After making a visit to Camping World in Lakewood, we drove “down the shore” to see if it was cooler than it was inland. It wasn’t. We drove through Belmar, Spring Lake, and Avon-by-the-sea. We hadn’t ever been to this part of the Jersey shore before. Bruce Springsteen is connected to Belmar. They have a giant replica of one of his Fender guitars on the Corner of E Street (the name sake of his band?) and 10th Street (“10th Avenue Freeze Out”?). A DDD also drew me to Belmar, the 10th Street Burrito Restaurant was pretty good.
Spring Lake is a high end resort/residential shore town. It was developed in the “Guilded Age” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was favored by the “high society” of New York and Philadelphia. Although a lot of the original mansion are no longer around, there are plenty of examples of fine houses. There is a huge hotel across from the beach, the Essex and Sussex, which has been around since the early 20th century. I included a few pictures of some of the houses that we thought were striking. In driving through town there were a lot of houses with huge flag poles flying US and Irish flags. The area apparently is known as the “Irish Riviera” because of the large population of Americans of Irish descent, Spring Lake has the highest percentage of any municipality in the US. It is also noted for a series of shark attacks that occurred in 1916 that inspired the novel and film, Jaws. One of those killed was a bell hop from the Essex and Sussex.
As we were getting ready to leave, we could see a storm moving in from the southwest. Lightning in the distance cleared the beach which was crowded considering it is after Labor Day. On the way home we ran into a wicked downpour that slowed us down to 20 or 25 mph. I was hoping to be able to get to the NJ Vietnam Veterans Memorial, but it was raining way too hard to find it and stop. I’ll have for try another day.