2012-06-01 / General Features


Visitors enjoy a summer concert at Sandy Hook. 
ERIC SUCAR Visitors enjoy a summer concert at Sandy Hook. ERIC SUCAR Middletown offers visitors all the fun a beach visit provides without traveling to the double-digit exits of the Garden State Parkway.

The “wet side” of the town sits along the Raritan Bay, and the neighborhoods of Port Monmouth, Belford and Leonardo sit right along the water.

The historic Seabrook-Wilson House — best known as the “Spy House” — hosts the activity center at Bayshore Waterfront Park, where Monmouth County hosts a number of recreational activities throughout the summer.

On any given day, visitors can be found fishing off the park’s pier in Sandy Hook Bay, which requires free registration with the N.J. Saltwater Recreation Registry Program.

Boating is also permitted for anyone who walks their kayak, canoe or windsurfer from the parking lot to the beach.

The park is known for its incredible wildlife sightings, including orioles, egrets, ring-necked pheasants, red fox and the short-nose sturgeon, an endangered fish.

More information on Bayshore Waterfront Park can be found at monmouthcountyparks.com.

Just a short drive down Route 36 is the beach-lover’s paradise on Sandy Hook, which run by the National Parks Service.

The hook provides six miles of undeveloped beaches but the parks service recommends swimmers only enter the water when and where lifeguards are present.

The park also provides a seven-mile-long bicycle path throughout the hook, giving great views of the Atlantic Ocean, Sandy Hook Bay and the natural beauty the hook has to offer.

There are more than a few historic places for anyone who goes sightseeing, including Fort Hancock, a National Historic Landmark that provided defense of the New York Harbor throughout World War II.

The most famous landmark is the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, the oldest working lighthouse in the United States.

The lighthouse was built in 1764 and stands 103 feet tall.The National Park Service offers tours of this historic monument throughout the day.

More information on Sandy Hook can be found at nps.gov/gate.

Some special events happening in Middletown this summer include:

Canoe rentals on Marlu Lake at Thompson Park, in Lincroft, June 9-10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at $15 per boat;

Ideal Beach Community Association neighborhood celebration, June 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sandy Hook: Sandy Hook does not charge for individual admission to its beaches

$15 per vehicle to park on the hook until 5 p.m.

Seasonal parking passes: $75

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