Bradley Beach is a small seashore community where generations of families spend their summers. It has one school and a main street lined with diverse stores and eateries, from the Mexican grocery to the Italian restaurant. The downtown also is home to a bait and tackle shop and several armed forces recruiting stations. Bradley Beach has a population of 5,000 that increases during the summer to roughly 30,000, according to the borough's Web site.
Location: between Avon and Ocean Grove on the Atlantic Ocean
Size: .6 square miles
In 1869, in failing health, James A. Bradley of New York happened to meet David H. Brown, who was the treasurer of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. Brown urged him to consider buying a lot in the developing Methodist community of Ocean Grove. Bradley did so, and found the wilderness area so beneficial to his health that in 1871 he founded Asbury Park.
In 1871, William B. Bradner purchased 54 acres south of Ocean Grove. Bradley was a partner in the investment. The land was part of Ocean Township and subsequently became part of Neptune under the name of Ocean Park. However, U.S. Postal Service personnel informed Bradner that the community would have to change its name due to its similarity to Oceanport. The community was named after Bradley, according to the borough's Web site, www.bradleybeachonline.com.
The community was incorporated in 1893, and by 1927, it had become a popular beach resort.
Highlights, activities, events
NJ Transit's North Jersey Coast Line runs through Bradley Beach, and stops at the train station at Brinley Avenue and Main Street.
The small town is home to a 75-year-old movie theater, a bowling alley and a bingo hall. There is a miniature golf course on the boardwalk, and in the summer music is played at the boardwalk gazebo six nights a week, including opera, jazz, country-western and oldies, said Mayor Stephen Schueler.
Annual summer events include a 5K race, the Mayor's Clambake, the Italian-American Association Festival and the Fourth of July fireworks.