Everybody know what a nightmare the ride down to the shore can be. Every Saturday, every Sunday, traffic is backed up for miles and miles, starting around Exit 131 on the Parkway, and going all they way down, almost to the Seaside exits. The story repeats itself (although not as badly) on any weekend evening, going back north. So here are some useful tips for going around the tolls and GSP traffic (which sometimes gives a new meaning to the word Park-way):
- The hottest road to go for is Route 18. You can join it if you get off the Parkway at Exit 109 in Eatontown. Other options include: Enter it from Route 1 or NJ Turnpike around New Brunswick, or take Route 9 south (exiting the Parkway / Turnpike near the dreadful Raritan Bridge) to Route 18 (also south).
- Route 18 can have some traffic between New Brunswick and the junction with Route 9, because there are a lot of traffic lights, but it's at least moving. After you pass Route 9, it's just a breeze. Light traffic freeway, 65mph limit.
- You can exit Route 18 at the Route 33 East exit. If you go straight, it will take you to Ocean Grove. If soon after the exit, you take the right fork for Route 17, it will get you to Bradley Beach and Avon-By-The-Sea.
- Go to the end of Route 18, and go on 138 East. It's just minutes away from Belmar and Spring Lake.
- If at the end of 18, you take the 138 to 195, go for a couple of miles, and take Route 34 South. This will bring you to Point Pleasant. But be careful, because there are a lot of circles, so make sure you stay on the right road (you'll merge with R 35 South to Pt. Pleasant Beach).
- Once in Point Pleasant, don't take the first exit to the beach, where most cars go, because the traffic is very slow. Instead, keep going to the next light and turn left. This will take you directly to the big parking lot.