The historic town of Ocean Grove: Part 2

“It’s really quiet here,” my daughter-in-law Jeannine said on Friday morning , as we sat in front of my house in Ocean Grove, listening to the sound of the surf kissing the shoreline.  The season  hasn’t really started yet, but in two weeks our summer neighbors will move in to kick off the 2011 summer in Ocean Grove.

Ocean Grove has become my piece (peaceful) of heaven on earth.  I share this sentiment with the people who live here all year round, who often tell first-timers, “It’s like living in a Normal Rockwell painting.”

Ocean Grove is steeped in Victorian history.  The Historical Society opens its doors all year to share this history with interested visitors.  Walt Whitman stayed at one of Ocean Grove’s inns in 1883.  You can read the poem he wrote while he stayed in Ocean Grove at the Historical Society.  The great tenor Enrico Caruso also summered in Ocean Grove.  In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech at the Great Auditorium.

Ocean Grove has B&Bs on the ocean and B&Bs in downtown within a block or two from the beach.  The Carriage House located one block from the beach on Heck Avenue is a relatively new B&B with a topnotch dining room.

The Shawmont and the Sea Horse, both on Ocean Avenue, are right across from the beach.     The Majestic is also a relatively new B&B with the Bia European Bistro on the lobby floor of the hotel. It is located one block from the beach on Main Avenue and is open daily for lunch and dinner.

The Ocean Plaza Hotel is located on Ocean Pathway, one block from the beach and two blocks from The Great Auditorium.  Ocean Pathway becomes the site of the Giant Flea Market every first Saturday of  June through September.   See schedule.

Ocean Grove is a patriotic town.  Our Fourth of July parade runs a little over two hours along Ocean Avenue.  It’s a great day to wave the American flag, salute the marching soldiers and get out of the house to meet your neighbors, which is what Ocean Grove is all about.

Next time we’ll go inside The Great Audiorium to give readers a view of summer visiting preachers and summer concerts.

Photos: Patricia Florio