What You Need to Know About the History of Ocean Grove, NJ

Visiting Ocean Grove is like stepping back in time. This quaint, seaside town was founded in 1869 as part of the camp meeting movement in the United States. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination, a place of worship, and a designated National Historic District with the most extensive collection of Victorian architecture in the country. Experience the history of Ocean Grove, NJ, firsthand when you visit the destinations below. Then, download our free Vacation Guide for helpful trip planning tips!

Learn the History of Ocean Grove, NJ

1. Visit the Great Auditorium

In the mid-1800s, a group of Methodist clergymen came together to develop a summer camp meeting site at the Jersey Shore. They formed a community and added year-round cottages and permanent buildings. One of the most famous is the Great Auditorium. This facility is known for its breathtaking architecture and acoustics; it can seat over 6,000 people and hosts worship services, concerts, and other programs throughout the year. Be sure to check it out!

Local Tip: Don’t forget to visit “Tent City” while you’re here. Each summer, 114 tents are erected around the Great Auditorium. This tradition dates back to 1869, and the tents are in such demand that there is a waiting list of over ten years for summer rentals. Read our blog to learn more about the Ocean Grove tents.

2. Explore the Beach & Boardwalk

In addition to its many historic buildings, Ocean Grove’s soft, sandy beach and rustic boardwalk offer a glimpse into the town’s storied past. Religious traditions continue to this day; Ocean Grove is a dry town, and the beach doesn’t open until noon on Sundays. The boardwalk is a peaceful place to stroll without the commercial attractions found in other beach destinations. In an age where we are always plugged in, this quiet strip of shoreline provides an escape from the demands of everyday life.

3. Attend an Event

Another great way to learn about the history of Ocean Grove is to plan your trip around a local event. If you’re visiting in the winter, consider attending the Victorian Holiday Festival & House Tour. It’s sure to put you in the Christmas spirit with a live nativity, tree lighting ceremony, and self-guided tours of historic inns and homes. Or, contact the Historical Society of Ocean Grove for information on year-round walking tours as well as upcoming programs and exhibits at the Ocean Grove Museum.

Book Your Stay at a Historic B&B in Ocean Grove

View of the bed in the Inskip Suite at the Ocean Plaza Hotel

No trip to Ocean Grove is complete without staying at a timeless bed and breakfast! Book a room at The Ocean View Inn or The Ocean Plaza Hotel for a unique mix of modern convenience and elegant, Old-World charm.

History buffs love the Inskip Suite with its private bedroom/bathroom, sitting room, and kitchenette. This room is named after Mr. and Mrs. John Inskip, who constructed a two-story cottage on the site of The Ocean Plaza Hotel in 1870. After the death of Mr. Inskip in 1884, Mrs. Inskip added two stories and created a 36-room inn, which she called, “The Inskip”.

Check our availability and make your reservations now! We look forward to having you.