Ocean Grove, New Jersey, is a popular vacation spot known for its Victorian charm, boutique shopping, and scenic shoreline. However, visitors to this historic town often notice something peculiar. It’s home to “Tent City”, a colony of canvas tents that are available for rent in the summertime. These aren’t your average, run-of-the-mill camping tents; you’ll need to put your name on an extensive waitlist to get one! Read on to learn more about the famous Ocean Grove tents and find out what makes them so special.
The Ocean Grove tent community is unique and quirky, much like the rest of Ocean Grove! To find out what else our area has to offer, take a look at our complimentary Travel Guide. With recommendations for places to dine, shop, relax, and explore, our guide has helped countless visitors plan the perfect Jersey Shore getaway. Download your copy today!
Experience Tent Life in Ocean Grove
You might be asking yourself, “Why would anyone live in a tent for the entire summer?” The answer is simple: tradition. Ocean Grove’s tent colony dates back to 1870 when there were 200 tents for every house. Today, there are 114 tent structures nestled around the Great Auditorium. The canvas tents are attached to wooden cottages and used as living rooms; the cottages are used for bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. Outside, tiny porches provide just enough room for two lawn chairs and a small table.
As you can imagine, this 150-year-old community is tightly knit. Descendants of founding families continue to carry on the tradition by coming back year after year. Plus, the 14 by 21 tents are so close, you can reach out and touch your neighbor! In the evening, tenters sit out on their porches drinking wine, reading, and telling stories. It’s a vacation experience unlike any other.
How to Become a Tenter
Tents run about $4,000 to $5,000 for the summer season (May to September), and there are a few rules tenters must follow. Here’s what you need to know about the process.
- All prospective tenters are interviewed by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association and placed on a waitlist.
- You can’t rent a tent for a week or month; it’s the entire season only.
- You can’t sublet your tent, bring pets, or have barbecues.
- Air conditioners were once prohibited, but are now allowed.
- Ocean Grove is a dry town, however, beer and wine is allowed in cups.
- All furniture/decor must be removed from your tent in September.
Interested in learning more? Call the OGCMA at (732) 775-0035 for details.
Treat Yourself to a Comfortable Stay in Ocean Grove
If living in a tent isn’t really your thing, there’s no need to worry. You can still experience Ocean Grove’s historic charm by staying at The Ocean View Inn or The Ocean Plaza Hotel. Our properties are just one block from the beach and provide the upscale service and amenities you need to truly unwind.
Book a Family Room to accommodate your group without compromising a great view of the ocean. Or, reserve a Deluxe King Room and enjoy a king-size bed, daily maid service, and luxury linens and towels. No matter which room you choose, we promise your vacation will be one for the books! We look forward to hosting you this summer.
Don’t forget to check out our free Travel Guide!