August 30, 2015
After a summer full of salt-crusted hair, ice cream cones and the diets that gave you the license to eat them, the great sigh of September has arrived.
You may be tempted to start holing up at home, where you can't for the life of you find the right balance between air conditioning and open windows, but not so fast. The Jersey Shore doesn't vanish at the end of August. Only the crowds do.
Here are five great perks of heading down the shore in September.
Highway at dusk. (Stock Photo/AP)
Everyone knows shore traffic is awful, especially on the way home when everyone is full, aching and basically just trying to avoid thinking about work on Monday. Even when you curate playlists to listen to on the way to the shore, traffic can really kill the mood.
No one is advocating exceeding the speed limit, but if you head to the shore in September, you can actually enjoy the pleasure of the drive and some good music.
Waves crash onto the beach. (Stock Photo/AP)
The health benefits of lounging near the water are well-known, but in September, you'll be able to fully experience the natural environs of New Jersey's beachfronts without all of that commotion and nearby conversation screwing with your concentration on the pages of a novel, or just your own thoughts.
You also won't have to worry (as much) about getting drilled with a nerf ball you didn't see coming. The kid calling you mister or ma'am is never that sorry about it.
Sunset at the beach. (Stock Photo/AP)
One of the great pastimes of seaside life is catching the sun go down. When summer is in full swing, it's easy to miss out on sunsets because you're exhausted or caught up in other activities by the time 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. come around.
In September, the sun sets during the 7 o'clock hour, perfect for a waterfront meal at a local restaurant or a fabled stroll along the beach or boardwalk. It's a great month to be there for the rest and relaxation rather than the bustle and activity. Going in the water is completely optional.
Delicious ice cream. (Stock Photo/AP)
Waiting for ice cream is excruciating. Giggling people pass you by with cups and cones as you measure your progress in centimeters. By the time you get inside the shop, you're half asleep and not sure if you're even hungry anymore.
That problem starts to fade in September. The teens behind the counter aren't bleeding from the knuckles anymore and all of your favorite flavors are in full supply. When you walk out of the store, the next 15 minutes justify your entire trek down the shore in the first place.
Heart in the sand. (Stock Photo/AP)
The tragedy of the summer fling and the easygoing marital season coming to an end doesn't have to drag your relationship down. All of the fun you had over the past few months was definitely, maybe real, and you need to fight to keep that flame alive.
A romantic getaway to the shore in September is an ideal way to solidify something great and meaningful. Book reservations at local restaurants, check out the local bands and take the time to bond one last time away from all of the familiarity and routine back home.
Yes, the summer is winding down, but don't put away the sandals and suntan lotion just yet. Do yourself a favor and make the most of one of the region's most underrated months with an encore appearance at the shore.