2013 Jersey Shore Guide: Cape May County beaches
Everything you need to know about beaches in Cape May County during the summer of 2013, from beach fees to parking facilities to lifeguard schedules:
Status: Beaches will be open daily from Memorial Day weekend to Sept. 2.
Fees: $6, daily; $12, weekly; $26. Season, $21f purchased before May 31. Tags also honored by Stone Harbor Beach.
Lifeguards: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Swimming and bathing only on protected beaches from June 16-Aug. 18, with limited number of lifeguards assigned to designated beaches May 26 to June 15 and Aug. 19 to Sept. 9.
Facilities: Public restrooms at borough hall (32nd Street and Dune Drive), public safety building (31st Street and Dune Drive), Community Hall (30th Street and the beach), tennis buildings (8th and 39th streets), 10th and Dune Drive and 30th Street and the beach (next to the tot lot).
Parking: All parking is free. Municipal lots at 28th-30th streets and beach, 32nd and Dune Drive behind borough hall, 21st Street and 5th Avenue, and off Ocean Drive at 20th Street.
Handicapped access: Plenty of handicapped access to boardwalk and beaches. Free handicapped surf chairs available at 9th, 30th and 80th streets. Reservations recommended (609) 967-7587.
Rules: Surfing at 30th Street beach and either side of 12th Street station away from bathers. Rafting and other inflatable flotation devices permitted at 12 beach areas between 9th and 78th streets. No pets, fires, alcohol allowed. Limited vehicle access by permit only. Volleyball and Frisbee permitted on the beach between 38th and 76th streets.
Attractions: Family-oriented community with 7 miles of beach and laid-back atmosphere. Little commercial presence on boardwalk (“three stores, pizza, ice cream and an arcade”), but quaint town with boutique stores and upscale restaurants. Big July Fourth celebration with Bay-Atlantic Symphony concert followed by major fireworks display. New 9/11 Memorial at 21st Street and Dune Drive with 9-foot, 11-inch beam from the World Trade Center. Free movies on the beach Tuesday nights.
Etc.: Area has undergone an extensive beach replenishment and officials assure “plenty of room for all vacationers.” New evening jitney transportation service between Avalon and Stone Harbor. Numerous opportunities for passive nature exploration. 10-mile bike path along Dune Drive.
More information: Town website or call (609) 967-8200
Status: Open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Fees: Daily, $5; three-day pass, $10; weekly (Saturday-to-Saturday) $15; season, $28. Ages 11 and younger, free.
Lifeguards: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Facilities: Permanent restrooms/changing facilities on Beach Avenue at Second, Broadway, Windsor, Gurney, Philadelphia, Trenton and Wilmington intersections. Open-air rinsing stations all along the beachfront.
Parking: Metered parking along the beachfront, with free parking available on side streets several blocks from the beach.
Rules: Coolers and food permitted. No alcohol. No restrictions on beach tents, umbrellas or canopies for daytime use. No bonfires or cooking permitted. Overnight camping prohibited. Ball playing and other games allowed away from beach bathers.
Handicapped access:Ramps to boardwalk at 17 streets along Beach Drive, with ramps from boardwalk to beach at Broadway, Third and Cove, Grant and Gurney streets and Trenton Avenue. Surf wheelchairs available at nine locations, with reservations suggested. Call (609) 884-9570 and chairs will be delivered by Beach Patrol. Four handicapped-accessible restrooms on boardwalk along Beach Drive. Parking meter fees throughout Cape May waived for vehicles displaying windshield placard or license plate.
Boardwalk: Food and drink vendors across Beach Avenue all along the beachfront.
Attractions: Volleyball nets at Steger Beach (Beach Avenue and Jackson Street) and Second Avenue Beach; Cape May Family Treasure Hunts throughout the summer; free Monday evening concerts at Rotary bandstand; Cape May Music Festival May 26-June 13; trolley tours; Father’s Day Fishing Trip June 16; Fourth of July fireworks and parade July 6; Movies on the Beach throughout season; 81st Queen Maysea coronation July 31; William Moore birthday summer social Aug. 10; Art and Antiques in the park Aug. 17; Mid-Atlantic $500,000 fishing tournament Aug 18-23; Jersey Tomato Festival Aug. 31,
Etc: There’s a dog park at 705 Lafayette St., $10 weekly fee, $20, seasonal. Bicycle and surrey rentals, Jet Ski and WaveRunner rentals.
More information: Town website or (609) 884-9567.
Status: Repairs to the concrete portion of the boardwalk between 16th and 26th avenues are 95 percent complete. Numerous facets of the community’s beach attractions damaged by Hurricane Sandy have had repairs and improvements made. Beaches will be open from Memorial Day weekend through end of September.
