While the Jersey resort town of Margate may seem like the quintessential tourist spot, looks can be deceiving. Visitors have come to vacation here only to decide that Margate would make a great place to live. It's truly 1.5 miles of prime real estate, whether you're a summer vacationer or a year-round resident.
Originally named South Atlantic City in 1885, Margate was given its present name in 1909. It lies on Absecon Island, a barrier island on the southern New Jersey coast. Atlantic City and Ventnor are to the north, while Longport is to the south. Margate does not have hotels, unlike many of the other Jersey Shore towns, which makes it a popular destination for people who have been visiting it for years. As of the 2010 Census, there were just over 6,300 people living in Margate, which is located in the 2nd Congressional District and the 2nd state legislative district. Margate follows a commission form of city government. Three commissioners are elected during a non-partisan election and serve four year terms. The mayor of Margate is then selected from the three commissioners by a vote between them. Students who live within Margate's city limits attend William H. Ross Elementary School (kindergarten through fourth grade) and Eugene A. Tighe Middle School (fifth through eighth grades). Older students attend Atlantic City High School. The beaches are protected from Memorial Day through Labor Day by a team of lifeguards. Everyone who is 12 years of age or older is required to wear a beach tag, every day except Thursday. Kayaking and sailing are permitted at specified beaches. Animals are not allowed on Margate's beaches. For those looking to indulge in some athletic activities, Margate has ball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, and playgrounds. Those who enjoy fishing may do so from one of the town's many marinas. Other things to do in town include an art gallery, shops, fitness centers/gyms, and a sports memorabilia shop. There is no lack of places to dine since Margate has several restaurants, cafes, pizza places, ice cream parlors, and two bakeries. Starbucks is also here. No one can visit Margate without saying hello to its most famous resident, and she isn't a human. Lucy the Elephant has been a beloved and much visited fixture of Margate's history since 1881. The six-story, wooden elephant was opened as a tourist attraction but she has served as a restaurant, a tavern, and an office. The structure fell into disrepair in the 1960s but was later restored. Lucy the Elephant was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Despite the fact that Superstorm Sandy made landfall close to Margate in 2012, Lucy rode out the hurricane and emerged in its wake with no damage. Margate prides itself on being an ideal place to live. For those who plan to move here, it's a friendly area. For a vacation home locale, Margate can't be beat. People tend to be repeat visitors to the town and many have been vacationing here since childhood. That makes it even more likely for them to purchase property within Margate. It's a place they've known and loved.