||Discover Ocean County
Ocean County, New Jersey is about one and one-half hours from the metro
areas of Philadelphia and New York and an hour north of Atlantic City.
You'll need to drive or rent a car, as public transit is very limited.
Ocean County is home to Six Flags Great Adventure Theme Park, Wild Safari
Drive-thru Animal Park and Hurricane Harbor Water Park, the A-Affiliate of
the Philadelphia Phillies, dubbed the Lakewood BlueClaws, the Tuckerton
Seaport, a 40-acre maritime village and the resort town of Seaside
There are two deep sea ports:Pt. Pleasant Beach, off exit 98 of the Garden State Parkway, is a
resort community with a boardwalk, amusements, aquarium, games of chance,
miniature golf, aquarium and beach bars and nightlife. It's downtown
features antique dealers, more than 100 independents under one roof, and
boutique shops. It is the home of the New Jersey Offshore Grand Prix
Powerboat races. A fisherman's cooperative functions in the area and a
deep sea fishing fleet takes anglers out for the day and half-day. There
are motels at the beach and adjacent is the seashore village of Bay Head
with its art galleries, gourmet restaurants and B&B's. A free shuttle
transports visitors from motels to the boardwalk to the downtown shopping
area. There is free family entertainment every night ranging from fireworks
to light classical beach concerts to kiddie shows.
Barnegat Light, off Exit 63 of the Garden State Parkway, is one of six
communities on Long Beach Island. It is home to not only Barnegat
Lighthouse, but also Viking Village, an unlikely combination of a
commercial fishing port and boutique shops which have taken over the
fishing shacks. There are dozen B&B's on the island as well as motels, but
most folks rent, and there are magnificent sand "castles" available. The
island offers high powered shopping, art galleries, a waterpark, Fantasy
Island amusement park, museums and the Surflight Theatre. There is a
myriad of night life with live entertainment and folks enjoy bicycling and
in-line skating on the side streets. The Crystal Queen provides daily
excursions to Atlantic City by boat via the inland waterway.
Because of the barrier beaches, Ocean County also hosts 40 miles of
Barnegat Bay and is the start of the inland waterway which terminates in
Florida. There are plenty of watersports, from sailing, windsurfing, and
parasailing, not to mention crabbing and fishing. Charter boat rentals
with a captain for up to six people are widely available.
New Jersey is one of the few states with mandatory water testing and
the ocean condition has been great and continually improving. Due to the
drought in 2002, waters have never been cleaner nor clearer. This year
instead of the traditional gray-green, the colors reflected are closer to
The state has an extensive artificial reef program which attracts
aquatic wildlife. The Jersey Coast is littered with wrecks, dating back to
the 18th century. Lobster hunting and spearfishing are favorite pastimes.
Divers have been known to forego the warmth and beauty of the Caribbean for
diversity of diving among New Jersey's wrecks.
Check out the list below for links to boats in the area or check with local dive shops
found in the Yellow Pages under "Diving Equipment & Supplies" or "Diving
Instructions" as they frequently have trips available. There also is a
series of inlets which provide inshore diving.
TIP: Because Ocean County is within 75 miles of 15 million people who
love to day trip to the Jersey shore, weekends can be hectic. Make your
visit during the week.