Lifeguard: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, with a lifeguard stations at every street from Second to 26th avenues, as well as at the inlet. Facilities Restrooms at Seventh and 15th streets, 24th Street and the boardwalk, and Old New Jersey Avenue by the seawall. Rinse stations at the beach at Seventh and 15th streets.
Parking: Metered street parking close to beach, free street parking farther from beach and boardwalk. Many lots charge for parking by the hour. No cooking, bonfires or alcoholic beverages. No dogs or other animals. All other beach activities are welcomed. Umbrellas are allowed, and umbrella/beach chair rentals are available on the beaches.
Handicapped access:Concrete ramp at 15th Avenue. Surf wheelchairs available at no charge on first-come, first-serve basis: 12 at Beach Patrol HQ at 15th Avenue, five at Fifth Avenue and the beach and two on Inlet Beach; reservations available by calling Beach Patrol HQ at (609) 522-7500; Handicapped-accessible restrooms at Seventh and 15th avenues and the beach; parking at 15th Avenue and the beach. ADA-compliant beach access improvements and walkways being constructed at 16th through 20th avenues, and at 23rd and 24th avenues.
Attractions: Free concerts every Thursday and Sunday; Mummers Brigade weekend on boardwalk Sept. 7-9. Numerous parades throughout the season, including Fourth of July and VFW parade June 22. Outdoor exercise classes, Italian-American Heritage Festival June 28-30; Sidewalk Chalk Competition July 6; NJ State BBQ Championship and Anglesea Blues Festival July 12-14; Miss North Wildwood competition July 17; Eastern Surfing Association competitions June 29 and July 27. Concerts under the stars Thursdays and Saturdays from July 6-Aug. 31.
Etc.: Tourism director Steve DeHorsey said North Wildwood was lucky not to have been affected by Hurricane Sandy as much as other Shore communities. A beach bike path between 15th and 21st avenues is projected to be completed before July Fourth, running from Fifth to 22nd streets. Food and refreshments vendors on all beaches.
More information: Town website or call (800) 882-7787
Status: Beaches will be open weekends from Memorial Day weekend to June 8, then daily through Sept. 2.
Fees: Daily, $5; weekly, $10; season, $25. Ages 11 and younger, free.
Lifeguards: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekends and holidays. Swimming permitted only at guarded beaches. Facilities Welcome centers on the Ninth Street Causeway and Ninth Street and 34th Street. Restrooms at the boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace and on First, Sixth, 12th, 34th and 59th streets. A privately owned bathhouse provides showers and changing rooms at 13th Street and Ocean Avenue, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, weather permitting. (609) 399-7121.
Parking: Metered parking available; nonmetered spaces available farther from the beach; municipal lots on Fourth, Eighth, Ninth and 14th streets and Moorlyn Terrace; pay-by-hour lots also available.
Rules: No pets. Surfing permitted at beaches marked with “S.” Surf fishing allowed on beaches where there are no lifeguards. No cooking or bonfires. Beach umbrellas and chairs welcome, with rentals available. Ball playing, Frisbees, volleyball and other recreation allowed toward back of beach areas, away from bathers. Bicycling allowed on boardwalk from 5 a.m.-noon from June 1 through Columbus Day weekend.
Handicapped access: At First, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, 12th, 14th, 26th, 29th, 34th, 36th, 40th, 43rd, 46th, 50th, 51st, 52nd, 53rd, 55th, 57th and 59th streets. Handicapped-accessible restrooms at the boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace and at First, Sixth, 12th and 34th streets. Beach wheelchairs available at Sports and Civic Center (6th Street and Boardwalk) 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and at four lifeguard stands. Reservations encouraged, call (609) 525-9304. No charge for on-street parking for properly marked handicapped vehicles.
Boardwalk: Boardwalk features arcades, miniature golf, amusement rides, shops, snacks, casual dining; more than 100 shops and restaurants open year-round between Sixth and 11th streets.
Attractions: Concerts on the beach every Monday and children’s activities every Tuesday on Asbury Avenue; water park; biplane rides and air tours; parasailing; Stainton Wildlife Refuge; Corson’s Inlet State Park; public tennis, basketball and shuffleboard courts; Miss New Jersey boardwalk parade June 12; NJJA Jeep Invasion June 16; Antique Auto Show June 22; sand-sculpting contest July 3; Freckle contest July 11; Mummerss Night on boardwalk every Tuesday; 34th annual T. John Carey Master’s Swim July 20; OCBP Women’s Lifeguard Invitational Races July 24; Artisans Guild Craft Show July 27; Pamper Scamper baby-crawling race Aug. 6; Twins contest Aug. 8; Boys and girls surf fishing contest Aug. 10; Street Rod weekend Sept. 6-8; Ocean City Historical Museum.
