Updated: Aug 20, 2021
Unlikely as it may be, I suspect Pharrell Williams penned his summer hit, "Be Happy," after spending a summer vacation in Sea Isle City. While it might be easy to sulk in the shadow of famous neighbors such as Ocean City, Avalon and Cape May, the people of Sea Isle walk happily out in the light of the sun and share their enthusiasm with others.
In my entire walk of the 139 miles of the Jersey Shore coastline, I never encountered even one
good-humored ice cream person on the beach. In Sea Isle, you'll find plenty of smiling vendors selling ice cream and popsicles.
The lifeguards in Sea Isle City happily boast about their town rather than stare out to the ocean or at the phone their laps.
The town's water tower reminds you to smile. And...
Even the bike racks along the promenade put on a happy face.
(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.)
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Promenade that was once a traditional Boardwalk
Since 1907, there's been a Boardwalk or promenade along the ocean in Sea Isle. Over time, storms ravaged Sea Isle, and a wooden Boardwalk like that in Atlantic City was rebuilt twice. While the Boardwalk was clearly a popular attraction, it never quite compared to the larger and more popular boardwalks in Atlantic City, Ocean City and Wildwood.
After the Great Storm of 1962 damaged the existing Boardwalk and much of the town, a more environmentally sound concrete promenade was constructed to replace the boardwalk with manufactured dunes from the Army Corps of Engineers protecting it from the ocean. There are still some stores and restaurants along the promenade making it feel more robust than small promenades such as in Avalon but less hectic than one of the six big Boardwalks. This one-and-a-half-mile promenade still attracts regular joggers and walkers.