In the short 1-and-1/2 mile stretch of the North Dover Beaches in Toms Rivers, a person comes up so many different community signs and so many different kinds of housing that it sends the head spinning. In succession, a person may see: "Entering Twp of Toms Rivers," followed by "North Dover Beaches" and followed by "Monterey Beach" or one of 10 ocean beaches in the area. This means, every two or three blocks, a person enters a different private beach community.
There are 10 individual beaches/associations in the area between the Brick Beaches and Lavallette. Good luck trying to find them listed, in order, online until now! From north to south, these are the North Dover Beaches:
* Southern half of Normandy Beach
* Normandy Shores
* Silver Beach
* Chadwick Beach 1
* Ocean Beach 3
* Ocean Beach 2
* Monterey Beach * Ocean Beach Shores
* Ocean Beach 1
Most of these private beach communities consist or two or three blocks from north to south, most often stretching from the ocean to the bay. Not all 10 extend to the bay.
(From the vantage point of the beachfront or boardwalk, this is a breezy overview of what you see, where to park and beach access, plus a bit or history and the latest happenings. See map below.)
Meanwhile, on the beach side, the North Dover Beaches appears to be one continuous beach. No signs or markers indicate when a person crosses the line between say between Silver Beach and Chadwick Beach 1. As one resident explained, each beach has a separate beach tag
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policy. Unfortunately, I couldn't find even information about one association and its beach badge policy. Look for a beach tag collector before setting down a towel.
Because these are all private associations, the style of homes, the presence or absence of sidewalks and the very road material (dirt vs. paved) varies from block to block. From a visual standpoint, the tightly packed smaller cabins are a treat. It's one of the most unusual places for housing and architecture on the Jersey Shore.
The North Dover name
Why not just call this area Toms River Township North? "Dover" refers to the Township of Dover, the former name of Toms River Township before the citizens voted to change the name in 2006. The "North Dover" differentiates this area between Brick Beaches and Lavallette Borough from the southern section commonly known as Ortley Beach that's between Lavallette Borough and Seaside Heights.
Tips for Visiting North Dover Beaches/Toms River Township
What's New: Nothing new to report.
Access and Parking: The only way to access the North Dover Beaches is along busy Route 35 from Mantoloking or the Brick Beaches to the north or from Lavallette to the south. Throughout these beaches, Route 35 is a divided road separated by an "island" of homes in the middle with north-bound lanes nearer the beach and south-bound lanes nearer the bay. There is very, very limited street parking which varies block to block and varies from beach association to beach association. Be very careful!
Beaches: There isn't a boardwalk or a promenade. Beach badge policies and prices are online or posted.
Starring Role: North Dover Beaches have been featured in the movie Tomorrow is Today.
This spring, summer and fall, follow Jersey Shore author and expert R.C. Staab as he walks the entire 139 miles of the Jersey Shore from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park, from Old Barney to Beach Haven, from Brigantine to Cape May.
Next stop: Lavallette at Jersey Shore Walk Mile post 35.5. See profiles of the North Dover Beaches, Mantoloking, Bay Head, Pt. Pleasant Beach and other Jersey Shore Walk beach towns at www.jerseyshorewalk.com