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Neptune City, NJ

Neptune City is a small coastal town located along the Jersey shore in Monmouth County. It is part of the larger Neptune Township, along with other portions which include Bradley Beach and Ocean Grove.

Sitting along the Atlantic Ocean and overlooking Sandy Hook Bay, Neptune City is known for its gorgeous beaches that attract many tourists during the summer months.

Fishing and boating are very popular activities along the town’s miles of coastline. The laid-back atmosphere and strong sense of community help give Neptune City its small beach town charm.

Famous People from the City

Neptune City has produced its share of notable individuals who have made significant contributions in their respective fields. Perhaps the most famous personality to hail from Neptune City is Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker Jack Nicholson, known for iconic films like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “The Shining,” and “As Good as It Gets.”

Former professional football player and head football coach Sam Mills also called Neptune City home before going on to a stellar career that included being named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1985.

Vanguard transgender author and playwright Kate Bornstein, who helped introduce gender studies to a mass audience, was also born in Neptune City. Bornstein’s groundbreaking works have explored gender identity and non-binary perspectives.

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Population

The population of approximately 4,599 residents grows significantly during the tourist season. During the busy summer months, the population swells considerably as tourists and seasonal residents flock to the beaches, attracting an additional 5,000 to 10,000 visitors on a peak summer weekend.

Racial Makeup

While Neptune City is predominantly white, the town features racial makeup that reflects the diversity of the city. As the data below shows, the population consists of:

Racial/Ethnic GroupPercentage
White (Non-Hispanic)69.1%
Black or African American (Non-Hispanic12.2%
White (Hispanic)4.73%
Other (Hispanic)3.98%
Black or African American (Hispanic)3.03%

Demographics

Average density: 5,083.99 per square mile

Median Age: 41.6

Median Household Income: $73,085

Per Capita Income: $36,992

Primary Language Spoken: English

Citizenship: 97.5% of residents are U.S. citizens

Median Property Value: $296,500

Homeownership Rate: 57.5%

Average Commute Time: 26.3 minutes

Average Vehicle Ownership: 2 cars per household

History

Neptune City, NJ, has a rich history that dates back to the native Lenape Indians who originally inhabited the area. The first European settlers arrived in the late 17th century, and the community was initially part of Shrewsbury Township, known then as Third Beach.

In the late 1800s, Neptune City developed into a beach resort destination served by railroad lines. Neptune City was incorporated as a borough in 1881, separating from Neptune Township and originally including what is now Avon-by-the-Sea.

In the early 1900s, Neptune City saw rapid growth as a seaside resort community with hotels, boardwalks, amusement piers, and attractions like the Jersey Shore Amusement Park, which operated from the 1920s to the 1960s.

However, devastating fires in the 1970s destroyed many of the old piers, beach clubs, and hotels. While no longer a major resort area, Neptune City has become a family-friendly beach town cherishing its history as an iconic part of the New Jersey shore experience.

Many historic homes and buildings remain today that speak to Neptune City’s long history and evolution into the quintessential Jersey Shore town that residents and visitors enjoy.

Government

Neptune City operates under a Mayor-Council form of government, with residents electing a Mayor and Borough Council to act as the legislative and executive branches. The current Mayor of Neptune City is Andrew Wardell. 

The Mayor and Council members are responsible for setting policies, passing ordinances, approving the municipal budget, and providing oversight of the town administration. The Mayor serves as the town’s chief executive and works with the Borough Administrator to manage the day-to-day operations of the Neptune City government.

On the federal level, Neptune City falls within New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District. The district’s current representative is Democrat Frank Pallone Jr., who has held the seat since 1988. 

Quality of Life

The quality of life in Neptune City, NJ, is defined by its small-town coastal charm and diverse population of residents who benefit from good schools and a welcoming community environment. While living costs are high and job opportunities are limited, residents appreciate the safe, family-friendly atmosphere and excellent cultural diversity that enhance their quality of life.

Neptune City offers an ideal balance of calm neighborhood living while still providing urban conveniences. The town consists of a mix of long-time residents and young professionals attracted by the beach lifestyle and affordable housing options compared to larger nearby cities.

Schools are highly rated for their caring teachers and individualized attention given to students. Residents enjoy the opportunity to own homes in a community that values diversity and inclusion, as evidenced by the town’s cultural events celebrating its wide range of ethnic backgrounds. 

