For people who enjoy the excitement of the starry-eyed Shore towns along New Jersey's southern coastline but don't want to actually be stuck living in those brightly lit up metropolises, Brigantine, located in Atlantic County, is just the place to put down roots or buy a vacation home. It's a safe, quiet town that prides itself on being the perfect vacation or homey spot for families.
For people who enjoy the excitement of the starry-eyed Shore towns along New Jersey's southern coastline but don't want to actually be stuck living in those brightly lit up metropolises, Brigantine, located in Atlantic County, is just the place to put down roots or buy a vacation home. It's a safe, quiet town that prides itself on being the perfect vacation or homey spot for families. But Brigantine isn't simply the place where recent transplants have set up their homes. The Lenape Indians were enjoying the area that is now Brigantine in the 1500s, even calling it their "summer playground." Famed explorer Henry Hudson observed Brigantine in 1608 and found it to be desirable. Supposedly, Captain Kidd buried some of his treasure on the shore town's beaches. During the American Revolution, pirates with hearts filled with patriotism hid in Brigantine's inlets and looked for opportunities to attack British ships. The sea just outside Brigantine's door was busy, too as more than 300 ships sank off the coast in just a short, 200-year span. Brigantine has a hardy past. It has survived numerous storms and hurricanes, but has always come back stronger than ever. Today, the town is home to approximately 9,400 year-round residents. The Justice Vincent S. Haneman Memorial Bridge is the only route on and off of the island. Brigantine is governed by a City Council that consists of a mayor, two at-large Council members, and four ward Council members. All serve four year terms. Students in grades pre-kindergarten through fourth grade attend the district's elementary school and then go on to Brigantine North Middle School for the fifth through eighth grades. Student in ninth through 12th grades attend neighboring Atlantic City High School. The town offers a wealth of activities for the community. A farmer's market is held each Saturday from late June through mid-August while a beach cleanup takes place four times throughout the summer months. Other things to do include a sand castle building contest in August, a pirate's parade and bonfire in March, a dog park on 42nd Street and Bayshore Avenue, and a community center that offers group activities like book clubs and sewing groups, a gym, a senior center, and fitness classes. For those who cannot take a vacation without their clubs, the Links at Brigantine Beach is an 18-hole, par 72 golf course that dates to 1927. It was rated a Top 100 Must Play Course by GolfStyles Magazine. Like other Jersey Shore towns, Brigantine requires patrons of its beaches to purchase and wear beach tags. The sale of the tags supports local efforts to keep the beaches clean and protected. Beach tags can be purchased for the season or by the day. Four-wheel drive vehicles are allowed on certain Brigantine beaches. Permits are required for anyone wishing to drive such vehicles onto the beaches. The town is close to Atlantic City, which lies just south of Brigantine, so residents can take in the nightlife and play the tables, but it's not so near that the noise carries over. Many visitors and inhabitants prefer to stay in the relative quiet and family-oriented locale that is Brigantine, yet still have the benefit of a glowing megawatt city nearby. Perhaps that's why so many Brigantine enthusiasts find that the town lives up to its motto: ""an island you'll love for life!"