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Aerial Photo of Toms River, NJ

12 Things to Know About Living in Toms River

Moving to Toms River? This small seaside town located along the Jersey Shore offers affordable living and job opportunities close to major East Coast cities like New York City and Philadelphia. Here are 12 things to know about living in Toms River!

Safe, Affordable Living in New Jersey

Wondering what makes Toms River a great place to live? In Toms River, you’ll get to enjoy waterfront living at a low price! Real estate prices are 12% lower than the New Jersey average, and the city offers a reasonable median home price of $278,700 and a median monthly rent of $1,337. In addition, this safe East Coast city is safer than 70% of U.S. cities, with a crime rate 43% lower than the national average!

The Hub of Ocean County

Toms River is in the county seat of Ocean County, which means it’s the cultural and economic hub of the area. The city is home to several major employers like Heyco Products, First Bank, and Community Surgical Supply across industries like healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. There’s also a strong learning community in Ocean County, thanks to public community college Ocean County College and Ocean County Library, which offers more than 16,200 educational programs for adults and children. Not to mention, there are tons of events that come through Ocean County at RWJBarnabas Health Arena, a state-of-the-art facility that hosts professional sports, concerts, trade shows, and more.

Commuting & Weekend Trips Are Easy

Train in Operation for NJ Transit. Photo by Instagram user @njtransit

Photo via @njtransit

Need to get around the city? Toms River has many public transportation options that you can use! Leave your car at home and take an Ocean Ride bus route or one of the many bikeways and bike-friendly trails. If you’re looking to travel farther, you can hop on the North Jersey Coast Line with NJ Transit and travel to cities like Atlantic City, Newark, and NYC. And if you need to travel by plane, Toms River is about an hour away from both Atlantic City International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport!

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Bum Around at the Beach

Chadwick Beach at Dusk. Photo by Instagram user @domibeno

Photo via @domibeno

When summer rolls around, Toms River residents are all about the beach! The city is home to several great beaches along the Jersey Shore. Head to Ortley Beach, a small stretch of land that’s less than a square mile but that offers stunning ocean views. Check out Dover Beach, where you can lie out in the sun or go swimming. Make your way to Chadwick Beach for paddle boarding, kayaking, and more. Or visit Silver Beach, where you can sunbathe or take your boat out on the water.

Check Out Barnegat Bay

Barnegat Bay stretches for about 42 miles along the coast of Ocean County and offers tons of things to do for local residents! Visit the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park to see a panoramic view of Barnegat Bay. Take a Barnegat Bay Cruise to watch the sunset over the beautiful waters. Spend the day sailing with friends on the Barnegat Switch. Go boating, fishing, or searching for crabs at Tony G’s Marina. Begin your morning with a Barnegat Blvd Breakfast Sandwich or a Western Classic Omelette at The Brunch Spot. Or stop by the Sun Harbor Seafood and Grill to find a tiki bar and cocktails like a Malibu Rum Tropitini or Blueberry Mojito.

Visit Seaside Heights Boardwalk

View of the Seaside Heights Boardwalk from the Skyway. Photo by Instagram user @michaeljay____

Photo via @michaeljay____

When you live along the Atlantic Coast, boardwalks are the place to be—and Seaside Heights Boardwalk has something fun for everyone! Feel the sand between your toes at Seaside Heights Beach. Play arcade games like pinball at Casino Arcade or grab a bite to eat at Pier Grill in Casino Pier. Head to Beachcomber Bar & Grill for live music and drinks on the weekends. Enjoy oceanfront views while sipping on a margarita with chips and salsa at Spicy Cantina. Stop by the Berkeley Candy store to sample homemade fudge and saltwater taffy. Or find men’s and women’s swimwear, clothing, and beach accessories at Island Soul Clothing & Gifts.

Explore the Outdoors

Daytime Photo of Cattus Island County Park. Photo by Instagram user @click.clickx

Photo via @click.clickx

Living in Toms River means you have access to all kinds of green spaces and parks throughout Ocean County! Visit Cattus Island County Park, where you can take a walk along the scenic boardwalk, jog on the nature trail, or watch the local wildlife. Check out Huddy Park, a historic park in Downtown Toms River that has waterfront views and events like Clamfest. Go to Castle Park to play a game of soccer or let the kids hang out on the playground. Walk your dog, shoot some hoops, or have a picnic at Silverton Park. Make your way to Riverwood Park Recreation to go camping or hiking. Or head to Winding River Park for excellent fishing!

