Fourth of July Weekend: Ten Things to do in Stone Harbor
Situated on the southern portion of Seven Mile Island, Stone Harbor has long been a destination for discerning vacationers who are looking for quality accommodations and amenities while visiting the Jersey shore. A hit with visitors of all ages, it lacks the trappings of some of the other seashore locations – like a boardwalk – but instead provides a peaceful and laid-back destination for a great Fourth of July holiday weekend. Here’s a list of 10 wonderful things to keep you occupied during an Independence Day visit to Stone Harbor.
1. Sculpt Some Sand – Each 4th of July holiday, Stone Harbor begins the day with a sand sculpture contest, open to all ages and offering a variety of categories. If you’re good at making more than rudimentary castles, enter this fun contest. If not, just come to the beach and watch these masters at work.
2. Family Fun on the Fourth – Also on Independence Day, Stone Harbor sponsors a variety of kid-oriented games like foot races, a candy scramble, slow bike races, and more. They begin in the a.m. and are spread throughout the day. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or ask your hotel for details.
3. Go Birding – Stone Harbor has its own 21-acre bird sanctuary, declared a Natural National Landmark in 1965. Because of the diverse eco-systems in the area, it plays host to a wide variety of birds and migratory water fowl. Lots of butterflies, too. Take a stroll on your own or sign up for a docent-led tour.
4. Upscale shopping – Looking for more than the usual Boardwalk-style shops? Stone Harbor boasts a high concentration of upscale stores that’ll please shoppers looking for quality classic or trendy merchandise. Most are located in the area of 96th Street and 3rd Avenue.
5. Dine in Style – Some of the best restaurants on the Jersey shore are located in beautiful Stone Harbor. If you’re hoping for at least one night out on the town during your Fourth of July holiday weekend, check out some of Stone Harbor’s fine culinary offerings, including many that offer live music, dancing, and other perks. Plenty of casual restaurants for families as well!
6. Head to the Museum – The Stone Harbor Museum on 93rd Street is small, but it provides interested visitors with facts about the early days of the town. There’s also an annex dedicated to sailing in Stone Harbor, as well as a gift shop. Worth a visit.
7. Bask at the Beach – Stone Harbor’s portion of Seven Mile Beach is often dubbed the cleanest beach at the Jersey shore. It’s not as crowded as many other shore locations and is perfect for all ages, whether you’re intent on reading a book, playing in the sand with your kids, or swimming in the waters of the Atlantic.
8. The Wetlands Institute – This marvelous Stone Harbor attraction offers visitors the chance to learn the value of coastal wetlands and habitats through classes, lectures, and more. You can visit just about any time including during Fourth of July week. Dune walks and kayaking are available, too.
9. Live Music – Each year, before the 4th of July fireworks, Stone Harbor brings in a musical artist for a live performance, usually at the local soccer field. Bring your chairs and your picnic dinner for a great night of music suitable for the whole family.
10.Speaking of Fireworks… – Stone Harbor puts on one of the best fireworks displays in South Jersey. Sponsored by the Stone Harbor Fire Department, the sky rockets start their ascent around dusk, usually about 9 or 9:30. Don’t miss ‘em!