11 Reasons the Shore is Better Off Season
When you think about the shore you probably think sweltering hot temperatures, packed beaches, and tourist who can’t drive. Well, I’m here to tell you that there a different side to the Jersey shore. A side that is calm, relaxing, and still so much fun! It is called the off season.
Typically, the summer season is considered to be Memorial Day through Labor Day. However, June is kind of like a “warm up” month to July and August. Yes, it is busier than May but still pretty slow compared to July and August. Mainly because schools don’t let out until mid to late June and families don’t vacation until after school lets out.
September is what I consider the best month at the shore. The weather is amazing and you still get all the benefits of the season. Business are still open and there is enough action in the towns to feel it’s the in season but without all the craziness.
From September to December, there are a lot of great events like craft fairs and block parties that make it worth the trip. Christmas time is an especially magical time at the shore. Just because bathing suit season ends, doesn’t mean the beaches disappear! So let’s jump into the 11 Reasons the Shore is Better Off Season!
- No traffic– This is a no brainer but really makes a difference in travel time, headaches, and simply getting around town. If you have ever experienced shore traffic, you know why this is first on the list!
- No crowds– If you are not into waiting in long lines in the sweltering heat, than the off season is for you. During the season there is a line for everything from bathrooms to water ice. Not to mention simply walking around can be a real hassle in the crowds of the season.
- A lot of things stay open year round– You will be surprised at how many restaurants, shops, and attractions stay open year round. Or at least a few months before and after the the season. This varies from shore to shore so be sure to check if you are wanting to visit a specific attraction off season.
- No beach tags required– This is so nice for beach goers. Don’t get me wrong, beach tags do a lot of good for the towns. The money goes to beach replenishment, employing a lot of youths for the summer, among other positive things. However, it is so nice just to be able to walk straight onto a beach without a beach tag. Or being bothered by the beach tag checkers as soon s you close you eyes for a nap. They can really be relentless. This is also nice if you are just visiting for the day. It makes it easier to visit beaches in different towns without purchasing a different tag for each one.
- No reservations required– Not needing reservations is really freeing especially when you have never been to the area before. I think it is really nice to be able to pick where you want to eat on the spot rather than a head of time. Like what if you made reservations at an Italian restaurant but see an awesome Mexican restaurant you want to eat at? During the season it would be hard to get a reservation anytime last minute and pretty impossible on the weekends but off season you don’t have to worry about it!
- Get better service everywhere– When you visit a place off season the staff has more time and is more willing to give you better service. Regardless if it is in a restaurant, retail shop, or health food store. The employees aren’t under as much pressure to serve the masses and can give better one on one service. This give you an all around better experience.
- Specials– A lot of restaurants have happy hours and weekday specials during the off season that they don’t run during the summer. Since shore towns are largely seasonal, during the off season a lot of restaurants offer great specials like all night happy hours, half priced sushi, and buy one get one dinners on certain nights to entice people to come on shore during the slow months. These specials usually disappear around Memorial Day making a reappearance after Labor Day. The off season is perfect for taking advantage of these specials.
- Free parking– Meters at the shore often run from May 1st to November 1st. It can vary from town to town. Here is a little local secret. If you are visiting off season but at a time when the meters are still running, check the paid parking lots. A lot of times the lots only have an attendee during the immediate season and maybe a few weekends before and after. So if you come across a lot that is unattended and open you are free to park there! Boom! Front row parking for free!
- Less expensive hotel rates– The off season the time to find awesome hotel rates. The rates drastically decrease after the off season and the night minimum is lifted. It is also a great time to look into rentals. You can find great deals on beautiful houses and apartments. The price will reflect the season and is sometimes negotiable. So don’t be shy about haggling price with a realtor or private owner.
- Better biking– Biking around town is a great way to see the sights and enjoy the fresh air, however, it can be a little tedious and dangerous during the season. The streets are packed with people and crazy children and for some reason people forget how to drive while down the shore. This is all eliminated during the off season. The streets are much safer and enjoyable on a bicycle.
- More comfortable weather– Lets face it. July and August are the hottest months and the shore can be down right steamy. The sun is unrelenting and the humidity coming off the ocean can be unbearable. Some days if you are at the beach you need to either be under an umbrella or in the water. To me that is not very enjoyable. Don’t you agree? You’re better off hitting the beach in May or early June. If you want to enjoy warmer water, September and October are the months for you. But don’t forget the beach is there all year long and is just as beautiful in the winter!
I hope you found this article helpful! Maybe it will change the way you think about the Jersey shore. Share this with someone who would love the shore off season! And remember, off season is a great season at the beach!
Until next week my friends!