Street Beat - if you could only do one thing this summer?

According to a recent AARP survey, some of the most popular summertime activities in the country involve  trips to the beach, amusement parks, and old-fashioned family barbeques. Luckily, Monmouth County puts all  these popular seasonal pastimes right at your fingertips. And after a frigid, drawn-out winter, it’s safe to say  that everyone is looking forward to the long, hot days of summer.

Along the Jersey Shore, the beach beckons all the volleyball players, surfers, and tanners to take advantage of  everything the sand and the waves have to offer. The warm weather is optimal for almost any other outdoor activity, too, and if you add in all the outdoor festivals, concerts, and cookouts, there is no shortage of ways to  spend the summer days.

But what if you could only partake in one summertime activity? Living in Media posed this question to  residents along the shore, central Jersey, and Staten Island. It was difficult for this cross-section of our  respondents to whittle down their favorite activities to just one. While they gave us a variety of answers, they  almost all shared a common theme: enjoying the outdoors. Many can’t make it through the season without a trip to the beach or boardwalk to take a dip in the water or feast on classic boardwalk fare. Others take a  more extreme approach and choose a theme park or parasailing to get their annual thrill-seeking fix. No  matter their answer, most people can’t avoid the basic allure of spending time with family and friends outside  in the warm weather.

Thankfully, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one fun event or trip this season, so be sure to make the most  of every sunny day. Labor Day always does seem to come too soon.


Go to an outdoor festival. There are so many to choose from along the shore, but if I had to do just one activity,  I would pick one of them. They all offer something for everyone.

Jeanne B.
Spring Lake, NJ

Whatever activity it is, they’d better serve funnel cake or fried Oreos. There’s no way you can make it through  the summer without having a few of those, with powdered sugar, of course.

Rachel F.
Ocean, NJ
I’ve been surfing for 10 years, so I’d have to say that. After I learned, that’s my go-to activity for the summertime. There’s nothing like riding a wave.

Israel L.,
North Brunswick, NJ
Getting a tan at the beach. I just ride my bike down there from our shore house and I’m good to sit in the sun all  day long.

Sojourner M.
Plainsboro, NJ

I really enjoy fishing. You can kind of do it all year round, but the summer is the best season for it. I learned as  a kid and, to me, fishing is what summer is all about.

Kathleen K.
Huguenot, Staten Island

I like to play any kind of outdoor sports, but especially football. But, in a park and not on the beach. It’s too tough to run in the sand all the time.

Evander Y.
Eltingville, Staten Island

Biking along the ocean. There are miles of just flat roads where you can be so close to the water. Hearing the  waves is soothing. I can’t picture a summer without them.

David C.
Colts Neck, NJ
I love taking naps or reading on the beach. I can relax there like I can’t anywhere else. Give me a solid four hours and I’ll finish a book in peace.

Samantha D.
Holmdel, NJ

A trip to the beach. I live for the summer, to enjoy the sun and the sand. This last winter had me waiting to enjoy it for a long time.

Marissa D.,
Marlboro, NJ

I need to take a trip to the boardwalk and enjoy the sounds of the ocean. If I didn’t get to go, it would be one crummy summer.

Melissa V.
Perth Amboy, NJ

Just going to the beach. It sounds simple, but that’s the best summertime activity. Everyone plans a trip to the  beach.

Paula R.
Freehold, NJ

I like running a 5K. There’s a few in the shore area that I do every year. It keeps me in shape and it’s for a good cause.

James M.,

Staten Island


Playing volleyball on the beach. It’s a great way to get some exercise and have fun at the same time.

Nick D.
Huguenot, Staten Island

Bringing the family to Six Flags Great Adventure or the Keansburg Water Park. Both make great day trips  down the shore and have some fun rides.

Gina F.
Old Bridge, NJ

Boating. I usually go out in Sandy Hook or the Barnegat Bay. It’s such a tranquil activity and a great way to unwind.

Linda R.,
Brielle, NJ

Tanning at the beach, by far. I’m Italian and Cuban, so I need to keep my skin color looking good.

Laura R.
Great Kills, Staten Island

Having a burger and a drink while watching the sunset with my family, especially by the Shark River or the  Manasquan Inlet. That’s something you can do at the shore that you can’t do some other places.

Dave G.
Sayreville, NJ

The Belmar Seafood festival. It’s the best festival at the beachfront for the entire summer. I look forward to going every year.

Barbara M.
Manasquan, NJ

Swimming in the ocean. When it’s like 100 degrees outside, nothing helps you stay cool like a few minutes in  the water. It makes going to the beach worth it.

Doreen D.
Edison, NJ

I need to go surfing. The ocean turns into a big playground when the weather gets warm. I can surf for hours without a wetsuit. It’s a workout, but it’s relaxing.

Jay T.
New Dorp, Staten Island

Jogging along the boardwalk in the evening. I like the beach, but not during the day when it’s too hot. Taking a jog is a great way to clear my mind.

Terrence M.
Monroe, NJ

I have to go to Warped Tour every summer. To me, nothing says summer like hearing so many bands play in the PNC Bank Arts Center. That’s a tradition.

Maria M.
Prince’s Bay, Staten Island

I went parasailing about five years ago and I became hooked. I need to go at least once during the summer  every year now. It’s such a thrill, but peaceful at the same time.

Samantha C. ,
Long Branch, NJ

I love playing wiffle ball outside. It’s fun to hit and dive after it on the sand at the beach. It’s my favorite summer sport.

Zack G.,
Belmar, NJ

Shopping outdoors at one of the farmer’s markets or festivals. Those are great opportunities to get some  interesting items from local merchants.

Vivienne S. Dongan
Hills, Staten Island

Biking anywhere along the shore. After a winter’s worth of working out indoors, I can’t wait to start exercising outside again.

Samuel R. Tottenville,
Staten Island

Heading to the beach with friends and family. It’s a rite of passage. It’s not summer if you’re not in the sand.

Elizabeth S.,
Old Bridge, NJ

This summer I want to check out some of those beer gardens down at the shore. I think it’ll be fun to take a tour  and see what they are all about while spending time near the beach.

Nick A. Eltingville,
Staten Island

Shopping at all the local shops and kiosks along the boardwalk. It helps to buy from small, mom and pop businesses and there are many of them in the summer.

Shannon F.
New Brunswick, NJ

I love mini-golfing outside. Sometimes it’s frustrating, but then I’ll cheat and pick the ball up and put it in the hole.

Charles C.,
Edison, NJ

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13 Oct 2015

By Paul Williams