Jersey Shore

If you’re a Philadelphian with some vacation time, there are only two ways to go: “up the mountains,” or “down the shore.” The Jersey Shore is the primary vacation destination for anyone in the area, even if it’s just for a few days during the summer months.

Atlantic City atlanticcitynj.com

Atlantic City Pier

Photo © atlanticcitynj.com

The hippest of the shore destinations, Atlantic City (or A.C., if you’re in the know) has all the amenities of a tropical resort town. Offering casinos on-par with Las Vegas, first-class dining and nightlife, tons of shopping and incredible events, it’s no wonder that Atlantic City is the hub of the New Jersey Shore.

Getting There by Public Transit
The Atlantic City Line (ATLC) operates between 30th St. Station and Atlantic City for about $10 one way. Amtrak also offers transportation to Atlantic City, but their fares are higher. Greyhound offers buses directly to your favorite casino or hotel through their “Lucky Streak” service for about $20 one-way. NJ Transit Bus Route 551 runs from Philadelphia to Atlantic City starting at the Greyhound Bus Terminal; this fare is also about $30 round trip.

Parking
Metered parking is available on side streets outside of casinos for $.25 per hour. Private lots generally charge $5-$10/hour. All parking garage locations can be found on the A.C. website.

Staying There
A decent hotel or motel room can run about $90-$100/night. If you want to be a high-roller and stay at one of the casinos, you can expect to pay at least $200, especially on weekends and holidays. The farther you are from the boardwalk and the beach, the cheaper the rates are.

Going to the Beach
It’s completely free! No tags are required.

Avalon avalonbeach.com

Salt Water Taffy

Photo © atlanticcitynj.com

A family-oriented destination, Avalon allows you to skip the crowds and find a much more personable experience. With opportunities for sports, fishing, shopping and entertainment, Avalon is within a few minutes of the “downtown” area.

Getting There by Public Transit
NJ Transit bus route #315 can get you to Avalon for about $35 round trip. The ride takes about two hours and you will be dropped in the heart of Avalon (Ocean Drive and 30th St.).

Parking
Public parking lots are available at 3100 Dune Drive, 32nd St. and Dune Drive, and along 21st, 28th, 29th and 30th sts.

Staying There
From oceanfront resorts to backwoods campgrounds, Avalon offers accommodations that can suit anyone’s needs and budget. Averaging about $175-$200 per night, the prices go up around holidays.

Going to the Beach
Beach tags for Avalon are $6 for day passes, $12 for weekly passes, and $26 for season passes. Buy tags at the booth outside of Community Hall (3001 Avalon Ave.), or when you get to the beach (just look for an attendant).

Cape May discovercapemay.com

photo © new-jersey-leisure-guide.com

Considered to be one of America’s first seaside resorts, Cape May is a Historic Landmark City that offers a calmer, more family-friendly environment. With interesting attractions such as the Hereford Lighthouse, the Cape May County Zoo and Cold Springs Village, Cape May has plenty to offer everyone in the family…or residence hall!

Getting There by Public Transit
The NJ Transit bus #551 can be taken to Atlantic City and then the rider can transfer to the #552 south to Cape May; cost is about $22 one way and it takes about four hours.

Parking
Metered parking is available throughout Cape May from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Staying There
Cape May has a great selection of both historic and practical hotels. Prices start as low as $100 and range as high as $300. A quick search of the Cape May Times website (capemaytimes.com) provides a complete guide to hotels in the area.

Going to the Beach
The beach tags for Cape May are $5 for day passes, $10 for 3-day passes, $13 for weekly passes and $25 for seasonal passes. You can find these tags at beach entrances or at the Cape May City Hall Finance Office (643 Washington St.).

Ocean City oceancitychamber.com

Photo © Delaware River Bay Authority



Ocean City has everything a getaway spot could offer: shopping, dining, entertainment, beaches, and outdoor activities. It takes the best parts of all the other shore points and crams them into an 8-mile-long stretch of incredible fun.

Getting There by Public Transit
Travelers should get the #551 bus at Philadelphia’s Greyhound Terminal (1001 Filbert St.) and travel to Atlantic City. From there, transfer to another bus heading south, the #507. Travel time is about two and a half hours in all, and riders will arrive at Ninth St.and Haven Ave.; total cost is about $20.

Parking
Bring quarters for parking meters. Parking lots abound (try the ones on Eighth or Ninth Sts.), but most lots only allow for parking in six hour increments.

Staying There
While rates vary considerably between different times of the season, the average seems to come to somewhere around $150 during the summer.

Going to the Beach
Beach tags are $5 for a day pass, $10 for a weekly pass, and $20 for a seasonal pass. They can be purchased at City Hall (Nineth St. and Asbury Ave.), the 46th Street Post Office (on West Ave.), and the Information Center at the Music Pier (on the Boardwalk at Moorlyn Tr.).

Wildwood wildwoodsnj.com

Photo © jerseyshoreguide.net

Often considered one of the most popular places at the Jersey Shore, Wildwood is always buzzing with activity. From community events like concerts to national spectacles like the summertime Rodeo, Wildwood never seems to sleep.

Getting There by Public Transit
The #551 bus departs from the Greyhound Terminal in Philadelphia to Atlantic City. After a quick transfer to the #552 to Cape May you’ll be in the heart of Wildwood at the Wildwood Transportation Center; the cost of this route is around $21. Also, there are several local routes that travelers can use to get to Wildwood–routes #313, #315 and #316 Express are viable alternatives.

Parking
Parking lots and garages are available.

Staying There
Wildwood has over 8,000 hotel rooms and over 3,000 condos to choose from. Many of these hotels are less than $150 per night; if you’re willing to spend a little more, then your options become even greater.

Going to the Beach
Wildwood does not require beach tags.