⛱ Massive crowds close two New Jersey beaches

⛱ Crowds will get larger this weekend

⛱ Heat wave is driving tens of thousands to find relief at the Shore

If Wednesday was any indication, it may be hard to find your spot in the sand at the Jersey Shore this weekend.

The heat wave combined with a federal holiday sent massive crowds down the shore.

Crowds were so large that access to the beaches at Island Beach State Park and Sandy Hook was blocked because they were at capacity.

The closures only lasted a few hours, but it may be a hint of what is to come this weekend.

Canva/ Townsquare Media illustration
Canva/ Townsquare Media illustration

Expect it to get worse

School is out and the heat and humidity is forecast to get even worse as we head into the first official weekend of summer.

During this current heat wave, the only relief from 90-degree temperatures has been along the coast.

New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow says it will be at least 10 degrees cooler at the shore this weekend.

Townsquare Media illustration
Townsquare Media illustration

That is likely to send even more people to Jersey beaches pushing towns to capacity and beyond.

Many shore towns are also reporting record sales of beach tags.

More people, less beach

A series of storms this Winter tore away huge swaths of beach at the Jersey Shore.

While restoration projects have been completed in some towns, sand has not been pumped back on the beach in others.

Faced with the reality that beaches are smaller this summer, there are a variety of efforts underway to make sure towns can accommodate the throngs of sun seekers.

Canva/ Townsquare Media illustration
Canva/ Townsquare Media illustration

The biggest change is the banning of tents and canopies that take up a lot of room. They are banned on half of the state's public beaches.

READ MORE: All the towns that have banned tents and canopies on the beach

What to do?

If you want to make sure you get your patch of sand this weekend, get an early start.

And you better pack your patience. With the big crowds also comes a shortage of parking. Plan for traffic and for the time it is going to take to find a place to park.

You may also want to pack light. If you do find parking, it could be a ways from the beach and you don't want to be lugging a bunch of stuff to the sand.

"Beach concierge" services are also being offered in many shore towns.

READ MORE: Book a 'caddy' at these New Jersey Beaches

New Jersey allows you to get alerts for all state parks, including Island Beach State Park, including when there is a closure. You can sign up HERE.

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