Seaside Park: Pick Your Spot--Basic Beach or Private Funtown Beach (without the pier and rides)


Seaside Park. All photos by R.C. Staab

The border between Seaside Heights and Seaside Park is a blur. Along the dunes, the first few blocks of Seaside Park are similar to those of the noisy relative to the north, even featuring the same planking material. But as screams from the amusements and the smell of food fade, the Boardwalk changes to the Seaside Park Promenade allowing people to finally relax and stroll with their own thoughts.


The town leaders seem to acknowledge today that the residents prefer a less hectic vibe along its two-mile Boardwalk. There's plenty of parking by the beach and no homes looming atop the dunes.

(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.)


Seaside Heights in the distance.

Funtown Pier trying to get back its mojo

Along with Casino Pier to the north, Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and the boardwalk fire in 2013 destroyed another amusement park icon -- the Funtown Pier. It was a low-key amusement park and pier geared mostly to children. Since 2013, the pier's owner has been lobbying unsuccessfully to be allowed to rebuild the pier with larger thrill rides up to 300-feet high. The borough previously imposed a 150-foot height limit on rides and has denied their request.


As recently as this Spring, the owner proposed to the Borough's planning board the first phase of the reconstruction of Funtown Pier in the form of a 50-by-150 foot boardwalk. The city voted

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against the Boardwalk. In April, Funtown resubmitted their proposal without the boardwalk and was given the go-ahead for a temporary food trailer, restroom trailer, more lockers, showers, relocating playground equipment allowing food and non-alcoholic beverages from the tiki hut to badge holders. Stay tuned.


In the meantime, Funtown Beach operates at the site of the old pier as a private beach where people can bring their own drinks and food, rent cabanas and beach chairs or buy food from vendors. More information about pricing of the private beach is below.


Beach restoration

Like so many towns in the northern section of the Jersey Shore, grasses have been planted on reconstructed dunes in hopes of keeping the ocean at beach.


History

At the Jersey Shore, settlers were straightforward in imaging what their town could offer. The original name of Seaside Park was Park City. Later, the name morphed into Sea Side Park, a section of Berkeley Township and eventually separated from the township to become Sea Side Park. In 1914, a newly appointed town clerk wrote the name of the town as “Seaside Park” in the council minutes and that name stuck.



Tips for Visiting Seaside Park

What's New: Nothing new to report.

Access and Parking: The easiest route to Seaside Park is via Route 37 from Exit 82 of the Garden State Parkway. There's lots of metered parking right along the boardwalk that is enforced from April 1 to October 30. Use mPay2 app for quick payment.

Amenities: There are restrooms at the N Street Bath House.

Beaches: South of Stockton Avenue, Seaside Park Beach badges are required for access to all beaches from June 15 to Labor Day. Full season badges are $65; weekly badges are $35. For people 62 years old or over, a beach badge is $20. Daily badges are $12. There is no cost for people 11 years of age and under.


Funtown Beach between Farragut and Stockton Avenues is a private beach which permits food and drink on the beach from June 19 to Labor Day. A separate beach badge is required for this part of the beach. Full season badges are $100 for adults and $35 for children. Weekly badges are $50. Daily badges are $12 Monday-Thursday and $15 Friday-Sunday and holidays. For people 5-12, daily badges are $3 Monday to Thursday and $5 Friday-Sunday and holidays. There is no cost for people 4 years of age and under.

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 coastline from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park, the length of Long Beach Island from Old Barney to the Edwin Forsythe Wildlife Refuge, from Brigantine to Cape May.


Next stop: Berkeley Township at Jersey Shore Walk Mile post 40. See profiles of Ortley Beach, Lavalette, Mantoloking, Bay Head, Pt. Pleasant Beach and other Jersey Shore Walk beach towns at www.jerseyshorewalk.com

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