Today is the first full day of autumn, and the beginning of a spectacular season to be down the shore. As a matter of fact, some people say it’s their favorite beach season. The air is crisp, the sun’s still warm and the beaches (and parking!) are free. If you’re not quite ready to trade in your flip flops for snow boots, the shore is the place to be.
Now that crowds have cleared you can easily do the things you may not have been able to in high summer season. Here is our top 10 list of our favorite things to do at the shore in fall.
1. Beachcomb. Fall is a great time to comb the beach for sea treasures. You are more likely to find unique seashells, sea glass and other items tossed out by the ocean, especially after a storm. So, grab a bucket, head to the beach and see what you can find.
2. Clean up the Beach. October 20 is Beach Sweep Day along the Jersey coast. Beach sweep events enlist volunteers to comb the beach, dunes and water’s edge to pick up trash to keep it from entering the ocean. Your participation will help save our marine life from the devastating effects that trash has on their lives and improve the general well-being of our ocean. Please note that Sea Isle City’s event will be held on October 13, 2018 but the other shore towns on the south Jersey coast will be hosting their events on October 20. If you wish to do a cleanup on your own, there’s an app for that – the Ocean Conservancy developed the Clean Swell ® app to allow users to record trash clean-up efforts so that scientists can better identify trends and find solutions. For more information on what you can do to help, check out our post on “5 Ways to Protect Our Ocean”. Once you’ve done your part, you can…
3. Sit and relax! Cooler temps, soft sea breezes and (still) warm sunshine make the beach a perfect place to relax in the fall. As a bonus, all south Jersey beaches are now free, and with fewer crowds you can set up wherever you want without someone plopping right in front of you. Bring a book or just sit and watch the waves (don’t forget sunscreen!)
4. Ride a Bike. Remember congested summer traffic that turned a simple bike ride into a competitive sport? Biking is a lot easier and more enjoyable now, and with less foot traffic on boardwalks and promenades, some days you can ride for blocks and not see another soul.
5. Get Involved. Fall is when many charity organization host walks, runs, bike rides or other events to raise awareness and funds for special causes. The cool air and low humidity mean it’s a great time to exercise for a good cause. For more information about events, see our list of Upcoming Events for each town.
6. Park for free. Many towns disable their parking meters after Labor Day and parking lot attendants close up shop. This means you can park for free – and freely – thanks to lessened crowds. What better incentive to patronize local shops and restaurants? With more funds to spend during awesome fall sales, you can get more bang for your buck. Save your quarters and the stress for next summer!
7. Start your Holiday Shopping (and support local business!) Our coastal towns are filled with specialty boutiques and unique stores that so why not take advantage of the fall end-of-summer sales and start your holiday shopping?
8. Go out to Eat. Dine at your favorite seaside spots while they’re still open for the season. Seating is much easier now, and you’ll be supporting local family-owned establishments who rely on your patronage for their livelihood. Bon appetit!
9. Turn right on red. One of the perks of being at the shore in off-season is the ability to turn right on red. If you get impatient waiting at a red light when no traffic is coming, you’ll be happy to learn that between October 1 – May 1 you can turn right on red to your heart’s content!
10. Go to a fall festival. From seafood festivals to Oktoberfest and everything in between, each shore town has a plethora of events and activities planned this fall. Check out our list of Upcoming Events, and then grab the family and go!
From Ocean City to Cape May, special events will continue into the holiday season. Check back in November when we cover all the winter festivities going on down the shore.