We may be dyed-in-the-wool urbanites, but that doesn’t mean that, come summer, we don’t crave cooling ocean breezes and sand between our toes as much as the next person. New York City boasts a plethora of sandy shores all suitable for daytrips by car or train. We chose Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, mostly because it afforded me the opportunity to crack jokes about the Jersey Shore.
Charlie and I hit the road bright and early, arriving in Point Pleasant around 10:30 AM to find plenty of empty parking spaces in lots ranging from $2.25 to $10.00 a day depending on beach proximity. The air temperature barely hit 70 degrees and the ocean was freezing and rough the day we were there, but that didn’t deter my six-year-old cold-blooded water baby from dashing pell-mell into the arctic surf, shouting and whooping in delight as the cold water lapped at the hem of his bathing suit.
We didn’t catch a glimpse of Snooki or any of her fellow Guidos or Guidettes (they actually rose to fame 11 miles down the road in Seaside Heights), but we did find a delightfully uncrowded expanse of beach, a mile-long boardwalk with an old-timey, retro, not-too-cheesy vibe, buff lifeguards cruising the beach on those groovy lifeguard dune buggy things (what are those called anyway?), candy apples, and miniature golf.
Not bad for an hour and a half drive from the city on a random Monday in the summer.
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, Public beach access at the southern end of town; two bath houses with bathrooms and changing rooms can be found at the end of Broadway Avenue and at the end of Parkway Avenue and open at 9:00 AM, www.pointpleasantbeach.com.
Jenkinson’s Beach Boardwalk,, Most rides open between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM, www.jenkinsons.com.