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May 25, 2024

Sea Isle City: Everything you need to know about the beaches and things to do there this summer

Do you need a beach tag? When are the lifeguards on duty? And other information you need when headed to this Jersey Shore town.

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sea isle city guide Smallbones/Wikimedia Commons

Planning a trip to Sea Isle City this year? Here's whay you need to know about the Jersey Shore town.

So, you heard Jason Kelce bartends there sometimes, and now you have to plan a trip to Sea Isle City. 

Kelce, who will make his annual appearance at Ocean Drive in late June, isn't the only draw to this Jersey Shore town. With bars and restaurants, lots of weekly community event and plenty of beaches other waterfront areas, Sea Isle is a great spot for a day trip or a weeklong stay. 

Those familiar with local history might know Sea Isle's founder, Charles Landis — also the founder of Vineland and the infamous murder defendant who was tried and acquitted in 1876 of shooting a local newspaper editor in the head.

Sea Isle can seem like a bit of a party town, though without the flashiness of Atlantic City (but still within a half hour drive). Yes, there are bars — like the Ocean Drive — that for decades have lured sunkissed beachgoers to their no-shower happy hours, but there are also plenty of family-friendly options.

Located just an hour-and-a-half from Philadelphia, here's everything you need to know for visiting Sea Isle this summer. 

What are some things to do in Sea Isle City this summer? 

Good places to start when looking for things to do in Sea Isle are the calendars compiled by the Sea Isle City Tourism Office: One is a list of events recurring weekly and the other is a calendar with everything else going on in the town. Here are some of the highlights this summer:

Stop by the annual Sara the Turtle Festival on June 24, which includes a wild animal display and environmental exhibits, plus face painting, a bounce house and a "diaper derby" baby crawling contest. Sea Isle City is among the shore towns that put on a Fourth of July fireworks display over its beach, and the summer wraps up with the sidewalk sale on Aug. 24 and 25 featuring goods and services from local vendors and stores. 

The town has free concerts under the stars on Saturdays, free outdoor movies on Wednesdays and open mic nights on Thursdays — all at Excursion Park, at JFK Boulevard and Pleasure Avenue. The town also has a weekly farmers market on Tuesdays and beach yoga multiple times per week at JFK Beach and the Fifth Street beach. 

Plus, as previously mentioned, famous podcaster and recently retired Philadelphia Eagles star Jason Kelce will bartend at the Ocean Drive on June 26 to raise money for the Eagles Autism Foundation. Among the other popular Sea Isle bars to check out are Kix McNulty's, Shenanigans and the Dead Dog Saloon (or check out our full definite list here). 

It's impossible to miss the “Welcome to Historic Fish Alley" sign as you head into Sea Isle via JFK Boulevard. Park Road is lined with seafood restaurants and fresh fish markets, for those who prefer to cook at home. 

History buffs should check out the Sea Isle City Historical Museum, which has a 20th century barber chair, vintage bridal gowns and an old-time kitchen and laundry exhibit. For those more interested in the natural world, Sea Isle has guided beach combing on Tuesday mornings, where you can learn about beach creatures, shells and dunes. 

By the end of the day — a requirement for any shore trip — indulge in an ice cream cone from Marita's or Scoop's

Do you need a beach tag in Sea Isle City? 

Yes, beach tags are required on all Sea Isle beaches between Memorial Day and Labor Day for anyone 12 and older from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., six days a week. Wednesdays are free beach days with the exception of July 4. 

Tags are $10 for a daily pass and $15 for a weekly. The discounted rate for seasonal pass is $25, but that offer expired on May 15 and seasonal beach tags currently cost $30. Discounted tags are also available for veterans and active military personnel. 

Beach tags can be purchased via the My Beach Mobile app; online, the tax office at City Hall, 233 JFK Blvd.; or the Welcome Center at 300 JFK Blvd. There also is a beach tag vending machine located in the lobby of Sea Isle's city hall. 

When are Sea Isle City's lifeguards on duty? 

For Memorial Day weekend, Sea Isle City Beach Patrol lifeguards will be stationed at the beaches at 40th Street, 51st Street, 59th Street,  64.5 Street, 75th Street and 86.5 Street. As the summer progresses,  lifeguards will be stationed at more beaches. The beach patrol publishes a list of those beaches online

At protected beaches, lifeguards are on duty Monday through Friday from 10 a.m to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the summer.

What are the rules on Sea Isle City's beaches? 

From May 1 to Sept. 30, no dogs are allowed on Sea Isle beaches. The beach patrol's list of guarded beaches for the 2024 summer also includes list of which ones are designated for rafts, surfing, catamaran and sailboat launching, kayaking and other beach and water activities.

Dogs are not permitted on the beaches during the summer season. Smoking and vaping are prohibited on Sea Isle's beaches, so is the consumption of alcohol, grilling or barbequing, fires and glass bottles. Stay off the dunes, and there is a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in effect from May through September.