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May 23, 2016

2016 Jersey Shore beach guide: Stone Harbor

Travel Vacations
Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Zeete/Creative Commons

An egret flies past the Stone Harbor bird sanctuary.

There's plenty to do in this Cape May County town after you're done sunning yourself at the shore, from fishing at the pier on 83rd Street to sipping wine at a concert series at Water Tower Plaza. Families who love learning about critters who crawl on the seafloor or birds who soar through the sky will have a particularly fun time: they can observe the many winged creatures who migrate to the area at the Bird Sanctuary or learn about beachside ecology at the Wetlands Institute.

Beach tags:

Tags are required for everyone age 12 or over from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The cost is $12 for a weekly tag or $6 for a daily tag. Seasonal tags cost $22 if purchased before June 1st and $27 after.

Tags can be bought from inspectors on the beach or at the Beach Tag Office in the Beach Patrol Building (the end of 95th Street where it meets the beach; call 609-368-5102 offseason and 609-368-8461 in-season). They can also be ordered by mail and picked up at the Beach Patrol Building (click here to download the order form).

Active-duty military personnel and their families, as well as veterans, can get free beach tags. The tags are available at Borough Hall until Memorial Day weekend and at the Beach Tag Office after that.

Lifeguard hours:

The dedicated beach patrol that serves Stone Harbor rescued 12,900 people over its 104-year-old history. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, lifeguards are on duty seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Beach rules:

Surfing allowed (with lease) at the beaches on 81st Street and 110th Street only. Kayaks allowed at the beaches from 122nd Street to 126th Street and life jackets are required. Swim and raft at designated beaches only.

Picnics, alcohol, fires and glass bottles are not allowed on the beach.

Dogs are not allowed on the beach from June 1 to September 30, except between 7 p.m. and sunset. They must be leashed and licensed. Pets are not allowed at Stone Harbor Point ever.

Sailboats must be licensed and beached only at designated areas. The sailboat beach at 122nd Street is not available this summer because of beach erosion.

Bicycles and skateboards are not allowed in the business district between 6 p.m. and midnight from June 25 to Labor Day.

Public parking:

Parking meters are in effect 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. from May 1 to October 1. The parking fee is one dollar per hour. There is a parking lot on the 95th Street beach, available 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking permits for the season cost $225 and are available at Borough Hall.


The Wetlands Institute at 1075 Stone Harbor Boulevard hosts numerous education workshops and family-friendly festivities throughout the season. The most notable events are the Spring Shorebird and Horse Crab Festival on May 21 and 22nd (which celebrates the thousands of horseshoe crabs who lay their eggs in the sand and the thousands of birds who come to eat them) and the Crabulous Crab Day on July 22, where visitors can sample crab cakes, play games and participate in crabbing tournaments. For more events and information, click here.

Nearly each day of the week you'll find a special event: farmers market on Sunday (June 2 to September 4), family nights with magic shows and puppet theater on Mondays (June 27 to August 29), concerts and a beer and wine garden on Tuesdays (July 5 to August 30), movie nights on Wednesdays (June 29 to August 31).

Other notable events in the area include the 17th Annual Turtle Trot 5K and 2-mile Fun Walk on May 29, the Memorial Day Parade and American Legion Open House (11617 2nd Avenue) on May 30 and the Festival of Lights boat parade July 30. 

(PS: I've even heard that Santa Claus likes to summer at the Shore too...he's said to be showing up in town from July 17 to 23.)  

Click here to find out about more events.

More information:

To learn more, see the official city website.