Stone Harbor. New Jersey – Stone Harbor shares a seven-mile barrier island with Avalon, and a lot of the same qualities. If you’re looking for a laid back vacation, without a lot of the crowds and hustle of Wildwood or Atlantic City, Stone Harbor is a great choice!
Planning a family vacation? Stone Harbor is a great one. The beaches, of course, are the main attraction for a summer getaway. Lifeguards are on duty all summer long, and beach badges are required. Remember, a weekly pass will save you more money than a daily pass, and if you’ll be in the area for more than two weeks, a season pass is the best value for the money. Even better — beach badges are interchangeable for Avalon and Stone Harbor. Buy a pass for one and you can lounge on the other at no extra charge. You’ll find that the Stone Harbor beaches are far less crowded than the sands at some of the better-known vacation destinations!
Stone Harbor has plenty of natural beauty. Check out the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary, a twenty-one acre natural reserve that is home to amazing wetlands flora and lots of rare birds. Thousands of herons nest in the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary.
The town is also home to the Wetlands Institute and Museum, where you can do some more bird watching on more than thirty acres of privately owned land and thousands of acres of public land. That’s a LOT of bird watching! Be sure to check out the aquarium and other educational exhibits that will let you know a little more about the native plants and animals of the area. You can sign up for a guided tour or take a self-guided marsh walk to look at the wetland up close and personal.
But Stone Harbor isn’t all wildlife and wetlands. From the beach, you can easily walk to lots of quaint shops and great restaurants. You’ll find most of the shopping along 96th Street. From shoes to gifts, from fudge to paint your own pottery, Stone Harbor is full of friendly, unique little shops. And Stone Harbor is full of off-beach recreation, like tennis, basketball, baseball, miniature golf, and more. The sports facility on 82nd Street even offers tennis lessons, clinics, and tournaments for players of all ages and skill levels.
Love seafood? You’ll find lots of places to enjoy the catch of the day in Stone Harbor, and in the other towns of south Jersey. And if you’d prefer to catch your own, it’s easy to find a charter boat for a half day or full day of fishing.
You’ll find a lot of fun weekend festivals throughout the summer season in Stone Harbor. In May, catch the combination boat show/seafood festival called Sail Into Summer. July brings a family celebration of Independence Day; August offers a huge arts and crafts festival. Even into the fall you can take part in the Arts and Music festival in October and the Holiday Celebrations starting after Thanksgiving.
Stone Harbor is a great family destination, without all the crowds and commercialism you might find in some other shore resorts. Between the spacious beaches, the shopping, the wildlife, and the family activities, you can have a great Stone Harbor vacation without even thinking about those other Jersey towns.