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Seaside Heights, New Jersey
Borough of Seaside Heights
Seaside Heights boardwalk looking toward Casino Pier
Seaside Heights boardwalk looking toward Casino Pier
Your home for family fun since 1913!
Location of Seaside Heights in Ocean County. Inset: Location of Ocean County in the State of New Jersey.
Location of Seaside Heights in Ocean County. Inset: Location of Ocean County in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Seaside Heights, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Seaside Heights, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Ocean
Incorporated February 26, 1913
 • Type Borough
 • Body Borough Council
 • Total 0.74 sq mi (1.92 km2)
 • Land 0.62 sq mi (1.60 km2)
 • Water 0.13 sq mi (0.32 km2)  16.89%
Area rank 526th of 565 in state
29th of 33 in county
3 ft (0.9 m)
 • Total 2,887
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 457th of 566 in state
19th of 33 in county
 • Density 4,662.9/sq mi (1,800.4/km2)
 • Density rank 119th of 566 in state
2nd of 33 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 732 exchanges: 793, 830, 854
FIPS code 3402966450
GNIS feature ID 0885390

Seaside Heights is a borough in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 2,887, reflecting a decline of 268 (-8.5%) from the 3,155 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 789 (+33.3%) from the 2,366 counted in the 1990 Census. Seaside Heights is situated on the Barnegat Peninsula, a long, narrow barrier peninsula that separates Barnegat Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. During the summer, the borough attracts a crowd largely under the age of 21, drawn to a community with boardwalk entertainment and one of the few shore communities with sizable numbers of apartments, attracting as many as 65,000 people who are often out until early morning visiting bars and restaurants.

Seaside Heights was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 26, 1913, from portions of both Berkeley Township and Dover Township (now Toms River Township), based on the results of a referendum held on March 25, 1913. The borough was named for its location on the Atlantic Ocean.

As a resort community, the beach, an amusement-oriented boardwalk, and numerous clubs and bars, make it a popular destination. Seaside Heights calls itself, "Your Home For Family Fun Since 1913!" The beach season runs from March to October, with the peak months being July and August, when the summer population explodes to 30,000 to 65,000. Route 37 in Toms River is routinely gridlocked on Friday afternoons in the summer months as vacationers travel to the barrier islands. The community is also known as the location of the hit MTV show Jersey Shore, with the director of the borough's business improvement district saying in 2010 that "we can't even calculate the economic benefit" to Seaside Heights from the continued presence of the show.


Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Pier cropped
Star Jet roller coaster in the Atlantic Ocean after Hurricane Sandy

In 1915, Senate Amusement Company of Philadelphia planned to build an ocean-side attraction in Seaside Heights within feet of the border to Seaside Park. Their plan was to build a covered pier to house a carousel. The structure was built in 1915 under the direction of Joseph Vanderslice of Senate Amusement Company. Budget issues stalled the project in 1916, and the amusement ride and building was subsequently sold to Frank Freeman. The combination of the completion of the Toms River Bridge on October 23, 1914, and the DuPont Avenue carousel and boardwalk are what likely led to the 159% population growth shown between the 1920 and 1930 censuses in Seaside Heights.


On June 9, 1955, a malfunctioning neon sign component caused a fire at a shop on the corner of Ocean Terrace and DuPont Avenue. The fire was driven by winds estimated at 50 miles per hour (80 km/h), blowing the fire south and engulfing the entire pier. The fire was stopped at Stockton Avenue due in part to the fact that the boardwalk and pier ended there. In what became known as Freeman's Fire, a total of 85 buildings were destroyed with an estimated $4 million in damage.

