Jersey shore towns vary in size and in amenities. Some have evolved into sprawling, tacky cities that offer alcohol, escort services along with Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds.One has evolved into a giant gaming den with all of accompanying vices, including discount shopping.
I happen to be staying in a shore town that has no amusement park, boardwalk nor public occasions of “sin”. It has only one building over six stories and a long, clean beach, a small marina and lots of family restaurants. Like so many other shore towns, it is built on an island.
However, the island is not a barrier island. This island was blown in at the beginning of the twentieth century to be an enclave for the wealthy. In the twenties, a few buildings were erected;but, the Great Depression put a halt to new construction. For many years the island was isolated from the mainland. Only those with boats could enjoy the solitude it offered. After WWII, a bridge went up and little by little housing appeared. No longer a place for the rich and famous, the town passed an ordinance that no building could be taller than six stories.
Even today, the only building (that serves as a land mark because it is the tallest building on the island) jutting into the sky is a time-share, a former art deco hotel was built before the Great Depression. The island is considered by many as a great place for a modest family vacation. Also, for some reason, although there are very few amenities, it is the home of many retired persons.
My family loves this place because it is quiet and laid back. It also has a wonderful beach for relaxing and for listening to waves. So, this year, instead of trading off my time-share, I used the lovely apartment as a place for family members to spend a few days catching up on sleep, basking in the sun or enjoying the panoramic view from the roof. Perhaps next year I will try to get two apartments so that more family members might enjoy what this unassuming town has to offer. My favorite occupation here is walking the beach. If I cannot do that, I will travel across the bridge and rent a hotel room in a more diversified shore town.