Local’s Survival Guide to the Unofficial Start of Summer
We all know this weekend begins the raid on the area by visitors. Every year we know it's coming, but every year we are quite unprepared. Here is the local's survival guide for the weekend and the whole summer.
The Parkway, Turnpike, Rt. 72, Atlantic City Expressway, Black Horse Pike, Rt. 9, Rt. 47, Rt. 347 and all other major roads should be avoided at all costs. Friday afternoon, which now really begins earlier and earlier every year, is when the decent on South Jersey begins. Any travel southbound or eastbound should be avoided at all costs. By now you should have your back route mapped out. If you don't, well good luck to you. Saturday morning and Sunday morning any travel northbound or westbound should be as equally avoided.
I know this is a tough one. How will you survive without your Wawa fix? Go on off hours to avoid the rush. Mid-morning should be avoided, this is when the Shoobies are getting their subs, potato chips, and jugs of iced tea for the day at the beach.
Remember in the Seinfeld episode where Mr. Costanza is selling computers with George and Lloyd Braun? Mr. Costanza adopts a relaxation technique, serenity now. He repeats this mantra in order to calm himself down. While it didn't really work for him, it is worth a shot. Use this when you're stuck in the inevitable traffic.
The flashing lights and sounds of seagulls is quite appealing I know. I love going to the boardwalk and grabbing a slice of pizza and some ice cream. DO NOT GO. This weekend and all the weekends to follow, the boardwalk is the place for these visitors to go at night after a day on the beach. Save your boardwalk nights to weeknights when said visitors are back home...well for the most part.
As a kid I learned there is this thing that my mom referred to as beach shifts. We would always take the late shift because in the morning we had activities like swim lessons, basketball, soccer, tennis, etc. all run by my town. We would get to the beach around 2pm. This was great because people who had been on the beach all morning were starting to leave making room for other people. We would stay until the lifeguards left and never had a problem with crowds. You can also get there right as the beach opens since the visitors won't be there right away. They're tired from a night on the boardwalk you avoided and are stuck in long lines at Wawa.
You might want to talk to other locals about this one. Some beaches, for whatever reason, are less crowded than others. They are the diamonds in the rough. Find these beaches and keep them a secret only known the locals. Have family that comes to visit during the summer? Maybe you have friends that come down for the weekend. Do not, I repeat do not tell them about said beach nor bring them to this beach. While you may trust them, it only takes one to go back and tell their friends.
We all have our favorite restaurants by the beach, but come summertime they are swamped with people. Instead of going for dinner go for lunch. All of the Shoobies are on the beach, which means it's free and clear for you.
This is pretty much the same as the boardwalk. They are packed weekends, but come weekdays there are no lines and no crowds.
You could say 3 months and 12 days. Just under 15 weeks until local summer. Start the countdown now!