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Summer Fun in NJ ‘Going Strong’

Shonda McClain | 6/1/2014, 6 a.m.
The Garden State is ready to offer cleaner beaches down the shore, more non-gaming activities in A.C. and more fun ...

New Jersey has swept away the last vestiges of Super Storm Sandy and tourism is thriving, according to Gov. Chris Christie. His administration recently announced that New Jersey’s tourism industry set a new record in 2013, generating more than $40 billion in revenue.

It is no wonder. New Jersey - South Jersey in particular - has a lot to offer.

In March, New Jersey launched the “Going Strong” campaign to build upon last year’s success and this summer proves to be better than ever with cleaner beaches down the shore, more non-gaming activities in Atlantic City, and of course, fun for people of all ages.

Surf’s up in New Jersey and the beaches beckon. With more than 130 miles of coastline, spanning from Sandy Hook to Cape May, New Jersey offers white sand beaches and bustling boardwalks with rides, amusements and non-stop excitement.

Families will enjoy the family friendly atmosphere of Wildwoods. With beaches that stretch for five miles, it is the perfect destination for swimming and surfing. For kids, or the kid in you, Morey’s Piers offers two beachside waterparks. Ocean Oasis and Beach Club has more than 50 slides, including the 75-foot high Acapulco Cliff Dive. Guests can rent cabanas and indulge in relaxing spa services, after a day of swimming. For the more adventurous, there is the Raging Waters Waterpark.

Wildwoods’ boardwalk is one of the biggest attractions in New Jersey. Famous for its fantastic amusement piers, it boasts roller coasters, arcades, carnival-style games and plenty of eateries and retail shops. The boardwalk is also home to more than 100 free festivals and concerts throughout the year, especially, summer. In June, visitors can enjoy Wildwoods Restaurant Week, Philadelphia Mummers Parade Performances, a farmer’s market and fireworks on the beach.

Of course, there is nothing better than soaking up the sun beachside, with a cocktail and a good book. And in New Jersey, there is no shortage of tranquil beaches to indulge.

Cape May, the nation’s oldest seashore resort, offers historic Victorian homes with gingerbread trim, delectable seafood restaurants and protected beaches. After endless days of relaxing on the beach and strolling through the pedestrian friendly Washington Street Mall, celebrate the end of summer at the annual Cape May Wine and Food Festival in September.

Ocean City, named by the Travel Channel as the country’s No. 1 family beach community, features eight miles of meticulously maintained beaches. It is a “dry” town, which means no alcohol is sold within city limits, but that is not necessary to enjoy the beauty of this seaside oasis.

Beaches are great for relaxation, but if you want to experience wildlife up close, Six Flags is worth the trip.

In addition to more than 200 rides, shows and amusements, Six Flags Great Adventures in Jackson, N.J. has the largest drive-through safari outside of Africa. Experience an intense, up-close animal experience at the Safari Off-Road Adventure, which is home to more than 1,200 exotic animals roaming on 350 acres of simulated natural habitat.

Adrenaline junkies can take a ride on the world’s tallest roller coaster and if it gets too hot, you can cool off at one of the world’s largest water parks, with more than 25 water-oriented rides.