Plan ahead to save at the Jersey Shore

May 27, 2011 4:04:37 AM PDT
Memorial Day's almost here and that's means lots of us are looking forward to spending at least some time this summer at the Jersey Shore.

And here's some great news. If you plan ahead, there are lots of ways to save on while you're enjoying the sun and surf.

Atlantic City and the Wildwoods are among the shore towns that don't charge fees to use their beaches -- making them a great value.

"When you look at a family of four, you may be talking about an $80 value that people are paying in other municipalities to get on their beaches," says John Siciliano, Executive Director of the Wildwoods Tourism Authority. "You don't have that here in the Wildwoods and we have the widest, safest, cleanest beaches on the Jersey shore."

And while towns like Ventnor, Margate and Ocean City do charge for beach badges, you can save by buying your seasonal tags now.

Before May 31, 2011, you can get a seasonal tag that's good in Ventnor and Margate for $7. After that, the cost goes up to $15.

In Brigantine, seasonal badges are $15 now, but go up to $18 on June 1, 2011

In Avalon, the price jumps from $21 up to $26.

And in Ocean City, you'll also save $5 by getting your tags early, paying $20 instead of $25.

Going to the beach is a great way to entertain the family during the day, but there's also plenty you can do in the evenings without spending a lot.

Mark Soifer, Ocean City's Public Relations Director, explains, "We have things in the downtown on Tuesday nights, free of charge, entertainment, all through the summer. And on the boardwalk, we have familiy nights, Mummers nights, and all that is free."

In the Wildwoods, the big free events include the Kite Festival, Barbecue and Blues, The Italian Festival and Mummers Weekends in June and September -- plus more.

"Five nights a week, we have free concerts that are in Wildwood, East Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, that people can just go and sit with their families and enjoy the entertainment," Siciliano says.

If your kids like the rides, you will have to pay, but at Playland's Castaway Cove in Ocean City, the tickets don't expire, so you can stock up to avoid price increases.

And, if you sign up emails from Morey's Pier in Wildwood, you'll get alerts about their special promotions and sales.