Destination – Jersey Shore

♫ On the Boardwalk in Atlantic City ♫

Its that time of year again!!!!  I’m goin’ down da shore.  I already have my reservations made for Sea Isle City, NJ, for a week of sun, sand and surf at the Jersey shore with my children and grandchildren.  Have you ever been there?  I’m from Philly, well, really Bucks County PA, well, really Bethlehem PA, and have vacationed at the Jersey shore my entire life!  Da shore is not all the same, you know.  There’s a string of towns with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Bay on the other.  And each town has its own personality, its own story, its own “Must do” list!

For instance, if you want beaches that are miles long just to get to the water, head to Wildwood!  Think of Bobby Rydell and his Wi-Wi-Wildwood Days!!  There’s North Wildwood with the biggest, deepest beach of all. Next is Wildwood itself with bars, nightclubs, shows and traffic, strings of hotels and of course,the boardwalk!  And then comes Wildwood Crest which is family oriented. The huge boardwalk boasts several piers with rides for adults and kids alike!  Roller coasters, carousels, kiddy rides, miniature golf and everything in between! Not to mention the food:  ice cream; pizza; sausage sandwiches; funnel cake; hot peanuts; spaghetti; cotton candy; etc, etc, etc.

Another totally family oriented town is Ocean City which is also a “dry” town…no alcohol in keeping with the family theme.  You just head across the bridge to Somers Point to pick up what you need or stop at any of the Canal Liquor Stores on your way to da shore.  Ocean City also has a wonderful boardwalk and has many family adventures.  Count on fireworks the Friday night of Memorial Day weekend to kick off the summer season!  Shows in the music hall, magicians, and even beach wheelchairs.  Tradition says to ride bikes on the boardwalk until 11:00am.  Stop for donuts or monkey bread to fuel your ride!  You’ll see little kids on bikes, mom’s and dad’s, teens; and you can even rent a surrey with the fringe on top! Its not nearly as easy to pedal as you might think since you’re moving 4-5 bodies! These people seem exhausted and the chain just broke.  (Paul, my daughter Carla, grandson Jordan, and friend Patti.)  The dunes are always kept up in case of storm surges. The 3rd picture is from the top of the ferris wheel with a great view of the boardwalk and beach.

Surrey with the fringe on top IMAG0094_resized         Beach entrance 2 DSC06144     View from top of the roller coaster unspecified

Atlantic City – the long ago home to the famous diving horse!  Beaches, boardwalk, and a tram ride (“Watch the tram car please”) to take you from one end to the other and enjoy the sights, not to mention the bikinis and stilettos!  And there are casinos, nightclubs and bars up and down the main street of town.  Oh, and pawn shops!  In case you need to raise more money for the casinos!

Margate is home to Lucy the Elephant. Lucy is a six-story elephant-shaped example of novelty architecture, constructed of wood and tin sheeting in 1881 by James V. Lafferty in Margate City, New Jersey, in an effort to sell real estate and attract tourists.  Today, guided tours take visitors into the building through the spiral staircase in the left rear leg up into the interior, then up again into the howdah to see views of Margate, the Atlantic City skyline, and the Atlantic Ocean.  Seeing Lucy is a “must” in Margate!

Cape May itself is Victorian heaven.  Several of the very quaint, gingerbread covered houses are open to tours and its another “must see”.  And a “must taste” is the molasses taffy lollipop from Laura’s Fudge!

Take the road further south to the tip of the Cape May Point.  Visit the lighthouse and climb the stairs if you’re adventurous (and strong).  Ok, even further south we go all the way to the point.  The “must see” here is the concrete ship, Atlantus, built by the Liberty Ship Building Company after World War I.  Atlantus was used to transport American troops back home from Europe and also to transport coal in New England. The Atlantus was supposed to create a slip for a ferry to dock and was  towed to Cape May.  A storm hit and the ship broke free of her moorings and ran aground 150 feet off the coast. The wreckage is currently split in three pieces. The stern is the most visible section, the middle is completely submerged, and the bow can only be viewed at low tide.  Sunset Beach is at the mouth of the Delaware River where it meets the Atlantic Ocean.  The extreme turbulence of the water causes the sand to become diamonds!  Yes!  Diamonds!  These “could be” pieces of quartz that washed down the river or broken pieces from an age old glass factory but its fun to look for the clear stones, year after year!  Of course, there’s a gift shop. You can buy your Cape May Diamonds already set into jewelry pieces or go outside, find your own clear stones and tumble them at home yourself!  Everyone I know has some Cape May diamonds in the bottom of an old suitcase!

ussatlantus     diamonds-b

♫ On the way to Cape May ♫….we heard Al Alberts sing it again and again and of course, we all sing it on the way to the shore!  “I was taken by your smile as we drifted through Sea Isle; my heart was gone, when we reached Avalon!”  New Jersey, I’m comin’ home!



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