New Jersey has so many amazing things to see and do, but even out-of-staters appreciate the beauty of our beaches. The Jersey Shore is our biggest attraction, and tourists travel from all over to visit our spectacular shore towns. It has so many secrets and fun facts surrounding it, here are some favorites I discovered:
1. Atlantic City is home to the longest boardwalk in the world.
It spans 5.75 miles and also runs through Ventnor. The boardwalk was once over 7 miles, but it was partially destroyed by a 1944 hurricane.
2. Many of you may remember an Atlantic City before casinos.
New Jersey voters made gambling legal in 1976 and the first casino, Resorts International, opened in 1978.
3. Beachwood was settled as part of a newspaper promotion.
The 1914 New York Tribune promotion offered parcels of land in the area in exchange for a subscription.
4. In 1943, the New York Yankees held their spring training in Asbury Park instead of Florida.
This was because rail transport had to be conserved during the war.
5. Ocean Grove's summertime tent colony has been around since 1869.
It was founded as a Methodist retreat and once contained over 600 tents, there are now approximately 114.
6. Beautiful Long Beach Island was home to a bloody massacre back in 1782.
John Bacon and his crew, colonists loyal to Britain, massacred 20 patriot militiamen as they slept.
7. The coast of modern day Wildwood Crest is the location of the only Revolutionary War battle fought in Cape May County.
The area was known as Turtle Gut Inlet at the time. Fought on June 29, 1776, the battle was an important early victory for the Continental Navy.
8. Wildwood beaches are actually getting larger each year.
Due to sand deposits from northern beaches, Wildwood beaches grow by 10-20 feet per year.
9. Atlantic City's Steel Pier was first opened in 1898.
At the time, it was the most widely advertised amusement pier in the world.
10. Avalon was named after the mythical town in the Legend of King Arthur.
Avalon is believed to be where King Arthur himself is buried. This beautiful beach town is certainly fit for a king, or queen.
11. Wildwood is home to the largest remaining collection of doo-wop architecture in the United States.
Doo-Wop architecture refers to the distinctive 1950s style.
12. In 2005, Fox briefly aired a show called Point Pleasant, based in the New Jersey town.
The drama series was centered around a body washing ashore on Point Pleasant Beach. It was cancelled due to poor ratings, though 13 episodes were filmed.
13. Sandy Hook is home to New Jersey's only legal nude beach.
Gunnison beach is technically located on federal property as part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, so local ordinances don't apply. Higbee Beach in Cape May was once a nude beach, but nudity was officially prohibited in 2000.
14. You can find a lot in Ocean City, but you won't find alcohol.
No alcohol is sold within its borders, making it a fantastic destination for families. The Travel Channel named OCNJ the #1 family beach in the country.
15. Seaside Heights may be the most resilient shore town of them all.
The boardwalk was rebuilt after a 1955 fire, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and another fire in 2013. It has managed to bounce back every time.
16. A canal runs from Cape May's harbor to the Delaware Bay, making Cape May an island.
Physically separated from the rest of New Jersey, it maintains a unique Victorian identity. You'll find few chain stores here, though incredible architecture abounds. In 1976, Cape May was declared a National Historic Landmark City.
17. The first picture postcards in the United States were printed in 1893 and featured color views of Atlantic City.
The above postcard dates back to the late 1930s or early 1940s.
18. There is only one road connecting New Jersey's mainland to LBI.
You'll have to take Route 72 or travel by boat. A railroad bridge was built in 1886, but it was washed out in 1935.
Which of these fun facts most surprised you? What other Jersey Shore trivia can you add?