A sure sign of summer is the traditional bashing of the Jersey Shore ("Shore in summer is a not-so-hot vacation spot," May 4). While the writer may have personally had some unpleasant memories, I still believe a rainy day at the Shore is better than any day at home.

Many years ago, we were fortunate enough to have purchased a small property in Sea Isle City. Our vacations are not limited to two weeks a year. On the average, we get about 35 to 40 weekend vacations (sometimes including a Friday and/or a Monday) at our property.

While we have to contend with a mortgage, insurance, water, cable and electric bills - along with issues like plumbing repairs, painting, yard work, etc. - we still enjoy it. There is a unique feeling that one cannot describe of finishing up the work week on a Friday, locking up the old homestead, arriving at your second home in under two hours, putting your feet up and forgetting about the office for a day or two, and maybe even three or four.

As far as amenities, we have vacationed in Key West, Bermuda, the Outer Banks and West Palm Beach, and I have caught more variety of fish in the back bays of Sea Isle than in any other vacation area. While I am not a golfer, I have been told by many visitors and friends that the numerous courses along Route 9 (many open to the public) are quite challenging.

Almost every town along Ocean Drive has open access to the many tennis and basketball courts. With respect to restaurants, the choices from Atlantic City to Cape May are endless. You can't go wrong with a slice of pizza from Mack & Manco's in Ocean City, crab cakes at Marie's or pork tenderloin at Basilico's in Sea Isle, pasta at Via Marie's in Avalon, ice cream at Springler's in Stone Harbor, sausage with peppers and onions on the Wildwood Boardwalk or veal at Stumpo's in Cape May. The shops range from high end at the casinos of Atlantic City, the unique shops on the Ocean City boardwalk, the art galleries of Avalon and Stone Harbor, the many nurseries along Route 9 and, of course, the charming shops of Victorian Cape May.

Yes, the weekends near the end of July and the early part of August do get crowded, but the weekday crowd is tolerable. (Yes, we have beach tags.)

As I said earlier, a rainy day at the Shore is better than any day at home!

Tony Ercole