By Maddy Vitale
Who says you can’t have it all?
In Ocean City, it seems the shore town does just that – from its pristine beaches, entertainment, a 2 ½ mile Boardwalk, restaurants and enough shopping to please any shopaholic, there is something for everyone.
On June 12, “America’s Greatest Family Resort,” was named by Coastal Living Magazine as the No. 1 “America’s Happiest Seaside Towns” for 2018.
To add to the list of honors bestowed upon this family-friendly town, a statewide poll named Ocean City “New Jersey’s Favorite Beach,” which was announced Friday afternoon at the Ocean City Music Pier.
And it isn’t the first time beachgoers chose the shore town. In fact, it was the fifth consecutive year in a row.
Claire Antonucci, of the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium announced the winners during a ceremony.
She joked, as she stood at the podium, moments before she named Ocean City as the top beach, that it was no surprise.
The consortium introduced the survey in 2008 to “inspire pride in and stewardship of New Jersey’s beaches while promoting a little healthy competition between New Jersey’s favorite beach towns.”
The contest is decided by online voters who are prevented from voting more than once. This year, the contest included winners for the four coastal communities, and Ocean City was the top beach in Cape May County. Margate was second overall and the top Atlantic County beach.
“We are thrilled with the honor,” Executive Director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce Michele Gillian said after the awards ceremony. “Ocean City is America’s Greatest Family Resort and it attracts generation after generation of families because of our clean, safe atmosphere.”
Gillian noted that Ocean City has clean and safe beaches and wonderful bay activities from sailing to fishing. She also said that the city’s eco-tourism is expanding.
In recent years Ocean City has been named “Best Beach in America” and “Best Beach” in many other statewide polls. “America’s Greatest Family Resort” also has been recognized for its boardwalk, downtown, ecotourism, family destinations, women-owned businesses and more.
Gillian added that so far, the economic forecast for this summer is very bright.
“The rentals are full for weeks. The summer looks wonderful,” Gillian said.
Mayor Jay Gillian said of the best beach honor, “The recognition is a testament to the hard work of the city team, City Council, the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Tourism Development Commission, the Boardwalk and Downtown Merchants associations, local businesses, all volunteer groups and the entire community in making Ocean City a superior place to live, work and play.”
Here is the list of favorite beach winners provided by the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium.
Cape May County’s Favorite Beaches
Sea Isle City
Atlantic County’s Favorite Beaches
Ocean County’s Favorite Beaches
Point Pleasant Beach
Island Beach State Park
Monmouth County’s Favorite Beaches
Sandy Hook – Gateway National Recreation Area