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Summer Ritual

by Peter Proko

As the mercury rises and summertime kicks into full gear, plenty of us long for time spent outside our homes and offices in search of the perfect respite. The chance to get away reinvigorates us, helps us decompress from our daily stress and, if we’re lucky, allows us to catch some rays without getting torched to a crisp.

I’ve traveled to some pretty amazing places over time with many more on my must-visit list to hopefully be checked off by my wife and I in the coming years. But there’s one place that we return to every summer without fail. Its allure like a magnet attracting as the calendar nears Memorial Day. Of course, I could only be speaking about the Shore.

If you’re like me you have countless memories of time spent along the coast. When I was little it meant walking the boards in Ocean City or long weekends in Avalon. In high school it was trips to Long Beach Island to crash on a friend’s couch—or more often a slab of cold kitchen floor linoleum. As I got older it was trips to Cape May and Stone Harbor. My wife and I will celebrate our fifth anniversary this month, having met a few years prior in North Wildwood. We are thinking of taking a trip in the fall, but until then you’ll find us navigating the traffic on the Parkway.

As we prepare for another exciting summer visiting our favorite beach towns we are thrilled to present our annual Best of the Shore picks to help guide you. This year we decided to focus on a town-by-town roundup of the best food and drink items that need to be on your radar, from ice cream and pizza to craft cocktails and deca- dent dinners. We’ve also gathered information on what new things to check for and a rundown of the best entertainment coming to A.C. through Labor Day. If that wasn’t enough, we’ve also included our readers’ picks for their favorite places. And did we mention that this month’s cover was designed by iconic artist Peter Max?

This is already shaping up to be a great summer; here’s to making new memories.


It is with great pleasure that I recognize Assistant Editor Erica Bauwens and Creative Director John Errichetti for their work on a story that was recently awarded an Excellence in Journalism award by the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists in the category of Magazine Feature and Profile Writing. We work hard each month to make South Jersey Magazine the area’s leading lifestyle publication and while we’ll continue to strive to be the best, this lets us know we are on the right track.

Kind regards,
Peter J. Proko

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 3 (June, 2016).
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