Long a beacon for active adult communities, Toms River is a Jersey shore suburb with diverse landscapes and ample opportunities for indoor and outdoor recreation. Its superb location in north central Ocean County puts it at the foot of Toms River, which leads out into Barnegat Bay.
This is bordered by the Barnegat Peninsula, which separates the mainland from the Atlantic Ocean. This barrier island is 22 miles long, and is home to beach resort towns like Point Pleasant, Long Beach Island, and Beach Haven.
Where to Live
There are six active adult communities in Toms River proper, with a variety of smart housing choices for penny-wise retirees. Here is the low-down on four prime examples of Toms River NJ real estate.
Gardens of Pleasant Plains
This established, mid-sized neighborhood has 437 attached duplex and single family homes. The majority of homes in Gardens of Pleasant Plains are single family, with a select number of duplexes on the grounds. These attached homes have two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a garage. The single-family homes come in three floor plans with two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a garage. A homeowners' association fee provides for common area maintenance and clubhouse access.
Holiday City at Berkeley
As one of the largest retirement communities in the country, Holiday City at Berkeley is almost a small town within itself. It has 10,636 resale single-family homes, divided into different subdivisions. All have separate clubhouses and pools. Homeowners also make good use of the mini-marts, eateries, banks, pharmacies, bakeries, and other shops located right in Holiday City at Berkeley.
There are 20 home models ranging from 757 to 1,852 square feet. They include one to three bedrooms, one or two baths, and an attached one- or two-car garage. Upgrades may include sun rooms, master suites, and dens.
Greenbriar Woodlands is a golf course community with its own 18-hole executive course, putting green, and pro shop. Adding to the resort-style lifestyle here is a well-appointed clubhouse with a fitness center and activity rooms, plus an outdoor pool, volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, bocce, and tennis.
This gated neighborhood has 1,250 single family resale homes. There are many different models, most with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached garages. Options may include fireplaces, impressive porticos, and master bath suites.
Active adults at Lake Ridge reap the benefits of low-maintenance lifestyles, active social calendars, and that Toms River zip code. The 13,800 square-foot clubhouse features an indoor pool, a modern fitness center, and several activity rooms. Outside, there is a second pool, a small lake, shuffleboard, bocce, and tennis.
Lake Ridge has 926 single-family, resale homes. There are six models sized from 1,308 to 2,254 square feet with two to three bedrooms and bathrooms. Some homes feature breakfast nooks, attics, lofts, patios, and generously sized master suites.
What to Do
It’s nice to stroll and sun on the Ocean County beaches most of the the year, until it gets too cold. So what can active adults do during the cooler months?
Get Smart at Ocean County College
Ocean County College is a public two-year community college offering continuing education programs, a planetarium, and a performing arts center. The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts has a full calendar of upcoming shows, like The Midiri Brothers Salute to Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, and The Bronx Wanderers. The college also hosts lectures, Sunday afternoon jazz performances, and other events.
Bey Lea is a public course that is open year round, with very reasonable prices. Or if your swing is a bit rusty, you might want to visit Perfect Swing Golf to brush up on your skills. Other nearby links include Eagle Ridge in Lakewood and the Toms River Country Club.
Let’s Go Shopping!
Downtown Toms River features local businesses like galleries, boutiques, craft shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. It also has its own farmers market. The Ocean County Mall is a bargain hunter’s delight, with a Boscov’s, Coach, Gymboree, Macy's, Pandora, and a wide choice of eateries. There is also a Marshall’s, a Target, and a JC Penney in town.
Outdoor Recreation…Besides the Beaches
Sand and surf make for pleasurable pastimes, but Toms River is not all about beach time. At 530 acres, Cattus Island State Park showcases nature’s bounty with seven miles of winding trails, exhibits, and the Cooper Environmental Center. It's home to live fish and reptiles, a children’s activity center, bird viewing opportunities, and a butterfly garden. Winding River Park has ice-skating, picnic areas, playgrounds, and trails. Other in-town parks include Huddy Park and Castle Park.
Boating is big along the Jersey Shore, and this region has many marinas to choose from. Green Cove on the Metedeconk River is family owned and operated. Toms River Marine and Motorsports is also well-known in the area. There are also many spots for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing, like Double Trouble State Park in nearby Bayville and John C Bartlett, Jr County Park in Berkeley Township.