Our beaches are free. In New Jersey, you must pay—even property owners. Proof that you did so: a small plastic badge to pin on your togs. Then you walk to the boardwalk for a slice of pizza, only to realize you left the tag pinned to your chair. Whoops.
Some Jersey towns make everyone swim in front of the lifeguard stands, which means they tumble together when a big one rolls in. Ouch. Swim wherever you want in Delaware—just stay away from jetties and rip currents. (Yes, the liefguard is whistling at you.)
Which means you won’t be woken out of a sound sleep by the Fudgie-Wudgie Man yelling “Get your ice cream” at top volume. And just when you doze off again, he makes another round. Here you can nap in peace.
No need to walk to a metering station half a block away after cruising the streets for 45 minutes to find a parking space. Thanks to the app, you can now reserve a space in towns like Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach on the most crowded of days. And if you need to extend your time, you can do so from your hard-won place on the beach just by touching the screen. No need to walk back to the meter—and leave that blasted beach tag pinned to your tote.
Few issues divide beach goers so thoroughly. Which feels better: fine sand or coarse grained? That fine Jersey sand can be dusty and dirty, feel like a bed of concrete under your towel, and resist every attempt to remove from your skin. Delaware sand conforms to your body like a warm blanket, and it brushes off dry skin and other surfaces with the lightest of touches. Give us Delaware sand any day.
You won’t find much solitude in Jersey or Maryland without making a serious effort. Here, every guarded beach yields to an unguarded state or private beach with considerably fewer people. Serenity at last …