Healthcare

Neptune City residents have access to a range of healthcare services to meet their needs. Though some larger hospitals and facilities are located in nearby towns, they are still in close proximity and serve Neptune City residents.

FacilityLocationServices Offered
Preferred Care at HomeNeptune CityHome nursing, rehabilitative therapies, personal care assistance
Hackensack Meridian Urgent CareNeptune CityWalk-in urgent care for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries
Hackensack Meridian Health – Ocean Grove Medical AssociatesNeptune CityGeneral medical care, physicals, routine screenings
Coral Harbor Rehabilitation & Healthcare CenterNeptune CityLong-term care, rehabilitation services
Jersey Shore University Medical CenterNeptune Township (just outside)Inpatient and outpatient services, specialized programs, emergency care

Education

Neptune City’s public school system consists of the Neptune City School District, which serves students in preschool through eighth grade. The district has a diverse student body, with minority enrollment at 80% and over half of students classified as economically disadvantaged. However, the schools are highly rated due to caring teachers and individualized attention.

For 9th through 12th grades, Neptune City public school students attend Neptune High School as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Neptune Township Schools.

In addition to the public schools, there are a number of preschool programs and daycare centers in Neptune City to serve younger children. These include:

Pre-School
Sandpiper SchoolMontessori Academy of NJ
Monmouth Montessori AcademyLittle Class Preschool
Tiny Treasures Nursery SchoolRenatta’s Day Care Center
Kiddie Academy of Neptune, NJAcelero Learning Head Start (Neptune)
Hill & Dale SchoolChampions at Shark River Hills
Willow TreeChampions at Gables Elementary
Summer Hill Preschool and Daycamp

For higher education, residents have access to several colleges and universities within a reasonable distance, including:

Colleges and Universities
Monmouth UniversityRutgers University
Brookdale Community CollegeGeorgian Court University
Ocean County CollegeThe College of New Jersey
Princeton UniversityRider University
Rowan UniversityStockton University
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Transportation

Residents of Neptune City have several options for transportation within the town and to surrounding areas. Public transportation is available via the NJ Transit bus service that serves Neptune City and the NJ Transit Asbury Park train station located in neighboring Asbury Park. Private transportation companies like Monmouth iRide and Sandy’s New Manasquan Taxi provide car services and taxis. Life Ride offers non-emergency medical transportation.

The Neptune City School District provides busing for students to district schools. For personal vehicles, Neptune City has a total of around 19 miles of roadways consisting of municipal, county, and state-maintained roads. Most residents travel by automobile, with the majority commuting alone and the average commute time higher than the state average.

Points of Interest

With its beautiful beaches, historic architecture, and charming small-town atmosphere, Neptune City offers many appealing sites to explore and experiences to enjoy. Among the most popular attractions that draw both residents and visitors alike are:

  1. Asbury Park Boardwalk – Spanning over a mile along the beachfront, the Asbury Park Boardwalk offers a vibrant carnival atmosphere with restored carousels, entertainment venues, shops, arcades, and panoramic ocean views.
  2. Beaches- Neptune City’s beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and Sandy Hook Bay are the main attraction, drawing sunbathers, surfers, and families to enjoy sunny spring, summer, and fall days by the shore.
  3. Go Play Arcade – This spacious arcade features the latest in video and redemption games, ideal for kids’ birthday parties or a night out with friends seeking vintage gaming fun.
  4. Silverball Retro Arcade – Hundreds of classic and rare pinball machines from the 1970s and 80s line the walls of this fun arcade, evoking a bygone era of amusement for all ages.
  5. Jersey Shore Craft Beer Tour – Guests are treated to a sampling of the finest local craft beer and spirits at top breweries, wineries, and distilleries throughout the Jersey Shore region on this popular tour.
  6. Kelly’s Tavern on the Shore – Kelly’s has been serving up-shore food, drinks, and nostalgia for decades, with a casual atmosphere, a large menu of classic appetizers and entrees, and local bar vibes.

Though small in size, Neptune City packs in a wealth of character, history, and community spirit that make it a quintessential Jersey Shore town and a pleasant place to call home. The beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and close-knit sense of community continue to draw residents and visitors alike to this charming coastal enclave.

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