So many people are getting frustrated with the crowded spaces and crazy traffic of famous favorite summer spots in Central and North Jersey. South Jersey gets pretty busy in the summer, too, but you might like the slightly slower pace and less overcrowded places to enjoy and unwind. Every week we'll highlight a few different areas to check out for a day trip or longer.

Atlantic County

You can start in Atlantic County with plenty to see and do away from the beaches. Exit the Garden State Parkway at Exit 48 and you're in Port Republic on Route 9. You'll notice that road is a lot less crazy and busy as it is up north, but it's still Route 9.

Turn off pretty quickly onto Chestnut Neck Road for a scenic country ride through the town and make a left onto Mill Street to skim across Mill Pond. Then head back toward Route 9 on Riverside Drive, which will turn into Motts Creek Road. You'll want to take that across Route 9 to a great spot to eat and drink.

You'll really feel like you're discovering a hidden gem after you get over the feeling that you're heading into nowhere.

Mott's Creek Inn

You'll really feel like you're discovering a hidden gem after you get over the feeling that you're heading into nowhere. After a couple of miles of thick woods, the landscape opens up to wide vistas of salt marsh and bay ponds. At the end of the road is a really cool place called Mott's Creek Inn. Great bar food and seafood, a cozy waterfront atmosphere, and even live entertainment.


From there you'll want to walk off your meal at the Historic Village of Smithville. It's a collection of shops, restaurants, duck ponds, and some amusement rides for the kids. It's a great place for family outings, first dates, couples' getaways, and anyone who wants to get lost in time in this quaint little village.

Oyster Creek Inn


If you head across Route 9 from there and head down another country road, you'll run into the Oyster Creek Inn. Tremendous seafood and great bay views, and you'll even drive past the old Leed's house, allegedly where the Jersey Devil was born.

Upscale option

If you're looking for something a little more upscale, check out Seaview Hotel. It's a Wyndham Dolce property. You can dine outside with great views of the Seaview Country Club golf course.

It's a legendary property with a top-rated golf course and dining and lodging that dates back to 1914.

That's just a corner of Atlantic County that offers a variety of things to see and do. Much more to come.

Essential summer guide of things to see in South Jersey (Part 1)

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