May 18th is my birthday and I couldn't have asked for a better start to the day. I woke up early, squeezed into my wetsuit, and watched the sunrise while surfing waves. I was even fortunate to see a handful of dolphins jumping in and out of the ocean about 50 yards in front of me. Witnessing happy dolphins is special and it was the perfect birthday present! I was at my normal Belmar 20th Ave. surfing spot and it was simply one of those mornings that makes you feel thankful to be living at the Jersey Shore.

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With that, a HUGE congratulations to Belmar for being nationally recognized by Men's Journal. This American monthly men's lifestyle magazine focuses on outdoor recreation and it comprises editorials on the outdoors, health and fitness, style and fashion, and more! Men's Journal ranked Belmar in the top 5 for having the best beginner surfing waves in North America. Even if you don't surf, this is cool and very impressive for a Jersey Shore town to get this type of recognition. When you think surfing, you think Hawaii or California but in this case, we can celebrate Belmar!

From Men's Journal:

Attempting to surf in New Jersey can be an exercise fraught with crowds, rules and restrictions, and difficulty accessing the good breaks. That’s not the case in Belmar, where you’ll find beach and jetty breaks that are fun even when they’re not firing hurricane-aided 8-footers…along with parking spots (hey, don’t underestimate the need). Eastern Lines stands at one of the best breaks in the area near 16th Avenue, rents boards and wetsuits, and offers lessons daily from late May through September. The latter month brings the best waves and the Belmar Pro competition.

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DON'T FORGET: The 2021 Playa Bowl Belmar Pro brought to you by Eastern Lines is officially scheduled for September 9th through the 12th. As we all know, the 2020 Belmar Pro was canceled but for this summer you should expect a very fun four-day event. There probably will be COVID-19 state regulations, but with many getting vaccinated and the event being outside, this will still be a wonderful weekend for surfers, spectators, and local businesses.

THE FINAL MEN'S JOURNAL LIST: 5 Of The Best Beginner Waves In North America:

1. La Jolla Shores, Califronia

2. Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii

3. Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

4. Belmar, New Jersey

5. Tofino, British Columbia, Cananda

This could be the perfect summer to learn how to surf!!

My Favorite Personal Belmar Beach Pictures

Could Belmar Be On The List?! Here are the 25 best places to live in New Jersey

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in New Jersey using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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