My bike tour of lower Cape May County.

I spent last week vacationing at the Jersey Shore.  Our family rented a great property on 27th Street in  Avalon.  Anyone who knows me knows I like to run and sometimes I overdo it.  So while I was nursing some leg injuries due to running, my wife and I thought it would be a great idea to rent bikes and ride them throughout the week.  Avalon has a bike shop right around the corner from where we were staying and we figured the biking would be less impact on my delicate knees.  The price was also right at about $65 per week per bike.  Sounds like the perfect storm!

The first three days of our vacation, we took daily bike rides into Stone Harbor all the way to the point.  The point is the southern most tip of 7 mile island in Stone Harbor.  Avalon and Stone Harbor has to be one of the best places ever to bike ride.  The island is about 7 miles long and has a bicycle lane that covers most of the island.  The traffic and visitors are also very well trained at yielding to and respecting bike riders.  This was great fun with my family as I pulled the baby buggy, but midway through the vacation week I became a little ambitious.  I started the day (Wednesday) out with a quick 2 mile run (yes, many of us run while hurting while we should be resting)  to the northern end of Avalon and back.  My wife was planning an afternoon at the beach with my daughter and the rest of the family.  I really wasn’t up for the beach that day so I figured: perfect opportunity to explore a little further and maybe even get some good video and pictures for the Jersey Shore Rentals website.  About 9:30am, I decided I wanted to ride the bike to Cape May.  This would be a challenge for me since I am a very inexperienced bike rider.  Since I am an experienced runner (I recently finished the New Jersey 1/2 marathon), I was a little cocky about this bike ride thinking: “This should be no big deal.”

After the trip was over, I was hurting.  I should not have been so ignorant and disrespectful to the bike (thinking since I was in running shape, I could ride a bike).  I completed the ride in about 5 total hours for a total of approximately 37 miles.  This included stopping along the way to admire the awesome Jersey Shore scenery.  Now that it’s over, I’m so happy that I did this.  This is a totally different perspective than riding in a car.  I’ve taken this trip many times in a car, but it’s just not the same as on a bike and you really get to appreciate it in a different way.  The bike also allows you to stop and take everything in at any point you want.  My favorite part of the trip was from the top of the bridge overlooking the Cape May canal (amazing view) on the parkway.  Sunset Lake in Wildwood Crest is another place that I never knew about but discovered on this trip.  As shown by the name, this is the ideal place to watch the sun set if you are staying in the area!  In a car you can’t take it all in since your traveling to Cape May at about 55 miles per hour.

Although I was sore and sweating for a great deal of the trip, I did manage to get some great videos and pictures to share with you.  I plan to post video and images in subsequent posts as I’m still trying to determine the best way to host and display them.  Thursday of   vacation week I rested and Friday my in-laws volunteered to watch our 3 year old daughter.  My wife and I took off together on Friday and had another great ride.  This time we headed north, stopping in Sea Isle City (about 42nd street).  This was another great ride only a little shorter.

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Questions to ask after booking, but before you get to your vacation rental.

There are still some questions that need to be addressed even after you made arrangements for your Jersey Shore Rental. While reserving, you may not have thought of most of these things since this was information that was not needed for your decision to rent.  Although you already have the plans in place, here are some questions you need to ask the rental manager before you step out the door. Trying to find all of this information upon arrival at your rental will only make your vacation less enjoyable.

