Relaxing In Seaside Park

The stretch of land on the narrow Barnegat Peninsula packs of lot of punch into 492 acres. A pristine beach and peaceful boardwalk attract families to this serene Ocean County, New Jersey, town. During the lazy, hazy days of summer, residents cherish their time spent enjoying the sunrise, the sunset and everything in between. First thing every summer morning, residents line up to indulge in crumb buns, apple fritters and donuts from the iconic Park Bakery. Midday might find visitors making a stop at Shore and More General Store to rent a bike for a ride around town. And, after a lovely, languorous day on the beach, locals and guests alike enjoy watching the sunset on the bay.

Town History & Amenities
The Borough of Seaside Park was settled in 1874 and incorporated in 1898. Grand hotels representative of the late Gilded Age were once the main attraction for vacationers from Philadelphia and New York. Today, this picturesque barrier island town boasts piers for crabbing and fishing, a yacht club and several parks and playgrounds. On a typical summer day, residents enjoy shopping at the weekly Farmer’s Market, renting a surrey or indulging in sailing lessons or beach yoga. During most summers, on Wednesday evenings in July and August, people toting lawn chairs and blankets gather with neighbors on the police department lawn to listen to local bands perform.

Left: The Seaside Park boardwalk has attracted visitors since the early 20th century. Right: The Manhasset, built in 1875 and pictured here in 1923, was located on the ocean between 4th and 5th Avenues.

Architecture and Trends in Real Estate
Homes here run the gamut from cozy cottages, to Victorian revivals to newly built estates. Keller Williams realtor Al Swider says, “Seaside Park is a very special community. Not only does it boast beautiful beaches and bayfront recreation, it has the classic homes that so many buyers want today. Our team sold a turn-of-the-20th-century Queen Anne Victorian home on Bayview Avenue earlier this year. That listing attracted literally hundreds of interested buyers and curious residents and vacationers. Seaside Park feels like you are taking a trip back in time. In my opinion, Seaside Park offers great value.”

The Bayview Avenue home that Swider recently sold is an example of the historic architecture evident throughout the community. When the previous owners purchased the home 25 years ago, there were gaping holes in the brick foundation. “Many people saw crumbling brick and all we saw was potential,” the owner shares. The property was lifted and a new foundation installed before the home was lowered back in place. The owners consulted with architectural historians and photos of the original home to complete the exterior renovation. “Seaside Park has a history that is worth preserving.”

Lou Padula, of Manasquan-based Padula Builders Inc., who has completed multiple projects in Seaside Park, notes that — no matter what type of architecture — houses here share a common thread. “They’re about a lifestyle, with large kitchens and covered porches for family and friends to gather and take advantage of summer at the shore.”

This expansive Seaside Park home, built by Padula Builders Inc., offers an abundance of outdoor space to enjoy the ocean air.

Why People Live Here
Padula describes the appeal of this charming shore town: “Seaside Park is a diamond in the rough, and a throwback to simpler times. Whether you own or rent, everyone gets to know one another, and often lifelong friendships are made.” Seaside Park has a long history for the owners of this gorgeous vacation residence, which was featured in our April/May 2017 and June/July 2017 issues. “Seaside Park is our home away from home,” the husband says. “My wife spent every summer growing up in Seaside Park with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, and we’ve done the same with our children and grandchildren. When we think of Seaside, we think of family. Our Jersey Shore home is like a magnet — it draws everyone together.”