As a way to draw in more visitors, the coastal town of Seaside Heights, NJ, has introduced a plan to offer “full moon beach camping” this summer.
According to the Toms River Patch, campers will be able to camp along Hiering Avenue beach overnight on Thursday, July 2, Friday, July 31 and Saturday, August 29 — the next three upcoming full moons. All participants must pre-register for a full moon beach camping event by the end of the Monday before each date.
The purpose? Simply to allow people to take in the natural beauty of a full moon hanging over the Atlantic Ocean.
As camping has become increasingly popular — 42.5 million people went on a camping trip in 2011 alone — the sheer variety of different types of camping opportunities has exploded. People can now choose to go “glamping” in luxury cabins that more closely resemble a hotel room than a camping cabin, or they can go camping with just the bare essentials for survival.
For Seaside Heights, these full moon beach camping experiences are just one of several ways the community hopes to revitalize its shoreline and make it more family-friendly after the devastation of “Jersey Shore” and, later, Hurricane Sandy and a recent boardwalk fire.
Earlier this month, the Seaside Heights coast was the site of the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover music festival, which welcomed 25,000 music lovers — many of whom camped overnight on the beach. The town is also holding twice-a-week beach movie nights on Hiering Avenue beach, showing family-friendly flicks like “Finding Nemo” in an effort to encourage families to hit the beach.
“The big picture is that Seaside Heights is an enormous asset,” explained Dana Lancellotti, director of business development and tourism for Ocean County. “It’s a great coastal, Jersey Shore attraction that we can put on the map in a positive way, and that’s what has to happen.”
Participants can register for a full moon beach camping experience by emailing applications to asommerer@seaside-heightsnj.