  1. How do you obtain the keys to the property? Where do you pick them up? This could possibly be at rental manager’s office. If so, you need a time and a place.
  2. If you are traveling by car, where do you park? If you have multiple vehicles in your travel party, make sure you know where everyone is parking. Some places have assigned parking spots and others don’t. Some Jersey Shore destinations will be better enjoyed by parking the car and leaving it for the entire week.
  3. What do you need to bring? For example, if you need a beach chair, find out if they are provided. This is applicable to any other item you may need such as tennis rackets, basketballs, water sport equipment, family games for entertainment, etc. Sometimes these items will be included with your rental, sometimes not.
  4. Know where the nearest hospital is located. You may get injured while on vacation and not have the time to find this information during an emergency. Most Jersey Shore locations have a hospital within a short drive.
  5. If the house is equipped with internet access, you should know how to access the network (username and password) before you get there. This is especially important if you need to remotely access your office while on vacation.
  6. Make sure you have a contact phone number for the property owner or manager (preferably a cell number). Anything can go wrong with a house such as water heater breaking, pipe leaks, toilet overflowing, etc. You need to know who to call if these situations arise while on vacation. These things happen even in the nicest and most expensive houses.
  7. Know anything specific about the house, for example, if there is a spa, you may be responsible for keeping up with the chemicals in the absence of the owner. You may also be responsible for other things such as putting the trash out or cleaning at the end of the trip.
  8. Find out if you need to bring items such as towels and sheets for the bed. If so, make sure you know the size of the bed(s). Other types of vacations may provide services that change these items for you, but this is generally not the case with Jersey Shore Rentals.
  9. You should know the procedure if you want to leave early. How will you get the keys back to the manager?
  10. You should know the rules of the community, especially if the rental is part of an association. They may have special rules such as no open fires, special destinations for trash, or even pet rules.

Knowing the answers to these questions will make your Jersey Shore Vacation more pleasant and enjoyable.  Time spent on vacation is the most precious time of all. Three hours spent prior to vacation to figure these things out is still
better than 1 hour while on vacation to figure them out.

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Top 5 reasons to visit the New Jersey Shore!

There are many beach destinations in the United States, but the New Jersey beaches are amongst the best. When selecting a destination for vacation there are many things to take into consideration. With so many places from which to choose in the United States and even the Caribbean, the editors of this site feel that the Jersey Shore has the most to offer and is a place in which you will want to return every year. This article highlights the top five reasons why this is true.

1)Large assortment of activities

If a beach vacation related activity exists, it can be found somewhere at the Jersey Shore. The list of things to do at the shore is endless. Some of the highlights include golf, boating, fishing, crabbing, parasailing, shopping, dining, swimming, gambling, and many more. If an activity is not available in a particular town, it is most likely available in another town. Using the Garden State Parkway, traveling from town to town seeking alternative activities is a breeze.

2)Cleanliness

The beaches in New Jersey are very clean. The towns are also very clean. Rarely is there litter on the beach or in the streets at the shore. Most of the Jersey Shore towns require beachgoers to purchase tags. At first this seems like a hassle or just another expense. But, the Jersey beaches are some of the best maintained beaches anywhere with very little litter. Most people are willing to pay a few extra dollars to have a well maintained and clean beach.

The beaches are not the only thing that is clean at the Jersey Shore. The water is also clean. Many shore towns throughout the county periodically check the cleanliness of the water. The National Resources Defense Council maintains data of these tests. Viewing and interpreting the report will show that the water at the Jersey Shore is very clean comparable to some of the other shore destinations in the United States.

3)Great selection of rentals

There is a great selection of rentals at the Jersey Shore. The shore has every imaginable flavor of rental available. There is everything from single homes, townhomes, trailers, timeshares, and condos. Renters can choose the “by owner” or “by agent” style of rentals. Renters have their choice of almost any combination of bedrooms and bathrooms. Just about any amenity imaginable is available in rentals at the shore. Due to the geography of the Jersey Shore area, most of the properties will be walking distance to the beach and to a bay.

This large selection could sometimes become misleading causing renters to wait too long to book a place. Although there are a large number of properties in the area, the demand for them is also high. It is advisable that all renters book their trip as early as possible to ensure they get the place that meets the needs of their group.

4)Extra large family friendly beaches

The beaches in New Jersey are large and accommodate many people. So on a nice sunny summer day when everyone decides to hit the beach, there’s always some extra space for another family. All of the towns and beaches are very family friendly. Alcohol is not permitted on any of the beaches and most of the shoreline is protected by lifeguards and local police.

5)Short Drive

The shore is a short drive for people in many different large cities. People living in Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Connecticut, and even as far away as Boston will find that the shore is within driving distance. No other tourist area in the United States is within such a short drive to so many people. In today’s world with charges such as baggage fees at airlines, driving vacations are becoming more and more ideal. Vacationers can pack as much as they please in cars with no additional fees!

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