Giraffs, Penguins, Pirates and a Vineyard-Not Your Typical Beach Vacation

B_SORA Giraffe Feeding

Ocean County, NJ – Daydreaming about Summer at the beach may fill our minds with images of sandcastles, lifeguard chairs, boardwalks and ice cream cones. We reminisce with the sounds of happy children taunting the ocean waves and seagulls soaring over the coastline.  As one of our favorite past times, beach-going can truly be a soulful experience.

“Beaches and boardwalks are the backbone of our county’s tourism industry”, says Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, the liaison to Tourism for Ocean County, NJ. “We are the only county in the country with the name ‘Ocean’ and we are proud of our coastal heritage.  But the unexpected adventures beyond our beaches are what makes this a truly exciting and unique tourism destination!”

At the heart of the New Jersey Shore, there are many more adventures and attractions that will delight and surprise typical sunbathers and surfers. Just steps off the Point Pleasant Beach, Jenkinson’s Aquarium features sharks, sea lions, penguins and other exotic sea life, as well as playful tropical birds and even monkeys. With a short drive to the Metedeconk River in Brick, families can set sail with the Jersey Shore Pirates on the Sea Gypsy II for a children’s treasure hunt! Just 30 minutes away in Jackson at Six Flags Great Adventure, animal lovers will marvel at elephants, giraffs, lions and bears while riding the Off Road Safari tour.  After some adrenaline rushing rollercoaster and amusement rides, it is only a 10-minute drive to Laurita Winery, nestled in the peaceful farm country of Plumsted Township.  Laurita features festivals and family events all year long, making it a perfect destination for those who want to enjoy a variety of landscapes …and some wine tasting… during their visit.

Down in Southern Ocean County, Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen’s Museum offers children of all ages a look at our Jersey Shore history, with rich engaging exhibits and fun-filled events like the Pirates and Privateers Festival which takes place every June. On Long Beach Island visitors can round out their Ocean County experience, indulging in local fresh seafood and home-grown culinary delights while tantalizing their toes on more of our fabulous, sugar-sand, Jersey Shore beaches.

Ahhh yes, Summer in Ocean County, NJ is a perfect escape from the ordinary. To explore more, visit