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11 Things to Know About Living in Toms River, NJ

Right along the Jersey Shore, you’ll find Toms River, NJ, a friendly, small town with a population of 89,459. With tons of parks, fantastic restaurants, beautiful views of the ocean, and plenty of things to do, this New Jersey city just might be the new home you’re searching for! Whether you’re single, a young professional, starting a family, or retired, here’s what you need to know about living in Toms River.

An Affordable Cost of Living

Homes in Toms River, NJ

Photo by kurtlewisart

Toms River is an affordable place to live, especially for being so close to the beach! Cost of living is 6% lower than the New Jersey average, the median home price is $284,700, and the median rent is $1,361.

None of the Big City Issues

Boats in the Atlantic Ocean near Toms River, NJ

Photo by Ian McKellar

Unlike bigger cities, you don’t have to worry about crime or smog in Toms River. The city’s crime rate is 15% lower than the national average (in fact, Toms River is safer than 63% of U.S. cities). Also, the air quality in Toms River is 19% better than the national average. Get outside and enjoy your city!

Commuting & Weekend Trips Are Easy

Atlantic City, NJ

Photo by Marco Verch

Don’t mind a drive? Toms River is about an hour and a half from Philadelphia and New York City and only an hour from Trenton and Atlantic City, so it’s perfect for commuting and weekend getaways!

Bum Around at the Beach

Ortley Beach in New Jersey

Photo by 7beachbum

When summer rolls around, Toms River residents know how to live it up! Grab your beach umbrella and head to Ortley Beach, a small beach that’s less than a square mile in area but offers gorgeous ocean views. Ride bikes along Bay Boulevard and enjoy the scenery, or take a walk to Barnacle Bill’s, an amusement park and staple of the Jersey Shore complete with mini golf and arcade games!

Baseball Is Major

Baseball game in New Jersey

Photo by Jackie

In the 1990s, the Toms River local Little League team swung its way to the World Series Championship three times in five years, earning the nickname “The Beast From the East.” The team was a worldwide phenomenon, beating Japan for the World Championship in 1997. The city prides itself on being big on baseball and has produced tons of athletes, including professional baseball players like Jerry Dipoto, J.M. Gold, and brothers Charlie, Jeff, and Todd Frazier.

Get a Dose of History

The Ocean County Historical Society is a group of like-minded citizens who wanted to preserve the history of Toms River and Ocean County. Housed in a gorgeous Victorian building, this society has been putting together exhibits and educational opportunities since 1950. The Richard L. Strickler Research Center offers tons of unique information about the area, including local genealogy and photo archives.

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Bug Out at Insectropolis

Insectropolis in Toms River, NJ

Photo by mriggen

Visit Insectropolis, the only bug museum in Ocean County! This “bugseum” has a number of exhibits around the adaptability and features of insects. Get up close and personal with a Madagascar hissing cockroach, or take a look at honeybees (from a distance). Insectropolis also offers school visits, holds education camps, and hosts birthday parties. This is one spot that’s sure to be a hit with little ones!

Take a Cruise on a Riverboat

Ever wonder what it’s like to have dinner on a riverboat? Take date night on the water with a River Lady dinner cruise! Select your entree beforehand, and enjoy a delicious multi-course dinner on Barnegat Bay. After you’ve finished eating, pop up to the upper deck for breathtaking views or spin your partner around on the dance floor. River Lady also offers lunch cruises, historical sight-seeing cruises, and more!

A Great Restaurant Scene


Photo by Alper Çuğun

You don’t need to go to a bigger city to get amazing food! Family-owned Tardi’s Italian Ristorante Italiano has been pleasing Toms River palates since 1979. Try the Linguini with White Clam Sauce or the decadent Shrimp Scampi. Il Giardinello is another popular spot specializing in Italian cuisine. With staples like Ziti Bolognese, Homemade Cheese Ravioli, and Veal Piccata, you can’t go wrong! Not feeling Italian? Toms River has great Asian cuisine as well! Xina is a Chinese bistro that’s earned rave reviews from locals, thanks to popular dishes like East Point Port Norris Oysters. For delicious sushi, check out Ichiban, a Hibachi steakhouse that boasts delicious sushi like Yellowtail Sashimi and Salmon Skin Rolls.

Come for the Food, Stay for the Donuts

Box of donuts

Photo by Daniel Nugent

Uncle Dood’s Hot Dipped Donuts have been a local favorite since 2012! With names like “Werewolf Fuzz” (toasted coconut and maple icing), “Vermont Swine” (maple icing and bacon bits), and “Grave Dirt” (chocolate icing and Oreo crumble), these donuts are anything but ordinary. The menu changes monthly, and each donut is hand-dipped to order. Donuts are $1.50 each, and you get free coffee in the store!

Feel the Luck of the Irish at Rinn Duin Brewing

Glasses of craft brews

Photo by Paul Joseph

Rinn Duin Brewing is run by Chip and Jacqui Town, a local father-daughter team with deep Irish roots. Their brewery is named after Castle Rinn Duin, an actual castle in Ireland that was built in the 1200s. Chip’s maternal grandparents were the last to live on the grounds until they donated it to the Irish Heritage Council in the 1940s. Photos and family memorabilia of the castle line the walls at this charming brewery today. Try a pint of Ichabod’s Return, a Belgian-style ale bursting with warm flavors of nutmeg, or Rinn Duin Irish Blackberry, a pale ale infused with blackberries that’s only available at the brewery.


Are you moving to Toms River soon? Extra Space Storage has several storage facilities in Toms River that can help with your transition!

All images are licensed under the Creative Commons.

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