Summer is here. For many locals in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas this means one if not many trips to the Jersey shore. If you’re not familiar with, or have never been to the shore, let us give you a few basic facts. One, the Jersey shore is nothing, absolutely nothing, like you may have seen on the tv show of the same name. And the further south you go, the less like it it becomes. Two, if you’re talking to someone from Philly and ask them where they are going on vacation and they say “I’m going ‘down the shore'”, they mean that they are hitting one of the shore points that line coastal New Jersey from top to bottom. We here in this area take for granted that sometimes we say things to people and they have no idea what the heck we are talking about (See also: going up the mountains. This means that they are taking a trip to the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania).
So this summer, we’re going ‘down the shore’ as part of our Sunday Spotlight series. Out first stop, Sea Isle City. A quick stop at the Sea Isle visitor’s center located at 300 John F. Kennedy Blvd. in Sea Isle, provides you with a map and guides for everything going on in Sea Isle this summer from movie nights to music events to midnight munchie spots. A booklet outlining transportation, beach guidelines, and the best places to eat just to name a few things will help the first time visitor navigate this friendly beach town.
We spoke to a few people who were at the visitor center and around town in hopes of getting the scoop on why Sea isle City is worthy of our first Jersey Shore Edition spotlight. One woman we spoke to said that Sea Isle has “the perfect balance for a shore town.” Some towns she said, “are a little bit rowdy and cater more to a younger party type crowd. And some are obviously much more quiet and upscale, almost too quiet. Sea Isle has young and old, something for everyone. It’s family friendly but still fun for college kids and spring break types too.”
It’s true that our guide showed a good blend of activities for both adults and kids and the town is full of places for kids to play and adults to party. There’s 3 playgrounds, a kid’s activity zone, and free family dance parties every week. No kids? No problem. Sea Isle is loaded with things to do, places to go, and people to see. And when we asked where people’s favorite places to go were, we got no shortage of opinions. While you can easily find all of the whats, whens and wheres in the visitor’s guide, or ask just about any one of the friendly shop owners or servers you’ll encounter, there were a few things that we just needed to get first hand opinions on: pizza, breakfast, and of course beer.
Who has the best breakfast in town? Rick’s Breakfast House (at 61st and Landis) got the top honors of those we asked. One commenter said, “the breakfast sandwiches are out of this world.” Another reminded, “they only take cash so be sure to stop at the ATM first, but it’s totally worth it.” We found that to be true of several local businesses and eateries in Sea Isle so take note and carry cash, or at least be sure to have your ATM card handy.
Where should we go for a cold beer in an unpretentious environment?
A slight difference in opinion here but a little research actually backed up both claims. A long time Sea Isle summer resident told us that The Springfield fit the bill perfectly. “It’s a little older crowd and it’s been around forever. If you’ve been coming here a while, you’ve been drinking at The Springfield. Plus they have ‘No Shower Happy Hour’ and the outdoor bar has live music every day.” As someone who’s had more than a few beers at The Springfield over the years, I can’t say I disagree. And while our other responder seemed to like The Springfield as well, she told us that “The Dead Dog is the most laid back bar on the island. If you just want to go hang out and have a few beers this is the best spot. If you’re trying to dance and pick up guys or whatever, save it for LaCosta or The OD (Ocean Drive).”
Where should we go for really good pizza?
We got a mix of opinions here but at the end of the day there were two that prevailed. Basilicos (on 43rd st) got good feedback from everyone. It’s a full scale restaurant so you can get more than just pizza, and as one person said, “their sauce is out of this world and the pizza is the best on the island by far.” Another popular choice we got was DeNunzio’s. While we can’t argue that beachfront pizza is living the dream, our new found friends told us that “the brick oven pizza is so, so delicious.” Who are we to argue. Honorable mentions: Uncle Oogies, a Sea Isle staple that delivers to the beach (yes, to the beach) and Azzura.
And if we’re looking for good live music, where is the best place to be?
A handful we asked, and a handful all answered, the OD. The Ocean Drive located at 40th st. and Landis ave. in the heart of Sea Isle, has been the island’s hot spot for generations. Boasting a ‘No Shower Happy Hour, tons of drink specials, and an outdoor bar and grill, it’s definitely one of the most popular places in Sea Isle. Entertainment nightly, with bands like seashore staple Secret Service, have kept people coming back for years.
While we’ve covered our basic shore point needs of beer, beach and bands, there are a million other things to do and see in Sea Isle. Come down and check it out for yourself. Check out our sneak peak at summer 2015 below and have a great time checking out Sea Isle City this summer. Bonus: Sea Isle runs a jitney (shuttle bus) service during the summer to help you get around a little easier while visiting. For the bulk of the summer it runs 7 days a week from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. It runs up and down Landis ave from 29th st. to 94th st. and will stop at basically any corner where someone is waiting to flag it down. So there’s no excuse to get behind the wheel if you’ve had one too many!
Sea Isle City Food Truck Rally June 26th, 2015 – June 28th, 2015
Kix McNutley’s 6400 Landis Ave., Sea Isle City, NJ 08243
Sea Isle City’s Got Talent June 26th, 2015 – August 14th, 2015
Excursion Park 40th St. & Pleasure Ave., Sea Isle City, NJ 08243
Free Movies Under the Stars
Excursion Park, JFK Blvd and Pleasure Ave. Dusk
June 30 – “Paddington”
July 7 – “The Boxtrolls”
July 14 – “Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July”
July 21 – “The Lego Movie”
July 28 – “Earth to Echo”
August 4 – “Planes – Fire and Rescue”
August 11 -“Maleficent”
August 18 – “Dolphin Tale 2”
August 25 – “Annie: It’s the Hard Knock Life” (2014)
September 2 – “Cinderella” (2015)
Free Concerts Under the Stars
Excursion Park, 8-10pm
June 20 – Split Decision (Pop)
June 27 – Lights Out (Four Seasons Tribute)
*July 4 – Atlantic Pops Orchestra 7:30-9pm, followed by Fireworks (Rain date: July 5)
July 11 – Real Diamond (Neil Diamond Tribute)
July 18 – BSTREETBAND (Bruce Springsteen Tribute)
July 25 – The Glimmer Twins (Rolling Stones Tribute)
August 1 – Masquerade (R&B)
August 8 – Separate Ways The Band (Journey Tribute)
August 15 – Alan Jackson & Garth Brooks Tribute
August 22 – The Rockets (Variety)
August 29 – Don’t Call Me Francis (Variety)
September 5 – Bigg Romeo (Variety)