Where The Ocean Meets the Bay
Strathmere is a tiny unincorporated community that shares its island home with Sea Isle City and Townsends Inlet to the south. It was originally named “Corson’s Inlet”. This is because that is the name of the body of water hugging the northern shores of the barrier island it sits upon.
Strathmere is a very narrow spit of beach and dunes. The ocean lies on one side of the strand and the bay and tidal marshes on the other. Ocean Drive runs from north to south between Ocean and Sea Isle Cities. It is the main road through town. The northern section of Strathmere is two blocks wide. There are a few intersecting roads in this area. Further south, the town narrows and becomes a one road-town. Here, houses are scattered along Ocean Drive.
Strathmere is comprised of beautiful sandy beaches. These beaches were recently replenished as the result of a federal grant program. The Nor’easter of 1962 devastated Strathmere. After the storm, Strathmere was strictly beach, road and a few houses that survived. They had no protection from either the sea or the bay. Since then, a healthy dune line has been build up to protect Ocean Drive. It also helps to protect the houses from the ocean. However, the bay is still free to encroach upon the town and often does. Therefore, most new homes built in Strathmere are built up and soar high above the dunes. They have beautiful picturesque views from all sides of both the ocean and the bay.
A section of the central part of Strathmere known as “Whale Beach” got its name from the many whales that have washed up in this area. The Whale Creek Marina provides visitors with the ability to go crabbing, fishing, rent boats or go kayaking in the back bay. Without a doubt, the primary recreational activity in Strathmere is spending time on the beach.
Strathmere is one of five free beaches in South Jersey. Here, the public has free access without having to purchase beach tags or pay to spend a day in the sand. The other free beaches are Atlantic City, North Wildwood, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. Strathmere’s northern beaches are monitored by the Upper Township Beach Patrol. But the area known as Whale Beach is unprotected, so swimmers here need to be careful.
Corson’s Inlet lies on the far northern end of Strathmere. This is a waterway through which boaters may pass from the bay to the ocean. The inlet separates Ludlam Island and Ocean City. At low tide, many sandbars appear. When this happens, the inlet becomes a popular place for beach combing, boating, picnicking and watersports. A drawbridge crosses the inlet and connects Strathmere to the southernmost tip of Ocean City.
Retail and Dining
Strathmere does not have a retail area or hotels. However, there once were hotels here. The Strathmere Motel was built in 1920 as a single-family home and was converted to a motel in the late 1950’s. The seasonal motel was privately owned and offered 15 rooms for rent, until recently. But it is no longer operational.
The Deauville Inn is the most famous landmark in Strathmere. The Deauville was once known as the Whelan Inn. It was built in 1881 and operated as a hotel and restaurant until the storm of ’62. The inn was purchased and renovated in 1980. It now operates as a popular restaurant and bar where boaters can dock to enjoy dinner and a gorgeous sunset view. Recent renovations are happening in 2020 as well. The Beach House is and outdoor venue at the Deauville. Here, the “five o’clock somewhere” crowd can sit on beach chairs under umbrellas on Deauville’s tiny bayfront beach. It is a perfect place to sip cocktails while the sun goes down.
Small Town Bliss
Strathmere is the quintessential small town. Driving through Strathmere is like going back to the past. A post office, library and a few restaurants are still here. Otherwise, it is mostly a residential town. There is one major intersection with a blinking light.
Strathmere is the perfect destination for people looking for a quiet beach experience. However, its proximity to the larger beach towns give visitors the best of both worlds. Boardwalks, shopping and additional dining options are just a few blocks away. Strathmere is a great place for those who want a laid back beach experience with the convenience of nearby entertainment, without having to stay in the middle of it.