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.
(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.)
Movie theater re-opens after $4 million re-do
After several years of renovation and a hiccup because of the pandemic, earlier this 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 as the entertainment industry returns to normal.
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 for people 12 to 64 years old. People over 65 years old who purchased their badges before May 31 paid $5, but now they pay $20. Badges are free for people 11 years older and younger. Badges can be purchased through Viply App or at the beach.
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: Margate at Jersey Shore Walk Mile post 80. See profiles of North Brigantine, Long Beach Island and every beach and town on the northern part of the Jersey Shore and Long Beach Island at www.jerseyshorewalk.com