Brigantine has been known by its residents as almost a secret spot – a quiet town to escape to that is not as well-known as Cape May, Ocean City, or its big next-door neighbor, Atlantic City. However, recently the island received press that recognizes the uniqueness it has to offer.
Brigantine has long been recognized for its beaches and is regularly named among the top 20 beaches in New Jersey. Last week Brigantine was named one of the “12 great charming beach towns in New Jersey” by Essex Home Improvements, a family-owned North Jersey company that does home remodeling and renovations.
Brigantine came in fifth, after Ocean Grove, Somers Point, Barnegat Light and Beach Haven.
“New Jersey is known worldwide for its beach towns, almost all of which boast traditional boardwalks, delicious seafood restaurants, serene beaches, amusement rides and treat stands, and a Victorian flare unlike anything else in the United States,” the company’s website states. “Thousands of people flock each year to the Jersey Shore, many of which head to the casinos in Atlantic City or one of the many bigger, more commercial resort towns. Located a mere 5 miles from Atlantic City, Brigantine is a charming New Jersey beach town resplendent with natural beauty. Besides the beaches, ocean views, and myriad of family activities offered, many visitors enjoy Brigantine for its historical features, some of which date back to the towns founding in the 1500s,” the website states.
“Former plantation houses, a fascinating educational center, various museums, and the Brigantine lighthouse are all must-sees for any visitor to charming Brigantine. As an added bonus, keep your eyes peeled while on the water (or from the beach at low tide) and see if you can spot one of the 300 shipwrecks that occurred just off the coast over a 200-year time period,” the website states.”
Pam Beiler, a representative for Essex Home, said the beach destinations on the list were selected for their historical architecture, family-friendly activities, and serene beaches away from the hustle and bustle of some of the more commercial beaches for which New Jersey is famous.
“Our editors highlighted the town's former plantation houses, Marine Mammal Stranding educational center, various museums, and the Brigantine lighthouse. In addition to Brigantine, two other towns from Atlantic County made our list, Somers Point and Smithville,” she said.
“Brigantine has so much to offer its residents and visitors, but our crown jewel is our beach,” Councilwoman Lisa McClay said upon learning about the honor.
“I love Brigantine's quiet remote location and strolling the beach at low tide,” she said. “As islanders we have to do everything we can to preserve Brigantine's natural wildlife, protect our ocean and leave it as perfect for years to come.”
Local real estate agent Maria Sacco Handle congratulated Brigantine for being chosen “on this unique list of shore towns.”
“Our clients who buy homes here have been motivated for all these reasons and more,” she said in an email. “When we ask them why they chose Brigantine, they always mention our beaches first – the sugar sand, the ability to find ‘space’ on the beach, and second, how quiet and safe our island is,” she said.
“Another unique thing about Brigantine is that second-home owners who buy here usually end up retiring here due to its prime East Coast location and the many things the shore has to offer including the Community Center along with their programs, trips, and activities, the five-star restaurants within 10 miles of the island, and the summer events and programs for not only them, but their families. It is no wonder our market has seen substantial growth in the last two years. More people are discovering what we already knew – Brigantine really is an island you'll love for life.”