Home Features Summer at the Shore: Ocean Grove

Summer at the Shore: Ocean Grove

Fun fact #1: In 2014,  Fodor’s named Ocean Grove as one of the Top 15 Beach destinations in the world, citing the pristine beach, family-centered entertainment, charming downtown and beautiful Victorian buildings. Fun fact #2: Ocean Grove has the highest concentration of authentic Victorian architecture in the country.
Two years later, this one square mile town is still bringing it. You’ll find a steady stream of flea markets and craft fairs throughout the summer and lots of organized family activities on the beach, including movie nights, a sandcastle contest and boogie board races. If you need a beach break, take a leisurely stroll along the clean, uncluttered Ocean Grove boardwalk.

The Best Events

Ocean Grove
Best for Everyone: 48th Annual House Tour
When: July 15 from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm
Where: Historical Society Museum, 50 Pitman Avenue
Description: Local history aficionados call it the event of the season. Board a trolley to get a special, guided glimpse into 7-10 of Ocean Grove’s grandest private homes and inns, as well as views of the Great Auditorium, Centennial Cottage and the Historical Society Museum itself. Note: Tour held rain or shine.
More info: www.oceangrovehistory.org or call 732-774-1869
Best for Families: Teddy Bear Picnic
When: August 10 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Where: The Historical Society of Ocean Grove Museum, 50 Pitman Avenue
Centennial Cottage, 43 McClintock Street
Starving Artist, Olin Street (between Central Avenue and Pilgrim Pathway)
Description: A sweet, annual event for children and their parents that celebrates the history of the teddy bear in America. Teddy bear tea is held at the charming Centennial Cottage. Crafts, snacks and ice cream to follow at Days Ice Cream.  Note: Pre-registration is required.
More info: www.oceangrovehistory.org or call 732-774-1869

The Best Restaurants

Best for Lunch: Nagle’s Apothecary Café
Address: 43 Main Avenue
Description: It’s a super-quick walk to Nagle’s from the Main Street Exit off the beach, but proximity to the ocean is just one reason this restaurant is so popular. The service is excellent–no matter how crowded Nagle’s gets, the efficient, friendly staff inexplicably manages to keep the tables moving while making everyone feel relaxed and at home. The menu is reliably standard–an expansive list of classic diner food served in really generous proportions (consider splitting your dish with a fellow diner). Post lunch rush, crowds clamor for Nagle’s ice cream cones and confections.
More info: Call 732-776-9797
Ocean GroveBest for Dinner: Bia Bistro
Address: The Majestic Hotel, 19 Main Avenue
Description: Located on the ground floor of the gorgeous Majestic Hotel, this oceanfront, European-style bistro has it all (with one notable exception). There is lovely outdoor seating with glorious ocean views, a soothing, green-tinged interior with great lighting and a winning Mediterranean-inspired seafood menu. As for that exception: Like all of Ocean Grove, Bia Bistro is BYOB–so grab your wine beforehand if desired. Dining at this lovely spot is a special summer treat–it is only open to the general public for lunch and dinner from Memorial Day until the end of September. The rest of the year, Bia hosts corporate meetings and special occasion events.
More info: www.majesticoceangrove.com or call 732-775-6100

The Best Tourist Attraction

Ocean Grove
Tent City
Address: 54 Pilgrim Pathway
Description: Steeped in the Methodist tent colony tradition that dates back to 1869, folks flock to Tent City each summer to gain respite from the excess of contemporary living. Over 100 tiny tent structures are occupied side-by-side in front of Ocean Grove’s Grand Auditorium, most of them ornately decorated with flowers, flags and both patriotic and religious symbols. If you think camping in a tiny tent surrounded by strangers sounds unsavory, you might be alone–the waiting list is long for these temporary Ocean Grove homes.
More info: www.oceangrove.org/tent-city or call 732-775-0035

The Best Beach Tips

Ocean Grove
Beach tags: Seasonal and weekly beach badges can be purchased at the Beach Office on the boardwalk. Daily badges are available at any beach entrance. Fees are $8 per day, $40 per week and $80 per season. Youth season badges (ages 12-17) are $40. Children under 12 are admitted free.
Beach parking: Free on-street parking in front of boardwalk and throughout town.
Changing facilities: Two restrooms service the half-mile beach. Changing station located at beach office on Embury Avenue.
More info: www.oceangrove.org or call 732-775-0035

Hero (Top) Feature Image: Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association
Additional Images (in order) Courtesy:
Historical Society of Ocean Grove
The Majestic Hotel
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association