follow this guide to the Jersey Shore, complete with Garden State Parkway exits (click the exit number for a map of each location).
Each year, New Jersey residents count down to the last Monday in May as the unofficial start to summer. Backyard pools are uncovered, BBQ grills are lit, and for many, cars are packed for days, weekends, and weeks “down the shore.”
As it turns out, going “down the shore” is a very “New Jersey” thing to do! No, we’re not (even close to being) the only ones with glorious beaches, but the idiom “down the shore,” much like Bruce Springsteen and jug handles, are very much New Jersey originals.
Memories of the Jersey Shore revolve around lots of different aspects for lots of different New Jerseyans, including, of course, our residents. Here are some of our favorite shore points, complete with clickable Garden State Parkway exits:
On the northern end of the shore, Long Branch has been a consistent favorite for beach-goers from North Jersey looking for a quick escape for a day of sun and fun. Seven Presidents Park provides guests with a pristine beach location perfect for an afternoon of lounging with easy access to concessions and changing rooms. Once you’ve had your fill of the sun, head south to Pier Village for a variety of superb shops and restaurants (Exit 105).
Looking for something a little more secluded? Become one with nature at Island Beach State Park. Just south of Seaside Heights, Island Beach State Park “contains close to ten miles of sandy beach, an extensive shoreline along Barnegat Bay, dense maritime forests, rolling sand dunes, and tidal marshes. Island Beach is also home to foxes, ospreys, other wildlife, and more than 400 species of plants.” Thanks to the Island Beach State Park website for the info (Exit 82).
Pictured right is the Barnegat Lighthouse. Also known as “Old Barney”, the lighthouse has been standing for over 150 years, and is situated near the top of Long Beach Island. Long Beach Island is an ideal spot for a summer rental. Whether you’re staying for a week or a month, you’ll find the island offers the perfect combination of relaxation and excitement for a fulfilling getaway (Exit 63).
Lastly, we head all the way down the Parkway to Cape May, renowned for its bed and breakfasts, fine hotels, and Victorian architecture. In downtown, look for many unique shops and eateries, including a personal favorite: Della’s 5 & 10. Della’s features all sorts of nostalgic fun, including an old fashioned soda fountain that will take you right back to your childhood (Exit 0).
What is your favorite shore point? We’d like to know! Click here to send us an email, and we might use your suggestions for a future Crane’s Mill Courier article!