Levi Fox is a man of many hats: actor, historian, entrepreneur, just to name a few. But his primary focus is on teaching. And his new business, Jersey Shore Tours, facilitates his main passion in the educational “off-season.”
“I really, really enjoy teaching. And this business allows me to keep on teaching all summer long,” says the award-winning adjunct professor at Atlantic Cape Community College and Richard Stockton University.
To say Fox offers tours of Ocean City, Atlantic City and his native Somers Point really only scratches the surface. He does kids’ tours, adult tours, theme tours and tours within a tour. The events are tailored to the wishes of his clients, or he can design them himself, with the group in mind.
In Ocean City, for example, he might do his “North to Fourth” tour which begins at the North Street beach, features an overview of the ecology of the island and changing shoreline and shows how approximately 10 streets of Longport came to rest in Ocean City and become The Gardens. He then covers the Boardwalk: its origins, various incarnations and how it has changed over the years. The tour ends at the historic U.S. Life Saving Station.
There is also an Ocean City “Beaches and Buildings” tour that includes the different styles of local architecture, from beach bungalows, to cottages, to the stately Bed and Breakfasts and rooming houses, to the ornate Victorian dwellings of the Historic District. A Religious Heritage tour includes stops at the town’s many beautiful historic churches and an overview of the religious aspects of Ocean City’s founding.
Other tours are custom-designed and still others evolve on the spot according to what the audience might be interested in.
“I try to teach and inform and to do so in an engaging fashion,” the personable Fox says. “It’s ‘edu-tainment’ ”.
For an Atlantic City tour, he is likely to give his narrative in character as Enoch “Nucky” Johnson, longtime AC political boss and inspiration for the hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Or he might dress and perform as a pirate, “Captain Levi” for a kids’ birthday party tour . The Pirate tour includes a “treasure hunt” with a metal detector and ends at Golden Galleon on the boardwalk.
Costs of the tours vary depending on size, location, etc. Each one different, Fox says. “I have a script, but it is like a lesson plan. The more I am prepared, the more we can delineate.”
He certainly has the background to conduct his excursions.
A graduate of Mainland Regional High School, Fox has been an Adjunct Professor at Atlantic Cape Community College since 2006 and a Student Development specialist in the School’s Career and Academic Planning Center since 2008. He is also a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University and an Adjunct Professor at Stockton. Fox is close to attaining his doctoral degree in public history at Temple University.
And while the basis for the tours is steeped in Fox’s historic factual knowledge and formal education, he also has extensive experience as a local tour guide. Previously he did tours of the James Salt Water Taffy and candy factory in Atlantic City.
“One of the takeaways of my tours is a deeper understanding of the area,” he says. “For vacationers at the Jersey Shore, this enhances the experience. It’s always better to know more about the area you are visiting.”