Your Favorite (South) Jersey Shore Stories

We asked SJ Mag readers to share their favorite shore stories. Warm up with some summer memories we all can relate to.

On a hot, humid day, my girlfriend (now wife) and I were in a crowd of more than 40,000 seeing Jimmy Buffet jam on the Atlantic City beach. We got there early to grab a good spot in the sand and spent the afternoon dancing with complete strangers. When the show ended at dusk, we stopped for a “no shower” happy hour. We were so drained by the time we got back to the hotel, but so happy.
Brian Adler, Mt. Laurel

One summer we had a particularly rainy week down the shore, so we spent a lot of the time inside playing Monopoly. It would have been a bummer had it not turned into the most competitive game of Monopoly ever played. It lasted days and got to the point where, in the rare moments the sun broke through, my sisters could be found standing waist-deep in the ocean plotting how to knock my brother out of the game.
Maddie Arcangelo, Somerset

I’ll always remember the nights we spent riding the log flume, roller coaster and the ferris wheel in Wildwood. We spun the teacups ride so fast my brother almost barfed.
Geoff Spencer, Bellmawr

This one goes back to when I was 6 years old. My father took my brother and me to the late great Captain Starn’s restaurant in Atlantic City. I don’t remember what I ate, but I was impressed by the size of the place. After eating, my father took us deep sea fishing. I had fun, but my brother threw up the entire time.
Anna Migliaccio, Haddon Heights

I used to love hanging out at Morey’s Pier on the Wildwood Boardwalk in front of the Himalaya ride and dancing for hours on end. I think they used to have an actual DJ and everyone would be dancing. So much fun!
Ruth Birchmeier, Cherry Hill

The best times have always been when we’re hanging out with our amazing summer neighbors on the 39th Street beach (the best beach) in Ocean City for a cocktail hour that always goes way longer than an hour. Everyone brings a snack and we stay ’till the sun goes down, riding the waves and feeling like we’re kids again.
Vicky Basgil, Cinnaminson

You know how there are certain events where you just remember exactly where you were when you heard major news? I was in Ocean City when I heard that Michael Jackson died, and in that same minute I got a text that my hamster had died at home, then I heard my brother screaming in the back room. He was fine – he had gotten sick and was being dramatic about it. But it was the perfect storm of chaos for about 5 minutes. I needed a long nap on the beach after that.
Katie Solik, Marlton

As a drummer and band leader, I’ve had so many great shore gigs, including the time I hung out and jammed with the great Dave Navarro. My band Octane was playing the Gypsy Bar in the Borgata when Dave happened to be staying there. The Borgata asked if he could join us on stage during our show…um, sure! We always had a great crowd there but that night was just a little more over the top. When Dave came up, everyone went wild. He jammed with us like he was in the band. After our show, we hung out ’til the early morning with him.
Bobby Pirylis, Magnolia

When I was a new father, I couldn’t wait to take my son to Ocean City and share everything I love about the shore with him. I mean I literally couldn’t wait. He was 3 months old when I let him taste Johnson’s Popcorn on the boardwalk and then dipped his little feet in the ocean. It felt like a ceremony.
Grant Jenkins, Marlton

I met my husband on the beach by the Ambassador Hotel in Atlantic City, where our crowd used to hang out. He loved hanging out on the beach all day. Me, not so much. I would arrive around 4 pm wearing glasses and a big, floppy hat and last in the sun for about an hour.
Frannie Keller, Moorestown

I’ve been going to Ocean City for family vacations for years. One thing I’ll never forget is that feeling when you’re going across the 9th St. bridge and you roll down the windows and breathe in the salty air. It’s like the shore is saying, “You’re back!”
Joe Westfield, Mt. Laurel

My family has gone to Avalon every summer since I was a baby, and when I was 10 I was on the beach with my grandma around lunchtime. She was trying to hand me a couple cheese puffs, and I guess a seagull caught the scent because it came rushing down and got tangled in her hair. I’ve never heard her scream so loudly.
Jason Zirrith, Voorhees

I was sitting on the beach one day when the wind picked up out of nowhere, and all of a sudden I looked up and saw a massive beach umbrella fly up in the air, and then come back down straight toward me. The next thing I remember, an 8-foot umbrella pole had pierced my bikini top. It didn’t hurt me – it just went straight through. Every time I tell people, they think I made it up, but it’s true. I don’t even think I flashed anyone in the process, which was a huge relief.
Liz Evans, Audubon

April 2021
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