Beginning on October 29, 2012, substantial portions of the boardwalk were damaged and much of the borough was flooded as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Both the Funtown Pier and Casino Pier suffered major damage, with sections of both piers torn apart by powerful storm surges and waves causing many of the rides to collapse into the ocean. With a curfew set at 4:00 pm to prevent looting, a New Year's Eve party was held at the Beachcomber for hundreds of area residents at which the arrival of 2013 was celebrated at 3:00 in the afternoon. Casino Pier began cleanup attempts soon after, in an attempt to reopen in time for the summer 2013 season. The Star Jet roller coaster that fell into the water with the Casino Pier had become an attraction in itself. It was taken apart by a wrecker from Weeks Marine on May 14, 2013, just a short time after Prince Harry of Wales' visit to the site the same day with Governor Chris Christie. Repairs to the boardwalk were completed on June 21, 2013, with New Jersey's First Lady, Mary Pat Christie, hammering the nail into the final board of the project.

On September 12, 2013, a ten-alarm fire swept from the Funtown Pier northward. The fire is believed to have started under the boardwalk, below the Kohr's Kustard stand at the southern end of the pier. The wind pushed it northward, and fire crews were able to make a stand at Lincoln Avenue by tearing up the newly replaced boardwalk which had been destroyed less than a year before by Hurricane Sandy. Jack & Bill's Bar and Kohr's Kustard were two businesses that were both destroyed in the 1955 and 2013 fires.


Seaside Heights beach north of Funtown Pier
Seaside Heights beach.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 0.746 square miles (1.933 km2), including 0.619 square miles (1.604 km2) of land and 0.127 square miles (0.329 km2) of water (17.02%).

The borough borders the Ocean County municipalities of Berkeley Township, Seaside Park and Toms River Township.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 154
1930 399 159.1%
1940 549 37.6%
1950 862 57.0%
1960 954 10.7%
1970 1,248 30.8%
1980 1,802 44.4%
1990 2,366 31.3%
2000 3,155 33.3%
2010 2,887 −8.5%
2019 (est.) 2,910 0.8%
Population sources:
1920-2000 1920 1920-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,887 people, 1,376 households, and 586 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,662.9 per square mile (1,800.4/km2). There were 3,003 housing units at an average density of 4,850.2 per square mile (1,872.7/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 80.74% (2,331) White, 6.69% (193) Black or African American, 0.59% (17) Native American, 1.52% (44) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 6.96% (201) from other races, and 3.50% (101) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.87% (516) of the population.

There were 1,376 households out of which 20.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 21.0% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 57.4% were non-families. 46.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 19.7% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.2 years. For every 100 females there were 112.3 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 113.2 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $33,380 (with a margin of error of +/- $12,171) and the median family income was $39,688 (+/- $28,475). Males had a median income of $46,005 (+/- $18,386) versus $18,928 (+/- $13,004) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $19,865 (+/- $4,981). About 37.0% of families and 33.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 73.5% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.

Parks and recreation

Casino Pier Familyfunandsunresort
Casino Pier, 2007
Casino Pier Boardwalk Under Repairs Following the Fire, June 2014
Casino Pier boardwalk under construction following the fire and Hurricane Sandy, 2014.
Casino Pier Boardwalk, Aug 2016
Casino Pier boardwalk all fixed up in 2016.

Casino Pier and Funtown Pier (partially located within both Seaside Heights and neighboring Seaside Park) are amusement parks, each situated on a pier extending approximately 300 feet (100 m) into the Atlantic Ocean. Each of the two piers are part of a boardwalk that stretches for 2 miles (3.2 km) and offers many family-friendly attractions ranging from arcades, to games of chance, to beaches, and to the wide variety of foods and desserts, all within walking distance. Breakwater Beach (formerly known as Water Works) is a water park situated across the street from Casino Pier.


2021-09-21 14 19 31 View north along New Jersey State Route 35 from the overpass for New Jersey State Route 37 along the border of Berkeley Township and Seaside Heights in Ocean County, New Jersey
Route 35 northbound on border of Seaside Heights and Berkeley Township

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 12.52 miles (20.15 km) of roadways, of which 5.20 miles (8.37 km) were maintained by the municipality, 6.39 miles (10.28 km) by Ocean County and 0.93 miles (1.50 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Route 35 and Route 37 both pass through Seaside Heights, intersecting at the Pelican Island approach to the Thomas A. Mathis and J. Stanley Tunney Bridges. Route 35 runs up the coast to Point Pleasant and points north and south to Seaside Park and Island Beach State Park. Route 37 crosses the Thomas A. Mathis and J. Stanley Tunney Bridges and heads west through Toms River to intersect the Garden State Parkway at exit 82.

