May 20, 2018
As a kid, making the drive from Sea Isle down to Stone Harbor was always a treat.
It meant passing by the gigantic beachfront mansions in Avalon on the way in, buying a new hermit crab at Hoy's 5 & 10 (to the dismay of my parents) and, on rainy days, taking a break from the beach at the movie theater.
The resort town that shares an island with neighboring Avalon isn't just for the young ones. It's got fine dining, a lively downtown with tons of shopping in a concentrated area, and a nightlife scene that’s more low-key than its Wildwood neighbors to the south.
If you're visiting Stone Harbor this summer, here's what you need to know.
Beach tags are required from May 25 until Sept. 4 (Memorial Day through Labor Day), from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. for everyone 12 and older.
Beach tags are sold at Stone Harbor Borough Hall, 508 Second Ave., from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can also be purchased at the beach tag office on 95th Street or by inspectors on the beach.
Seasonal beach tags can be purchased for a pre-sale price of $23 on or before May 31; seasonal tags are $28 after that. Weekly passes are $12 and daily tags are $6.
Beach tags are free for veterans and active military personnel. Tags can also be purchased digitally via the Viply app.
Stone Harbor tags are also valid at neighboring Avalon beaches, and vice versa.
Lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
They're stationed at the following streets: 81st, 83rd, 86th, 87th, 90th, 93rd, 94th, 95th, 96th, 100th, 102nd, 103rd, 105th, 108th, 110th, 112nd, 113rd, 116th, 117th, 120th, 122nd.
Dogs are allowed on the beach from 7 p.m. until sunset. Dogs must be leashed, and no dogs, or any other pet for that matter, is allowed on Stone Harbor Point.
Surfing is only allowed at 81st and 110th streets. Kayaks are allowed between 122nd and 126th streets.
Swimming and rafting are allowed at all protected beaches, or where lifeguards are stationed, except for at the following streets: 81st, 86th, 105th, 110th, 112th, and 122nd streets.
Picnics, alcoholic beverages, fires, glass bottles and sleeping overnight are all prohibited on beaches.
Parking meters are in effect from May 1 to Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Meters cost 25 cents per every 15 minutes. Make sure to check if the spot that you're leaving the car in is limited to four, three or one-hour parking.
The 95th Street beach lot is only open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer season.
Seasonal parking permits are available for $225 at the borough clerk's office.
Stone Harbor is known for its shopping. Head downtown — mainly between 94th and 97th streets — and you'll find plenty of stores selling candy, beach gifts, clothes and much more.
If you're looking for something educational, the Wetlands Institute provides classes, lectures and other programs perfect for a vacation activity that will leave you knowing more about the environment surround Stone Harbor.
A full calendar of events can be found here.
There are no beach or surf cams currently online in Stone Harbor, but there are several cameras streaming from the Wetlands Institute. Here are two: This one is a wide shot of the osprey nest in the wetlands, and this one shows the same nest but gets viewers up close and personal with the birds.