Jersey Shore minus the cast
June 26, 2011 6:28 PM   Subscribe

What's the quietest Jersey beach to spend a late summer weekend?

I really want to go to the shore, while it's still hot, but I want to avoid the crowds. Obviously shooting for later in the summer, but I can't make heads or tails of where to go.

My ideal scenario is a cheap motel with a lot of sea-foam colored furniture, a quiet(ish) beach I can also go to during the night (not to swim, necessarily, but at least one that lets you walk on the sand when it's dark), and maybe a place to rent a cruiser bike. The fewer screaming children and/or guidos, the better.

Ease of commute from Philly is a huge bonus.
posted by timory to Travel & Transportation around New Jersey (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Ocean Grove is really quiet. You're more likely to find a B&B than a motel, though.

Also, if you can stand nudity, Gunnison's at Sandy Hook tends to be highly kid free and is good for a day trip.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:33 PM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sunset Beach by Cape May Point isn't super busy, though I don't recall much seafoam furniture. It's tough to get more guido-free in Jersey than the Cape Mays, though I wouldn't call the other beaches there quiet. Wildwood Crest, maybe? Strathmere is very small, but it's also close to Sea Isle, which may mean a little crowding.
I've heard that Ventnor is a bit quieter than the neighboring beaches, but I can't vouch for it personally. It's hard to get more accessible to Philly than that. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever heard anyone say they were going to Brigantine. Might be worth a look.
posted by willpie at 6:48 PM on June 26, 2011

We stayed in Cape May at the end of the season and it was as you described, right down to the pastel colored furniture. The place we stayed was the last motel on that street, with the beach and a little diner next door. Highly recommended.The motel in question.
posted by wowbobwow at 6:58 PM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have family in both Cape May and Ocean Grove. I'd recommend either for a quiet weekend. Asbury Park is fun to party in and it's conveniently next to Ocean Grove too, if you change your mind.
posted by CorduroyCorset at 7:43 PM on June 26, 2011

I grew up on Long Beach Island, although I admit I haven't been back in awhile. You might check that out. No boardwalk, so it's generally quieter. Somewhere in the middle (Ship Bottom, Surf City) would be pretty laid back. But, probably guidos. Also, slow going to get onto the island on the weekends.
posted by cabingirl at 8:12 PM on June 26, 2011

I'm from the area. I actually think Ocean Grove might be a little busy for you; especially if you're going before Labor Day, it will be full of kids, and you aren't allowed on the beach at night, in theory. It's one of my favorite towns, but it definitely is a busy family resort. It'd be quieter after Labor Day. For in-season, I suggest Spring Lake - quiet, relatively kid-free, beautiful beaches, guido-free, cruiser-bike-friendly. Places to stay. The downside is it's not that cheap. It's going to be sort of a trick to find both cheap and kid-free.

Another suggestion - you might go to Ocean City. Yes, the north end of the island is a busy boardwalk with kids galore. BUT the south end - I'd say everything from 34th street south - is super quiet. You can find rentals right on the beach or a block away and have access any time you want. There's a nature preserve at the southern tip. The whole town is great for cruiser-biking. And if you do get the urge, there are things to do in the 50s-era downtown and on the boardwalk, but when you go back to your house, you leave that world behind. We love the south end and stay there as a family annually.
posted by Miko at 8:12 PM on June 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh, Ocean City has a couple motels like that, but they are more near the honky tonk area. It's a dry town though so it's really never too bad.
posted by Miko at 8:13 PM on June 26, 2011

I love the beach and am adverse to crowds. I LOVE Gunnison/Sandy Hook because of it's lack of chaos. You can be naked AND drink openly? Heck yeah! There are absolutely no Jersey Shore folks. It's mostly aging hippies. It might not be quaint enough for you though.

If you really want the cute beach house, then it's Stone Harbor or Cape May. Both are much more quiet than your average Jersey beach. I feel like Stone Harbor is the less crowded of the two, but Cape May has more cute boutiquey shopping, Cape May diamonds, the bird preserve, and The Mad Batter.
posted by troublewithwolves at 8:47 PM on June 26, 2011

No guidos on Long Beach Island, but plenty of kids. Beaches are not too crowded, though.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 9:47 PM on June 26, 2011

I think you want Strathmere: a VERY tiny town adjacent to Ocean City (a dry town, and pretty quiet in its own right).
posted by Blandanomics at 10:19 PM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Cape May or Avalon for sure. My boss hates crowds but insists on an annual work beach day (this Wednesday!) and these are his two picks.

Last year, he and his family stayed here, which allowed us to rent really sweet cabanas. Not cheap, though.
posted by supercres at 6:47 AM on June 27, 2011

Response by poster: Out of curiosity, what would be the cheapest option? Ultimately, cheap wins over quiet. I think I might hate kids more than guidos, for what it's worth... although it's hard to tell.

It's not that drinking and partying and all that stuff isn't my thing, but I at least want to be able to get away from it easily.
posted by timory at 7:41 AM on June 27, 2011

cape may point (not cape may) and brigantine are definitely the most quiet and guido-free IMO. havent been to either in a few years, so things might have changed, but cape may is the furthest point south, so most beach-goers opt for something closer up the parkway that's a bit less sleepy. brigantine is a peninsula, so you have to drive out to get to it and it really just attracts surfers if i recall. cape may point is pretty residential and i dont seem to remember a lot of hotels there, but i bet you can find a house to rent if you look on CL.
posted by ps_im_awesome at 9:23 AM on June 27, 2011

Jumping in way late here, but the 315 bus (NJ Transit) runs from Philly's Market East station to the southern NJ shore towns. I've gone to Stone Harbor this way and find it way more convenient than driving!
posted by brackish.line at 2:05 PM on August 25, 2011

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