On Friday (beautiful 80+ degree day) I decided to take the ride up 36 South - through the Highlands into Sea Bright. As usual by he time I hit Rum Runners I was in stopped traffic as you would expect this time of year, especially if we weren’t in the midst of a pandemic / lock down.
Based on my observation(s) less than half of those seen (mostly younger people) had masks on of any kind. You could honestly not tell there was a “pandemic” going on, there was even a parking lot attendant at Rum Runners, not sure why.
This made me realize that I do believe this is going to be a record breaking Memorial Day weekend at the Jersey Shore. I think everyone is so tired of being cooped up a trip to the shore is still an affordable option for many, especially NY’ers whose beaches are not going to be open, that we are on the verge of a madhouse unlike many others we have seen.
Reduced capacity at restaurants and bars will be challenged as everyone’s tolerance for obedient compliance has probably reached it’s limits and I truly think we are going to see mayhem in the greater Jersey Shore area. (yes I will be at my beach club, probably bringing/wearing a mask for most of my time there…still figuring out my best method to drink with a mask on, suggestions are welcome)
Just acknowledging what you’ve written here, NJr. You said what needed to be said.
Completely agree about the mayhem, @NotJrvedivici - Asbury has already seen the crowds infiltrate starting two (?) weekends ago when it was gorgeous both days. I live on the northernmost end of town and there wasn’t a (metered) parking spot to be had in our neighborhood. I’m NOT happy about the ‘regular’ influx and after walking on the main part of the boardwalk on Sunday (when it wasn’t the best weather) for the first time since late March, I think I’ll be staying away. Put it this way…my IG post simply said So. Much. Stupid. (along with pics of people WALKING ON THE WRONG SIDE of the cones/signs/arrows. Most of them without masks.) Then there were the two young girls standing IN THE MIDDLE of the boardwalk eating (really bad–from the Silverball arcade) pizza…
I have a feeling that your Spidey sense is correct. We expect pressure from older relatives to visit them on the shore this summer season, and we’ll politely but firmly decline. No need for us out-of-staters to add to the crush. You don’t need interlopers.
Here in Massachusetts a favorite beach on the North Shore (Crane’s Beach) is completely sold out of timed-entry parking passes every day through June 1 (passes after that date haven’t been made available yet). They’re trying to limit attendance to half the property’s capacity and require masks except when swimming. Capacity limit means no Memorial Day weekend beach walk for us as I didn’t know about the pass system until today.
Even though this is the great outdoors we’re talking about, I am not keen to see people crowding anywhere.
I live in the Philly area, so our local news covers the South Jersey beaches. What I saw in Ocean City and Wildwood was frightening. The OC beach was packed with sunbathers and its boardwalk was overrun with unmasked people standing close together in long lines for Manco & Manco Pizza and Boardwalk fries. The Wildwood beaches were a little more socially distanced thanks to their sheer size. But the boardwalk was equally scary with lines for food and ice cream full of unmasked people.
One of the people interviewed had an interesting (and maybe valid) theory: the crowding on the boardwalk may have been the result of none of the typical shore activities being open–no amusements, no bars/restaurants (though there are no bars in OC), no mini-golf, no retail shops, etc. But that still doesn’t explain the lack of masks.
I agree with @NotJrvedivici – this weekend at the Jersey shore is going to be mayhem.
OMG Crane’s!!! Great beach.
I think you are absolutely right. We typically don’t have issues with beaches because we have a few that seem to be less known. We were kicking around the idea of renting a house on Cape Cod for a week or two just to move our house location but I’m not sure about that either.
can’t you just use a handle of vodka as a mask itself?
when we did the Cape- we did the week after Labor Day. Crowds were much less, prices 60% of the week before. Crowds depend to some extent of the town you’re in I believe. Miss it there.
weather was still great and as long as you don’t mind eating dinner before 8 every night- easier with a little one- you can still find most spots open.
the beach club dilemma has been discussed around my town as well- we don’t partake but our friends that do are all pretty much set on using it, at least for now.
I think the consensus has been those that go for a family activity will be ok- those who go for social hour and happy hour will prob have some issues. I wonder if cabanas will be less desirable this year or not due to the compact nature they have as opposed to staking out a spot on the sand.
My grandma lived in Orleans for 30 years so we know the area. I haven’t been up in at least 6 since she died and we sold the house. I have a soft spot for it. September is always my favorite time too. And we always eat before 8 now HA! Life with a 3 year year old!
Same with us and LBI, we spend the 3rd week of September there every year. All the crowds are gone, the beaches are empty and the water temps are at their highest.
Regarding the beach club, I’m going into it curiously waiting to see just how crowded it is We have 6 feet between cabanas / sitting area’s so that doesn’t concern me too much. Using the pool etc? That I’m going to have to read up on a bit more before I decide if I’m going to do that.
Our town did a good job of selling badges in order to maintain safety. Nothing like some of the other towns (I’m looking at you Belmar). You could only buy seasonal badges online and they STOPPED selling them on May 15. I don’t think there was a limit as to how many they sold. If you were local, members of the town council and/or beach department delivered them to you ( I got mine on Sunday). The rest were mailed. No additional badges will be sold until 6/1 at the earliest, to give the town time to evaluate how things went. No daily badges will be sold until after 6/1 after the review either. Our walkway along the beach isn’t open so people can’t congregate there. There are limited access points.
One thing that gives me some hope of “better” behavior come MDW is up until now badges were not required and I doubt the towns had anyone monitoring beach entry. The other is that it is not supposed to be a great beach day. We shall see.
I’m going to give it some time to see how things play out before I hit the beach on a weekend. I may take a chance on a weekday if it ever gets warm enough.
Ah- I love it out that way minus the long a$$ drive. Loved Wellfleet as well. We usually stayed in Falmouth- which I really find to be my favorite town (esp coupled with Wood’s hole right there), but the beach is a bit lacking compared to farther out. Love the open feel of Wellfleet, Eastham, Truro etc. Not so much a fan of Catham. I found food best in Falmouth- although we never made t out to P-town to be fair.
Sept is such a great time out there- warm weather and water and no crowds.
P-town is super fun! Great for people and whale watching!
My kiddo would love the bay beaches and the calm water.
I think tanning ‘en masque’ might have more interesting results than drinking in a mask. Submit your photos here.
The same is true in Galveston, Texas re-opened the beaches two weeks ago and they were packed with unmasked, invincible young people, Memorial Day will be worse especially since temperatures are pegged in the 90s seemingly forever.
We need a couple of small, juicy tropical storms to break the heat.
Absolutely agree about the Cape–go after Labor Day! The water is at its warmest, prices are down, and the crowds are gone.
We did that week too for several years! I miss the Cape.