Thinking about heading to the Jersey Shore for the holiday weekend? Well here are some tips from your favorite local Jersey Girl!

Traveling: If you’re coming from North Jersey, NYC, or anywhere really, the NJ Transit train is your best bet to beat the traffic jams. The Garden State Parkway, NJ Turnpike, and every major highway will be bumper-to-bumper for countless hours on the eve of the 4th.  The NJ Transit bus line would be a good idea, too. Sure, the train is boring and can take a while, but the runs literally less than a mile from the actual beach in most cases.

Eats: If you’re staying at your beach house or someone else’s beach house, barbequing is the way to go. Stop at your local grocery store, pack a cooler with burgers and dogs, and be on your way. Every restaurant on the shore is going to be packed full of people who don’t want to cook. Restaurants on the boardwalks and near the beach become sardine cans, and while this may be fun for drinking and dancing, it’s NOT fun while eating. Save your bills for going out – you’ll need it.

Bars/Drinking: Again, house parties are probably the best/cheapest way to get your star-spangled-hammered on, but there are plenty of options for going out on the shore. Point Pleasant, Belmar, and Seaside are the most hoppin places to be for clubs, but every shore town has its own dives and clubs, too. Most places will have a $10 cover charge since it’s a holiday weekend, so be prepared for it. If you’re going to go out, go out near a beach to a place with an outdoor section, that way you can catch the fireworks along the shoreline. Speaking of fireworks…

Fireworks: Nearly every town on the shore will have its own firework extravaganza. Being a local, I avoid most public places on summer holidays. Point Pleasant always has an awesome fireworks show on the water (which is visible from Jenks nightclub on the boardwalk). Now, I’m going to reveal my local secret: if you’re going to a house party near there, Manasquan Beach is the best spot to see the fireworks without getting trampled. This goes for any town; try the beach in the next town over. There’ll be less people and it won’t be so loud. Of course, if you like to be in the front row of the action, go to the action!

Places to Be: So many options out there! If you’re looking for nightlife, Seaside, Belmar, and Point Pleasant are the best options. Seeking some R&R? Spring Lake, Bradley Beach, and Manasquan are your keys to relaxation. There’s OceanFest in Long Branch, tons of activities going on in Wildwood (waaayyy down the shore), parades in every town, and tons of 5k races all down the shoreline. Be sure to hit the beach during the day, too! There is literally something for EVERYONE. Check out this site for info on every place to be!

 My “unbiased” opinion is that the Jersey Shore is the place to be for 4th of July. There is no shortage of fun, food, and drinks around here. We know how to party. Now that the cast of Jersey Shore have vacated the premises, it’s even better. The 4th is on Friday this year, too, so we get a three-day-weekend of freedom fest (well, you do; I have to work)! 



A born-and-raised Jersey girl with a chronic case of wanderlust, Samantha spends her days reading, writing, and planning adventures. She currently teaches classes at the community college while living at home with her parents, trying and failing to become a part of the proverbial real world. Her dream is for someone to pay her for writing and traveling, but in reality she'll probably be teaching forever. Follow her mundane musings on Twitter @SamanthaG2012, and check out her personal blog,

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