Updated: Jul 14, 2022
Ventnor City is the official name but it's just Ventnor to almost everyone who lives or visits there. At a little more than a mile and half long, the small beach community feels more like a Philly-style neighborhood reluctantly attached to Atlantic City than a stand-alone beach town.
Longest pier and only truly public pier
Want the best seat over the ocean at the Jersey Shore where it's quiet, picturesque and there aren't kids screaming at nearby rides? Come to the Ventnor City fishing pier, the longest on the Jersey Shore at 1000 feet.
The pier is essentially split in half by a gate at which you pay to continue until the end where you'll find the best fishing. Just before that gate, there are benches where you can sit and enjoy the sunset or sunrise while viewing the tall buildings of Atlantic City or the long beach stretching south to Margate and Longport.
Fishing is allowed past the paid gate, but you must purchase a day or annual pass, which includes bathroom access. The office is open April to September. Be prepared before you come. Bring your own equipment, bait, and tackle because there are no stores within walking distance.
Movie theater is now part of the scene
After several years of renovation and a hiccup because of the pandemic, last year the Ventnor Square Theatre re-opened in a remarkable renovation. The 1938 art deco theater now features state-of-the-art projection in three theaters with Dolby Atmos sound, Nucky's restaurant spilling out to the sidewalk and newly liquor-licensed bars on two floors. It's the most handsome renovation of a commercial building that you'll find almost anywhere on the Jersey Shore.
Ventnor Square Theatre is owned and operated by Town Square Entertainment which runs the Harbor Square Theatre in Stone Harbor and the Tilton Square Theatre in Northfield just off the Garden State Parkway.
A "taste of Philadelphia"
Walking the popular Ventnor Boardwalk, there are so many different housing structures that it sometimes seems like you're seeing a cross section of all of Philadelphia. There are hi-rises,
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row-house inspired condos, crowded streets with houses packed in tightly and even a modern mansion or two. For Philadelphians who flock here, it looks and feels like home.
Who gave Ventnor its name
In 1889, when the Camden and Atlantic Land Company sought a name for its section of land south of Atlantic City, Mrs. S. Bartram Richards, the wife of the secretary-treasurer of the company suggested Ventnor. She had fond memories of a trip she and her husband took to Ventnor, England, on the Isle of Wright off the coast of mainland England.
Tips for visiting Ventnor
What's New: Nothing new to report
Access and Parking: The city is directly south of Atlantic City where the main north-south road is Atlantic Avenue. Before it even reaches Ventnor, Atlantic Avenue turns into Ventnor Avenue, which is also the main thoroughfare in Ventnor and Margate. Parking can be challenging. It's free in many places but read the signs carefully.
Amenities: There are restrooms and showers along the Boardwalk.
Beaches: Beach badges are required daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Full season badges are $20. Badges are free for people 11 years older and younger. Badges can be purchased through Viply App or at the beach.
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.