Although New Jersey isn't the first state that comes to our minds when we think of ghost towns and abandoned places, the Garden State is actually home to quite a few. None, however, are as scenic as this bayfront community that was once home to a thriving resort.
The town of Sea Breeze is located within Fairfield Township in Cumberland County. This is one of the southernmost towns in New Jersey situated along the Delaware Bay about 50 minutes inland of Sea Isle City.
Sea Breeze surged in popularity during the late 1800s when a ferry was built to transport residents from Philadelphia. Tourists loved the community's expansive waterfront access and soon a hotel was built. The Warner Hotel began operations in 1887. This lively hotel offered 40 different rooms, a bar, and held many annual events including a clam bake and boat races. The hotel received an untimely demise when it was accidentally burned down in 1890.
Soon, another hotel was built. The Seabreeze was known for being an entertainment destination that even served alcohol during the prohibition. A food and drink tavern and several summer homes were built over the years making Sea Breeze a beautiful and fun summer destination.
The town continued to thrive throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Unfortunately, the community of Sea Breeze eventually lost its battle against the tide. In 1985, most of the town was destroyed by Hurricane Gloria. The Department of Environmental Protection put up a seawall along Beach Avenue in 2006 to further prevent any damage to structures. It ultimately failed to hold back the encroaching tide and was wiped out almost immediately.
A drive down to Fairfield Township feels somewhat like reaching a lost frontier. The area is filled with just a handful of seasonal homes, the sound of the Delaware shores crashing along the beach, and the PSEG Nuclear's Hope Creek nuclear power plant off in the distance.
Today, the town of Sea Breeze sits surrounded by rubble as nature reclaims most of the community. There is still a house that sits along the beach raised high with no front stairs to avoid potential flooding. The home serves as an eerie reminder of what this community used to be.
If you do decide to pay a visit, be wary of no trespassing signs and use caution. The area is largely isolated and is still prone to flooding.