After walking miles of beaches to the north without a solid walkway to view the ocean, it's a welcome respite to find a long boardwalk in Lavallette. For a little over a mile, Lavallette features a non-commercial boardwalk that's a popular place for walkers and joggers. It's nestled between the dunes and houses on the oceanfront.
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Stop here to shop
Just a block from the ocean, there's much more commercial activity than the Borough's quieter, residentially focused neighborhoods. Conveniences like the old-time Ben Franklin and B&B department stores, gas stations, a pharmacy and take-out restaurants line Route 35. On the bay side, the town focuses lots of energy with two public beaches and the Centennial Gazebo and Gardens where they offer free movie nights throughout the summer.
Joe Pesci and his home step away from the Shore
Since the 1994 when he bought a house on West Island overlooking Barnegat Bay, Academy Award-winning actor Joe Pesci (The Irishman, Goodfellas, Once Upon a Time in America, Raging Bull, My Cousin Vinnie) has had a lavish summer home in Lavelette. In 2019, after two years on the market, he sold the house in 2021 for $5 million. The home was demolished this May to make way for two smaller homes to built on the same lot.
"Please no Snooki": Jersey Shore 2.0 is out
In mid-May, Lavallette Borough Council refused to allow 495 Productions, the company which produced MTV's Jersey Shore, to film a new reality TV series. Although 495 Productions didn't specify the name of the show in its letter to the Borough, it was later revealed on several entertainment sites that 495 Productions is hoping to film Jersey Shore 2.0 this summer. The synopsis of the show reads:
"It's been 13 years since the iconic cast of Jersey Shore fist-pumped their way into our lives and stole our hearts. Now, the time-honored tradition continues with a new group of roommates moving into their own Shore house. They may have traded their poofs for plumped pouts and UV rays for spray tans, but when things heat up in Jersey, the Shore is still the place to be to make memories all summer long."
The cast of the original Jersey Shore was not amused and released a joint statement that read, in part, "...we are not in support of a version that will exploit our original show, our hard work and authenticity to gain viewers."
At the Lavallette meeting related to the application for filming, one resident reportedly said, "Please no Snooki". Like it or not, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi hopes to open a third The Snooki Store in Seaside Heights this summer.
How Lavallette got its name
If Lavallette sounds vaguely French that's because it was named after Elie A. F. La Vallette, a rear admiral for the US Navy during the Civil War. Although he was born in the United States, he kept his French family name, La Vallette, but eventually anglicized it to Lavallette. His son, Albert T. Lavallette, was one of the co-founders of the borough after it seceded from Toms River Township.
Elie La Vallette's portrait and a model of the USS LaVallette, one of two Navy destroyers named in the rear admiral’s honor, are featured in the main lobby of the Lavallette Borough Hall.
Tips for Visiting Lavallette
What's New: Production company denied filming request (see above). Beach badge prices aer the same as last year.
Starring Role: Lavallette has been featured in the movies Greetings from the Jersey Shore and Tomorrow is Today.
Access and Parking: The only way to access Lavallette is along busy Route 35 from the North Dover/Toms River Township beaches to the north or from Ortley Beaches to the south. Route 35 is divided into a north and south section, often separated by an "island" of homes in the middle. Street parking is free, although some areas have limited hours.
Amenities: There are no bathrooms or showers along the boardwalk or at the beach. There are restrooms along the long bayside beaches at Philadelphia Avenue.
Beaches: Along most of the oceanfront, there is a boardwalk. Beach badges are required for access to all beaches. Full season badges are $60; weekly badges are $35. For people 65 years old or over, the seasonal badge is $20. For disabled people, the seasonal badge is $15. Daily badges are $12. No cost for people under the age of 12.
Follow Jersey Shore author and expert R.C. Staab as he recounts his 2021 walk of every beach along the 139 miles of the Jersey Shore coastline from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Read all updated stories at www.JerseyShoreWalk.com.