Etc.: Ocean City is a dry town, so alcoholic beverages are not sold within city limits.
More information: Town website or call or (800) 232-2465
Status: While Sea Isle City suffered some damage from Hurricane Sandy, all repairs have been made and beaches are already open, with full access from Memorial Day weekend through the end of the season.
Fees: Daily, $5; weekly, $10. Season, $25; ages 11 and younger, free. Wednesdays free (except July 4). Veterans can obtain free beach tags at the welcome center.
Lifeguards: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., weekdays, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Beaches north of 20th Street and south of 93rd Street do not have lifeguards.
Facilities: Beachfront public restrooms with rinse stations at 32nd, 40th, 44th, 85th and 94th streets (handicapped accessible). Public restrooms at five other locations.
Parking: Metered parking from May 15 to Sept. 15. Nonmetered spaces available throughout Sea Isle. Parking lots located at 125 JFK Blvd., 40th Street and Central Avenue, 42nd Place and the Bay, 48th Street and Central Avenue and 94th Street and Landis Avenue.
Rules: No dogs on beaches, approaches or promenades. No alcohol, picnicking or bonfires. Various beaches between 20th-93rd allow rafting, surfing, kayaking and volleyball.
Handicapped access: Ramps from street to the promenade at 29th, 40th, 44th and 57th streets; beach access at 41st and 85th streets; gazebo with picnic facilities at 85th street entrance; access to 94th St. gazebo at Townsend’s Inlet Park. Surf chairs available at Beach Patrol HQ (44th Street and Promenade) 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, on first-come, first-served basis, reservations accepted, Handicapped-accessible restrooms at 32nd, 40th, 44th , 85th and 94th streets.
Boardwalk: Concrete promenade stretches a mile and half.
Attractions: Weekly concerts June 8-Sept. 14; “Movies Under the Stars” June 25-Aug. 27; family dance parties; beachcomber guided tours; “Sea Isle City’s Got Talent” competitions every Friday night. Kids activity zone at 36th Street beach with daily games and activities June 15-Aug. 31 Etc. Work is expected to be completed by Memorial Day on the Beach-to-Bay beautification project along JFK Boulevard, which deepened the bayside canals for boat traffic. Jitney buses run from 29th to 94th streets Fridays through Sundays until 4 a.m.
More information: Town website or call (609) 263-0050
Status: Limited beach access until Memorial Day weekend when “the dredging program is scheduled to be completed,” said Carrie Bosacco of the Stone Harbor Beach Patrol. Otherwise, Stone Harbor does not have any residual damage from Hurricane Sandy.
Fees: All persons 12 and older must display tags the Friday of Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Beach tags: seasonal through May 31, $21. Seasonal tags after June 1, $26. Weekly, $12; daily, $6. Beach-tag office is at 95th Street and the beach, open 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Lifeguards: On duty 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, regularly spaced on beaches between 81st and 122nd streets.
Facilities: Permanent restrooms at 95th Street and in front of borough hall on 2nd Avenue. Portable restrooms at 122nd Street and the beach. No permanent changing rooms or showers. Rinse-off station available at 95th Street.
Concessions: Six on-beach concession stands added this year selling pre-packaged (not hot) food and refreshments at 80th, 83rd, 95th, 100th, 108th and 123rd streets. They will also rent umbrellas and beach chairs.
Parking: Free parking lot at 123rd Street. Paid kiosk lot at 95th Street (closes at 5 p.m.). Free street parking along beach area and side streets. Metered parking in business district.
Rules: Umbrellas and beach chairs are allowed. Swimming and rafting beaches are all designated beaches except 81st, 86th, 105th, 110th, 112th, and 122nd streets. The use of surfboards (with leashes attached) are permitted at the beaches at 81st and 110th streets only. Kayaks are permitted at 122nd Street through 126th Street only, and life jackets must be worn at all times while in the water. Picnics, alcoholic beverages, fires, glass bottles, sleeping from sunset to sunrise are all prohibited. Sailcraft must be licensed and beached at designated areas only. Ball playing and Frisbees allowed at lifeguards’ discretion.
Handicapped access: Ramps to beach at 83rd, 88th, 92nd, 95th, 101st, 103rd, 105th, 111th, 114th and 119th streets. Portable restrooms with handicapped-accessible stalls on 82nd Street recreation field, 95th Street and the beach, and the 123rd Street parking lot at the beach. Parking available at 95th Street and the beach, no charge for vehicles parked in metered spaces if displaying windshield placard or license plate. Six surf chairs available at beach-tag office at 95th Street and the beach, reservations suggested (609) 368-6805.
Attractions: No boardwalk but plenty of restaurants and shops in the business district. Visitors might also want to go to the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary or Stone Harbor Museum.