Public transportation

NJ Transit provides seasonal bus service in Seaside Heights on the 137 route to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan and to Pennsylvania Station in Newark and the Journal Square Transportation Center in Jersey City on the 67 line.

Ocean Ride local service is provided on the OC10 Toms River Connection route.

Popular culture

Jack & Bill's Bar
Jack & Bill's Bar, a landmark watering hole in Seaside Heights.

Seaside Heights was the setting for MTV's reality TV series Jersey Shore. The first season of Jersey Shore was filmed in Seaside Heights and Toms River during August 2009. The show's third season was also filmed in Seaside Heights, during July, August, and September 2010. After New York City officials nixed MTV's plans to hold a "Snooki Drop" at its studios in Times Square alongside the square's own ball drop, the event was moved to Seaside Heights. The show returned to Seaside Heights for its fifth season, which wrapped filming on August 2, 2011 and began airing in January 2012.

Prior to Jersey Shore, the town was also the setting of MTV's True Life: I Have A Summer Share, which was filmed in Seaside Heights, as was MTV's True Life: I'm a Jersey Shore Girl from 2004, which was one of the network's first stories of guidettes looking for the perfect guido. Additionally, the MTV summer beach house was located in Seaside Heights for many summers in the early 2000s.

In 1985, New Jersey rock band Bon Jovi filmed most of their music video for the song "In and Out of Love" in Seaside Heights, mainly on the boardwalk.

Portions of the 2006 movie Artie Lange's Beer League were filmed in Seaside Heights.

The ABC soap opera One Life to Live filmed a portion of its 2008 storyline in Seaside Heights, mainly on the beach and boardwalk.

The song 'Mera Dil Tera Deewana' from the 1999 Hindi film Aa Ab Laut Chalen directed by Rishi Kapoor and starring Akshaye Khanna and Aishwarya Rai was shot at Seaside Heights.


Seaside Heights hosted the AVP volleyball tournament for two years during the summers of 2006 and 2007, with volleyball greats such as Karch Kiraly competing for a $200,000 purse.


The Seaside Heights School District is a public school district for students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade at Hugh J. Boyd Jr. Elementary School. As of the 2020–21 school year, the district, comprised of one school, had an enrollment of 222 students and 24.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.1:1. The original school facility, Seaside Heights Elementary School, was built in 1926 and later demolished after the opening of a larger school building on the bay front. The current school was built in the late 1960s, and is dedicated to Hugh J. Boyd Jr., its longtime Superintendent of Schools who died in 1983. The district's Early Childhood Center addition was dedicated in 2007 in the name of longtime Board of Education Member Harry M. Smith III.

Public school students in seventh through twelfth grades attend the schools of the Central Regional School District, which also serves students from the municipalities of Berkeley Township, Island Heights, Ocean Gate and Seaside Park. Schools in the district (with 2020–21 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Central Regional Middle School with 842 students in grades 7 and 8 and Central Regional High School with 1,568 students in grades 9 - 12. The high school district's board of education is comprised of nine members, who are directly elected by the residents of the constituent municipalities to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with three seats up for election each year. Seaside Heights is allocated one of the board's nine seats.

Notable people

See also (related category): People from Seaside Heights, New Jersey

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Seaside Heights include:

  • Fred Ashton (1931-2013), politician who served as the Mayor of Easton, Pennsylvania from 1968 to 1976.
  • Lou Taylor Pucci (born 1985), actor.
  • Robbie E (born 1983), professional wrestler.
  • Immanuel Velikovsky (1895-1979), author known for his controversial books reinterpreting the events of ancient history, in particular the bestseller Worlds in Collision.

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