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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Jersey Shore Favorites

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Slight decrease in planned shore visits from last year

Two in three New Jerseyans plan on visiting the Jersey Shore this year, down slightly from 2010, but still higher than previous years.  The latest Monmouth University/NJ Press Media Poll  also asked Garden State residents to name their favorite shore spots and the responses may indicate an element of Snooki  backlash.

The number of state residents who plan on visiting the Jersey Shore this summer includes 23% who will spend a week or more there and 42% who plan on shorter visits.  Among those staying a week or more, just under half (46%) say it will be their family's main vacation this year.

The 65% of New Jerseyans who plan to visit the shore this year is down slightly from 69% who planned to visit in 2010, mainly because slightly fewer people plan long vacation trips down the shore (23% in 2011 compared to 27% in 2010).  However, the current number planning to head down the shore is still higher than the 59% to 60% reported between 2007 and 2009.

So, where will these sun-seekers be heading?  The poll asked New Jerseyans to name their favorite shore destination, and the results continue to be - quite literally - all over the map.  Five beach communities, though cluster near the top of the pack:  the Wildwoods (9%), Point Pleasant Beach (9%), Long Beach Island - or L.B.I. (8%), Ocean City (8%), and Cape May (7%).  The Wildwoods also garnered the top spot in 2009 while LBI earned bragging rights in 2006, the other times this question was asked in the Monmouth University/NJ Press Media Poll .

Of note, family-oriented resorts like Ocean City (8%) and Lavallette (4%) have gained a few points in the current poll, while adult - or prolonged adolescence - destinations like Atlantic City, Seaside Heights, and the Wildwoods have dropped a few points.  Specifically, Atlantic City (6%) along with  Seaside Heights (4%) - the setting for MTV's Jersey Shore  reality program - have dropped out of the top five from 2009.

"New Jersey shore goers may be suffering from a bit of Snooki fatigue.  There seems to be a shift in preference from traditional party towns to their quieter neighbors in the current poll," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Among Garden State parents of children under the age of 18, the top destinations are Point Pleasant Beach (12%), the Wildwoods (12%), LBI (11%), and Ocean City (10%).  Among young adults under the age of 35, the favorite Jersey Shore spots are Ocean City (10%), the Wildwoods (9%), Seaside Heights (8%), and Belmar (8%).


Among residents of:


North Jersey

Central Jersey

South Jersey

The Wildwoods (9%)

Point Pleasant (11%)

Point Pleasant (14%)

Ocean City (24%)

Point Pleasant (9%)

L.B.I. (9%)

The Wildwoods (7%)

The Wildwoods (12%)

L.B.I. (8%)

The Wildwoods (8%)

L.B.I. (6%)

Cape May (10%)

Ocean City (8%)

Cape May (7%)

Cape May (5%)

Atlantic City (8%)

Cape May (7%)

Atlantic City (7%)

Belmar (5%)

L.B.I. (7%)



Seaside Heights (5%)


The poll also found regional favorites in the Garden State.  Point Pleasant Beach has replaced Atlantic City as top shore spot among North Jersey residents and it retains its number one standing among Central Jersey residents from the 2009 poll.  Among South Jerseyans, Ocean City and the Wildwoods have flipped positions from two years ago, with "America's Greatest Family Resort" now the clear favorite among residents of the southern part of the state.

The Monmouth University/NJ Press Media Poll  was conducted by telephone with 807 New Jersey adults from May 12 to 16, 2011.  This sample has a margin of error of ±  3.5 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute and originally published by the New Jersey Press Media newspaper group (Asbury Park Press, Courier-Post, Courier News, Daily Journal, Daily Record, and Home News Tribune).

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

1.     Will you visit the Jersey shore this summer?  If YES, will you stay for a week or longer?


2.     Is the Jersey shore your family’s main vacation trip for the year?

3.     What is your favorite Jersey Shore town? 


The Monmouth University/NJ Press Media Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute on May 12 to 16, 2011 with a statewide random sample of 807 adult residents.  Sampling and live telephone interviewing services were provided by Braun Research, Inc.  For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.  Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample.  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

It is the Monmouth University Polling Institute’s policy to conduct surveys of all adult New Jersey residents, including voters and non-voters, on issues that affect the state.  Specific voter surveys are conducted when appropriate during election cycles.

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.  

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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