More information: Town website or call (609) 368-6805
Facilities: No permanent public restrooms; one portable restroom at Williams and Putnam avenues, one at 2500 Commonwealth Ave. and one at 1495 Commonwealth Ave. Restrooms cannot be used for changing. No rinse-off facilities.
Rules: Beaches open sunrise to sunset. No ball playing; rafts, inner tubes and other inflatables not allowed in lifeguard-protected areas. No alcohol, cooking or fires, pets, vehicles or horses. Fishing prohibited on beaches between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Surfboards allowed between Tecumseh Avenue and Sumner Avenue beaches; catamarans allowed between Prescott Road and Nelson Street beaches.
Handicapped access: At Williams Avenue and Neptune Road and at Putnam Avenue, along Whale Beach; two surf chairs available at Beach Patrol Building, Williams Avenue and Neptune Road, with reservations suggested; call (609) 263-1151 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; two on-street handicapped parking spaces available.
Etc.: According to municipal engineer Paul Dietrich, Strathmere is one of the only beaches maintained in a completely natural manner on the Jersey Shore. The beaches offer many opportunities for birdwatchers and wildlife observation.
More information: Township website or call (609) 886-2005
Status: Open Fridays-Sundays through June 14, then daily.
Lifeguards: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Facilities: No public changing rooms, rinse-off stations or showers. Permanent restroom buildings located at intervals along the boardwalk; portable restroom located at end of the beach ramps every other street.
Parking: Metered parking 8 a.m.-3 a.m. daily, with free street parking available on some side streets and pay-by-hour lots available near all attractions.
Rules: No pets. Rafts and flotation devices, ball playing, Frisbees and other games permitted only in areas designated by lifeguards. Alcohol, skimboards, watercraft, vehicles and fires/cooking prohibited. Visitors are asked not to feed sea gulls.
Handicapped access:Ramps to boardwalk at each street ending at boardwalk; direct access to beach at Cresse Avenue beyond boardwalk. Beach Patrol will provide transport from boardwalk onto sand for disabled persons and one companion after 11 a.m., return transport before 4 p.m.; surf wheelchairs at Beach Patrol HQ (Lincoln and Ocean avenues). For reservations, call (609) 522-8258. Handicapped-accessible restrooms on boardwalk level at Glenwood, Youngs and Leaming avenues; ramp from boardwalk to beach for restrooms/comfort station at Schellenger Avenue, handicapped-accessible portable restrooms at seven beach walkways. Street parking available, also municipal lots at Rio Grande, Taylor, Leaming and Hand avenues.
Boardwalk: Classic Jersey Shore 2-mile-long boardwalk with shops, eateries, arcades, games of chance, rides, amusements and go-kart racing. Tram car transportation with the iconic “Watch the tram car, please” warning. Amusement piers sustained no damage from Hurricane Sandy. Rides and attractions, shops, stores and restaurants will all be back for business.
Attractions: Live entertainment at the Fox Park amphitheater Sundays, June 30-Aug. 25; “Back to the ’50s Neon Night” tours; parasailing; bicycle and surrey rentals; National Marbles Hall of Fame; Wildwood Insectarium; American Legion Convention Parade June 15; Battle at the Beach martial arts tournament Aug. 2-4; Beach Cornhole Tournament Aug. 3, Boardwalk parades June-August; fireworks on the beach every Friday night; Christmas in July craft show July 20-21.
More information: Town website or call (609) 522-8258
Status: Beaches open weekends from Memorial Day weekend through June 15, then daily from 6 a.m.-11 p.m. through Labor Day.
Lifeguards: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Facilities: Permanent restrooms at Sunrise Park on Rambler Road and Scoop Taylor Park at Heather Road and Ocean Avenue; some portable restrooms at points along the beach. Restrooms cannot be used as changing facilities. No rinse-off stations available.
Parking: Metered street parking along the beach for about 1½ blocks, with free street parking beyond. Municipal lot with free parking at the recreation center at Heather Road and Ocean Avenue.
Rules: No alcohol, vehicles, ball playing, Frisbees, kites, animals or fires on beach. Flotation devices permitted in posted areas. Surfing beach located at Rambler Road. No surf fishing during swimming hours.
Handicapped access: At 39 entry points to beach, with the exception of Crosse and Washington streets. Surf wheelchairs available at Rambler Road, call (609) 522-3825. Handicapped-accessible restrooms at Sunrise Park at Rambler Road.
Attractions: Sand-Sculpting Festival June 29, Fourth of July celebration, Cape May County Lifeguard Championships July 5, live concerts Wednesday and Saturday nights at Centennial Park, Antique, Classic and Hot Rod car show Aug. 3. ETC. Wildwood Crest was mostly spared the devastation from Hurricane Sandy that other Shore communities suffered.