The folks at NJ.com assembled a list of the 25 best Jersey Shore towns. And the town at the top might just surprise you.

Now, first things first, NJ.com seems to be rather heavy on news for areas north of Atlantic City. The website tends to focus on Ocean and Monmouth Counties and points north. With that thought in mind, seeing a list of the top 25 Jersey Shore towns immediate screamed 'you won't find anything from South Jersey here' -- but I was wrong.

Really wrong.

Peter Genovese, who assembled the list, described how he did what he did this way:

What factors went into this ranking? Livability, charm, curb appeal, shopping, neighborhoods and food scene, among others. In the end, it came down to, "Could I live here, and live here a long time?'' Let me be clear: This is not a ranking of the best Shore towns to visit as much as the best towns to live in. My top-ranked town is one you've probably never visited.

Alright, so now I'm intrigued.

Scrolling down a click or two, Seaside Heights is ranked #25.

Now I'm really intrigued.

Normally any list like this has Seaside or any town around Seaside in the top single-digits.

Asbury Park is 24? Ocean City is 18? This list isn't making any sense... like Seaside, Asbury and Ocean City are always at the top (and, let's be fair, they deserve to be).

So, which Jersey Shore town was ranked number one?

Port Republic.

Port Republic?

Yes, Port Republic.

Remember, "this is not a ranking of the best Shore towns to visit as much as the best towns to live in."

Port Republic - population 1,115 as of a few years ago. All 8.5 square miles of it. Number one.

Port Republic is, without a doubt, one of those very unique places in New Jersey where you can get away from it all yet still be close enough to places where you can live it up. Genovese describes Port Republic this way: "Thousands of people drive past this picture-postcard town every week without realizing it."

And that's probably one of the reasons it's at number one. If you've never been through Port Republic, your first thought might be, 'there's not a damn thing there.' And that's perfectly fine.

And the same (almost) can be said for the #2 town on the list -- Strathmere.

I encourage you to check out Peter Genovese's rankings. It is a very unique and honest look at New Jersey's shore towns from a New Jersey point of view, talking to people in New Jersey. It's certainly a nice change from websites with writers that have never been around here ranking things based on what they see on MTV.

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