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About Long Branch

One of America's first seashore resorts, Long Branch rivaled Saratoga, N.Y., in popularity during its heyday. Founded upon stiff Philadelphia moral codes in the late 18th century, the resort required that a female beachgoer be escorted to the water by a male companion. Preferring to choose their own partners, the wealthy socialites fostered a lucrative business for available young men, an enterprise that lasted until the Gay '90s.

Having relaxed its mores, Long Branch boomed with coed beaches, gambling and other adult amusements introduced and perpetuated by the rich and famous. Such colorful personalities as Diamond Jim Brady and Lily Langtry frequented the town. Long Branch also was the preferred summer home of Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley and Woodrow Wilson.

Long Branch offers a 2-mile boardwalk and 5 miles of oceanfront with good swimming, sunbathing and surf fishing. Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park has 38 acres along the coast; phone (732) 229-0924 Memorial Day-Labor Day.

Visitor Information

Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce: 228 Broadway, P.O. Box 628, Long Branch, NJ 07740; phone (732) 222-0400.

Long Branch hotels