Hidden Jersey Shore Gem

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One user on Yelp gave this beach 1 Star…

He said: “Five stars, but I am trying to dissuade people from going, because it’s the greatest beach in the world (IMO) and I don’t want word to get out.”

High praise indeed for Island Beach State Park- Please read complete details on what activities are available on each area of this paradise here.

The park is a barrier island that stretches for 10 miles between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay, and it’s sectioned off by numbered parking lots. It’s important to arrive early, as the park closes once the parking lots reach their capacity — a measure that guarantees a comfortable environment and has been in effect even before the outbreak of COVID-19. 

Drive past the first 2 parking lots further down the tree-draped, secluded road and you’ll start to see a more natural landscape where, with minimal effort, you can find a patch of beach that feels like it’s been reserved entirely for you.

Island Beach is one of the last few places on the north Atlantic coast with such an undeveloped shoreline.

Pay the $10 per-car fee ($20 for non-NJ-residents on weekends) and you’re free to surf, run your dog, ride bikes, fish, grill, and even ride horses.

What to Expect at the Beach this Weekend

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The governor announced this week that NJ beaches and lakeshores will be open for Memorial Day weekend, and we’re really excited to get our toes in the sand! While taking the family to the beach has always involved more than just grabbing a towel and sunblock, this year’s complications make heading to the beach  a more complex process!

Earlier is best. 

Every town has their own rules with regards to how many people will be allowed on the beach and they will be enforcing those numbers. Traveling in the earlier part of the day will make it more likely to insure a  spot.

Being 6 Feet Apart Still Stands

You will only be allowed within 6 feet of those you are quarantined with.

Extended Family or Gatherings of Friends is Out

Even if you meet friends or relatives at the beach, groups will need to stay 6 feet apart from those they do not shelter with.

That Means Kids, Too

While keeping an eye on kids near the water is standard practice you will now need to monitor your children to prevent sharing of toys and impromptu play with children from outside your family.

Your Beach Bag will Need Adjusting

Packing disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer is a requisite since water for handwashing and cleaning surfaces isn’t available.

And About the Bathroom

Probably the most populated place you will encounter on the beach is the restroom. Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be essential here. Also remember to reapply sunblock after using hand santizer.

Masks are still needed

While you may be fine laying under your umbrella or on your blanket, when headed into an area with other people in it- restrooms, snack bars, etc.,  masks are recommended for everyone’s safety.

Boardwalk rides are Closed

If your children will be upset by being unable to ride the swings and the merry go round, you might want to choose a beach where these are not present. These will be closed for the near future.

Pack Food or Be Ready to Take it To Go

Restaurants will likely require credit cards and food will be to-go only.

Don’t Feel Well?

After all of this stay-at home we are all ready for some time in the sun, however, if you or a family member is under the weather, be safe and save the trip for another day!


Jennifer’s Favorite Recipes

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Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup walnuts chopped
3 ripe bananas

Combine ingredients and cook for 1 hour in loaf pan at 350 F. It is as simple at that!

Date Cake

1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup sultanas/raisins
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 sugar brown
150g melted butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs

1. Grease 9″ circular pan
2. Put dates, sultanas, and soda in a bowl with boiling water and leave for 10 minutes then puree.
3. Combine the additional ingredients, stir in puree and pour batter into the pan.
4. Cook for 50 minutes at 350F

Carrot Cake

6 cups grated carrots
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. In medium bowl, combine grated carrots and brown sugar. Set aside for 60 minutes, then stir in raisins
2. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour two 10 in baking pans
3. In large bowl, beat eggs until light. Gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, stir in the wet mixture until absorbed. Stir in the carrot mixture and walnuts. Pour evenly into the pans
4. Bake 45 minutes until cake tests done with toothpick. Cool for 10 min before removing from pan. Frost with cream cheese frosting.