Sandy Hook is actually a six mile long sandbar along the New Jersey coast that is separated from the rest of the state by the estuary of the Shrewsbury River. The peninsula varies in width from one tenth to one mile and is off the southern entrance to Lower New York Bay.
On a clear day, you can easily see the highrises of Manhattan. Sandy Hook's public beaches are great for hunting shells or swimming. Fishermen regularly sink their lines off the beach in certain areas. Admission is charged from Memorial Day to Labor Day--it's about $10 a carload--very inexpensive!! The National Park service manages Sandy Hook, as well as operating the SeaGull's nest, a seafood restaurant located within the park which features live entertainment throughout the week
Well attended beach concerts are offered weekly at Beach E--watching the sunset spill its many colors across the sky makes for a nice finish! The concerts are scheduled from 6 pm-8 pm on Wednesdays. Following the concerts, it's an easy stop to grab a quick bite at the Seagull's Nest--it's located at the next beach where you'll find live entertainment throughout the week!
There are many modes of transportation that can bring you to the Sandy Hook area, so check the website for all the options offered.
Being from Jersey, it was about time that I did my own version of a Soprano's tour. Well, there were two of us on this trip.
My friend Lori and I thought we should travel around North Jersey and find landmarks from the TV show, especially the sites from the opening credits when Tony Soprano is driving his car while the theme song plays.
We started from Newark that morning and drove around to find as many of the sites as we could based on what she remembered and also constantly calling a friend on her mobile phone asking him how to get to this place and that.
The easiest landmark to find was in Newark. This is the Valley Landscape Inc. tower, which is in the opening credits. Yes, it’s not much to look at but we stopped and clicked some photos. Another site, which was in the earlier episodes of the show was the Cleveland Auto Body, which was Big Pussy’s Auto Body.
We had some trouble finding some of the places, especially the Bada-Bing Club which is actually called Satin Dolls and located in Lodi. We did eventually find it and had a drink in the early afternoon while the sun was shining outside but we were sitting indoors as a lady in not very much slid around a pole. The club seems to enjoy its “Soprano” link since when you go in, there is a little case with some Soprano souvenirs. I bought a Bada-Bing club t-shirt and a couple shot glasses but talked myself out of getting the NJ license plate with SOPRANOS on it.
We found Satriale’s pork store as well but the sign had been take down. Also, the Italian-American club that is next door in the show is actually an Irish-American club! Is there no justice?!?
We found Pizzaland too, from the opening credits! Yes, it wasn't much to look at.
There are some companies that offer “Soprano’s Tours” but I have never taken one of these so cannot vouch for them. Go to the NJO Soprano's site though for more info.
If you’re a fan of the show and if you know somebody from Jersey, I recommend a Soprano’s tour. You’ll never fergetaboutit!
This beach is located at The Seagull's Nest restaurant where there are extensive changing areas, restrooms, fountains, outdoor showers and ample parking space. To enter Sandy Hook National Park an admission of $10 is charged per carload.
Sandy Hook has a policy that whatever trash comes into the park, has to go out with those who bring it. In other words, TRASH IN, TRASH OUT. We want to keep our National Parks clean!!
This is Sandy Hook's Visitor's Center AND Lifesaving Station---to be correct, Spermaceti Cove Station No. 2. A plaque outside the building reported the following:
"Sandbars, shallow waters and winter storms off the New Jersey Shore were a constant danger to early sailing vessels. In a storm, wind and waves could destroy a helpless grounded ship, the cargo, crew and passengers."
"Commerce in and out of New York Harbor made the waters off Sandy Hook the busiest in the country. Surfmen stationed on Sandy Hook rescued hundreds of passengers and crew from ships wrecked along the coast. The Spermaceti Cove station, built in 1894, replaced an earlier one near the same site."
Sandy Hook has a long unobstructed line of beach stretching along the coast yet there are areas where large rocks accent the landscape, too.
The peninsula has been the site of some revolutionary history:
"On June 29, 1776 officers with telescopes on the roof of (General George...) Washington's headquarters and other vantage points in the city and in Long Island, saw signals flying from the hills of Staten Island. The first of the British fleet had appeared."
"In a matter of hours, forty-five ships had dropped anchor inside Sandy Hook in the Lower Bay, ten miles beyond the Narrows. To a Pennsylvnia rifleman closer at hand their masts looked like a forest of trimmed pine trees..." from 1776 by David McCullough
Sandy Hook provides a nice length of trail for bikes or roller blading--we've seen both!
All one need do is pack up the bike or skates and appreciate the natural habitat and ocean breezes.