Memorial Day is coming up soon and that means the beach towns that we enjoy so much will be crowded with people enjoying what we have and spending money in our shore town communities.

With the good you must take the bad. Sure, we will be making money but the crowds, traffic, and organized chaos of the influx of people invading our shore is intense. Do not get me wrong, I still love going to the boardwalk in Seaside Heights or Asbury Park, it reminds me of my youth when I enjoyed it so much.

A stroll down the boardwalk on a summer night has all of that. But as I get older, I am a little skittish fighting the traffic, parking, and crowds.

Seaside Heights boardwalk
Seaside Heights boardwalk (Bud McCormick)

Before Memorial Day and after Labor Day on a beautiful day, I will head out to Sandy Hook. Sandy Hook is a National Park and its pristine beaches, priceless scenery and easy access make it one of my most enjoyable experiences for a half or full-day destination.

I like to drive around the expansive park looking at all the buildings and appreciating the history of the gun turrets and Fort Hancock built to protect our shores in the 1850s.

Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, Monmouth County, NJ
Mike Brant - TSM

There are protected land areas for endangered species, the officer’s houses in total disrepair that are starting to be refurbished, there is a bar and restaurant all the way at the end of the Hook, there is a Coast Guard station, a chapel and for me overall, a decompressing relaxing experience.

Let me make it clear: I do not go to Sandy Hook anytime between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The crowds are overwhelming, and there is a charge to get into the park. It is free to get in any time before Memorial Day and after that Labor Day window.

Enjoy the beauty, the history and calmness of one of the treasures we have here in New Jersey, go to Sandy Hook.

The best supermarkets in New Jersey

These are the highest-rated supermarkets in each of New Jersey's 21 counties. The ratings are based on reviews left by customers on Google. To be included in the top, a supermarket had to have a substantial number of reviews (typically at leas a thousand).

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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