Island Heights is one of the undiscovered treasures of the Jersey shore. Nestled along the banks of the Toms River, with quiet streets, a picturesque waterfront, and extraordinary Victorian architecture, it is as though time stood still in Island Heights. Just a mile from busy Route 37, with its shopping and dining, this little town's charm and 19th century pace will amaze first time visitors, The lucky residents of this community realize what they have and don't invite a lot of fanfare, as a result it has kept its unusual character.
The town has something of a tradition as an art center. Peto, the noted American still life artist, maintained a residence here. Ludlow Thorsten, one of New Jersey's best known artists has a studio and gallery in the center of town. And, the Ocean County Artist's Guild is housed in a beautiful large Victorian on Ocean, and is open for visiting and sales during regular hours (call).
A waterfront walk affords
a leisurly half-mile stroll along the banks of the Toms River, and a large
pavilion awaits those who would like to get out the sun and watch the river
activity. A large tract of land, formerly the Wannamaker property
still has a turn-of-the-century theatre, now in disuse. A small section
of town was the former site of religious camp meetings, and still is reminiscent
of Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vinyard, albeit on a small scale.
Island Heights scrapbook (click image to enlarge)