How does a neighboring town even try to compare to stately Spring Lake? Spring Lake's neighbor to the south, Sea Girt, shines with a walkway along the ocean with the best landscaping at the Jersey Shore. Sea Girt's boardwalk sits in what feels like the middle of a large sand dune. To the west, visitors see homes above one dune and over the other dune is the sandy beach with waves crashing.
(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.)
Along the northern part of the Jersey Shore, not only does one see the ocean but numerous ponds and lakes that often separate one town from another. Between Spring Lake and Sea Girt is one of my favorites -- Wreck Pond. Why the name? At times, there has been an inlet large enough for sailors to mistake it for Manasquan Inlet to the south. They often wrecked their ships in the narrow pond. Today, the inlet is closed, but a state-built tunnel connects it to the ocean so fish can move behind the bodies of water and to improve the water quality of the pond by regularly allowing ocean water to enter.
Sea Girt Lighthouse tucked away
The Sea Girt Lighthouse location makes it hard to imagine ships being provided guidance. It's tucked away on the beachfront but hidden on two sides by houses. But more than 100 years, the lighthouse illuminated a blind spot midway between Navesink Lighthouse in Highlands at the New York Bay and Barnegat Lighthouse to the south. With the inlet was wide, it was a landmark for ships enter the pond from the ocean. The lighthouse is closed due to Covid with no opening plans announced.
Parker House is back!
A block away from the beach by the Lighthouse in a quiet residential neighborhood sits a stately looking building that is one of the most raucous nightclubs on the Jersey Shore. The Parker House may have started as a seasonal hotel more than a 100 years ago, but today it’s mostly known for its crazy basement bar scene. The neighbors and Sea Girt police may cast a suspicious eye on the
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patrons, but that doesn’t stop a young, hip crowd from lining up to pay the cover charge on Friday and Saturday nights for a frat-house-like party to live music that ends at 11:30 p.m. After taking a year off because of the pandemic, the Parker House bar and restaurant are now open for the season.
On the main level, an older crowd will enjoy lunch and dinner served on the outdoor terrace, or they can find their way through the house to the raw bar in the back.
Tips for Visiting Sea Girt
What's New: Nothing new to report but Sea Girt resident and Jersey Shore Walker Laura suggests Harrigans, an Irish pub with a Cheers-like atmosphere.
Access and Parking: The main road into town is Route 71 or via the 1st Avenue Bridge from Spring Lake. Along 1st Avenue, drivers do not have direct access from Sea Girt to Manasquan because of the the National Guard Training Center which separates the towns near the ocean. Parking is free.
Amenities: There are restrooms at the Pavilion on the boardwalk. There's a small shopping district on Washington Boulevard starting at 7th Avenue.
Beaches: Beach badges are required weekends from May 29 through June 18 and then daily from June 19 to September 5. Daily beach badges for people 12 and older are $11 and can be purchased through a link (TBD) on the Borough website or in person at the Pavilion. Seasonal beach badges are $110 for people 12 and older and $65 for seniors 65 or older and are only available via the Community Pass website.
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: The Beach You Never Heard Off at Jersey Shore Walk Mile post 25.5. See all the Jersey Shore Walk stories at www.jerseyshorewalk.com