Commentary: What’s It Really Like To Live Down The Shore Year Round?

Commentary By: Morgan Reitzel, Follow South Jersey Intern

Ocean City Boardwalk.

New Jersey is known for our incredible 24 hour diners, having a weird accent, delicious bagels, and of course, beaches and boardwalks. 

Hundreds of families in North Jersey and other surrounding states migrate to the shore to enjoy the beaches and boardwalks South Jersey has to offer during the summer weather for the day, a weekend, or all summer. But what about the locals? Residents of the Jersey shore have to deal with tourists flooding their restaurants, beaches, and roads – Bennys up north and Shoobies in South Jersey. It’s not hard to imagine that it would be more busy during the summer since school is out and parents like to take vacations with their children. 

Some advantages to living at the Jersey shore can include the nice food markets, always having something to do, and the potential investment properties. Additionally, many people feel that a beach is a “happy place” and love to dip their toes in the sand and jump in the ocean making the Jersey shore a great place to take residence up at. 

A year-round resident living in Point Pleasant, calls out tourists saying that she can always point them out because they are normally more rude and entitled than the people that live there year-round with their habit of speeding, ignoring traffic signals and traveling in large groups. In other words, they act like they own the shore just because they may have a summer house here or they are from New Jersey. 

The woman pointed out that since she lived in North Jersey before moving down the shore after retiring the people are much nicer and it feels more like a community.

“There are more places to go and I have made some friends, especially with my dog,” the shore resident said. “I go to the beach everyday even in the winter to walk Sadi and everyone will wave. That wouldn’t happen up north.” 

Since the pandemic, many people are now working remotely allowing them to freely move around taking advantage of this opportunity by choosing to live in their vacation homes full time now. The Central Regional school system has reported a 30% increase in enrollment at the Jersey shore schools since the pandemic started and pupils were allowed to return to in-person learning. Similarly, some of the best schools in New Jersey are located at the Jersey shore. For example, “Highlands, Neptune, Wall and Point Pleasant Beach each boast a high school ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s top 100 in the state,” according to the article Jersey Shore Is Transforming Into a Hotspot for Year-Round Living. Yet, since the class sizes are expanding, many parents are frustrated that it may affect their child’s learning since the teacher has to give his or her attention to more students at one time. 

Moreover, since the demand for housing is increasing, so is the rent which can make it unaffordable to families. In reality, South Jersey, especially near a beach, has always been a hotspot to live because most think the beach will bring them happiness. Yet, some have moved out in recent years due to the increase in rent. 

The moral of the story, don’t become a Shoobie or a Benny. 

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