Hang Out in Downtown Toms River

Nighttime Photo of Downtown Toms River, NJ. Photo by Instagram user @brendampc

Photo via @brendampc

Downtown Toms River is a hot spot for entertaining street festivals and great dining options. Embark on a Toms River Walking Tour to see historic homes and museums along the Toms River Waterfront District. See colorful floats and marching bands at the annual Halloween Parade. Venture to Summer in the Street, where you can find food trucks, kids rides, and local vendors. Spend an afternoon at the Toms River Food Fest, which features arts and crafts, live music, food trucks, and more. Head over to the Chili & Comfort Food Festival in September to watch a chili cook-off or chill out at the beer garden. Get out with the family and go to Movies in the Courtyard, where you can catch a free movie at dusk. Stroll through the Downtown Toms River Farmer’s Market to pick up locally grown fruits and vegetables. Or stop by Crave to try delicious dishes like a Nacho Platter, Impossible Burger, or a Piggy Bowl.

Bug Out at Insectropolis

Different Moths Pinned to a Board at Insectropolis in Toms River. Photo by Instagram user @kirayustak

Photo via @kirayustak

Insectropolis is 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). Check out exhibits like Bug University, where you can learn more about the history of insects. Stop into the Caterpillar Cafe to discover the world wide food web by trying a satisfying meal. Or learn out how bees communicate by exploring the Hive Airport. 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!

Get Your Fill of Good Seafood

Butter Poached Lobster Tail with Linguine and Scallions from Pisces Seafood & Restaurant. Photo by Instagram user @piscesseafood

Photo via @piscesseafood

Toms River has some of the best seafood in New Jersey! Try the Pina Colada Coconut Shrimp, Deep Fried Sea Scallops, or Maine Lobster at Pisces Seafood. Feast on New England Clam Chowder or Broiled Cod at Monte’s Fish Fry & Seafood Market. Fill up on a Blackened Fish Sandwich, Crabby’s Spicy Crab Soup, or Fish & Chips at Crabby Rick’s. Dine at Runners Seafood Restaurant, where you can get Buffalo Calamari, Lobster Bisque, or Pan Seared Salmon. Or chow down on Prince Edward Island Mussels at Bum Rodgers Crabhouse.

Dine at Amazing Restaurants

The Nasty Boy Sushi Roll from Xina in Toms River, NJ. Photo by Instagram user @xinarestaurant

Photo via @xinarestaurant

You don’t need to live in a big city to get amazing food! Get breakfast dishes like a Cheddar Omelette or Disco Egg Bowl at New Jersey’s award-winning breakfast restaurant Shut Up and Eat. Try Caribbean Swordfish, Surf & Turf, or a Chicken Caesar Wrap at Four Seasons Diner. Savor Enchiladas Verdes or Mexican Tortilla Soup at El Familiar. Visit Xina for East Point Norris Oysters or Miso Salmon. Check out Ichiban, a Hibachi steakhouse that boasts delicious sushi like Yellowtail Sashimi, a Mango Tuna Wrap, and Salmon Spring Rolls. Dig into hearty Italian dishes like the Lobster Ravioli or Fettuccini Filetto di Pomodoro at Ristorante Italiano. Or get sweet treats like Strawberry Shortcake, Tiramisu, or Chocolate Cream Pie at La Scala Italian Pastry Shop.

Relax with a Drink

Glasses of Beer Sitting on a Bar at Toms River Brewing. Photo by Instagram user @tomsriverbeer

Photo via @tomsriverbeer

Searching for a place to enjoy drinks in Toms River? Head to one of the city’s many breweries or Irish pubs! Choose from craft brews like the St. John’s Irish Red Ale or Irish Eye’s New England Session IPA at Toms River Brewing. Stop by Battle River Brewing for a Full Day Sesh Blonde Ale or River Root Bier Amber Ale. Hang out at McIntyre’s Pub, where you can sip on cocktails like a Spicy Cucumber Lemonade, Moscow Mule, or Mango Mojito. Or get a pitcher of Sam Adams during the “Krazy Karaoke Party” on Fridays at Christopher’s Pub.


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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.