Score: 36

Much loved by generations of New Jerseyites who grew up spending summers "down the Shore," the area suffers from overcrowding, but some towns still "retain considerable charm."

Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:

"A real mess—the classic tourism disaster."

"This is where family-driven heaven meets mass-tourism hell."

"To ignore the unique character of individual communities along this coast seems willfully ignorant. Some towns have struggled for decades, but Red Bank is experiencing a minor renaissance, and small towns like Spring Lake, Ocean Grove, and Avon-by-the-Sea retain considerable charm."

"Maybe you have to be a Jersey girl to love the Jersey Shore, but it has its charms: Old-fashioned boardwalks at Point Pleasant, hushed wealthy communities like Bay Head, and so much in between. One of the biggest challenges is lack of public access, but for those who can get a beach tag, come on in—the body surfing is great!"

“While the area is of course overcrowded, I would argue that there are a few gems like Sandy Hook.”

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