Memorial Day weekend marks unofficial start to summer

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SEASIDE HEIGHTS -

It's Memorial Day weekend, which means the unofficial start of summer is here for the Jersey Shore.

Despite a chilly start to the season, every beach town in New Jersey -- from Sandy Hook to Cape May -- is hoping for a strong season.

It's a big year for Seaside Heights as local officials are making an effort to change the reputation of the boardwalk back into one that's family-friendly. But with that comes new rules.

People will have to pay for a beach badge until 9 p.m., and you can't be on the beach after 3 a.m. There will also be an increased police presence.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also visited Seaside Heights Friday, marking his final Memorial Day weekend trip to the shore as governor. The Republican has made trips to the shore on the Friday before Memorial Day a tradition.

Christie walked along the boardwalk and then cut the ribbon on Lucky Leo's Sweet Shop and on the new Hydrus roller coaster. The Hydrus was built to replace a coaster that fell into the ocean during Superstorm Sandy.

Meanwhile, AAA estimates this holiday weekend will be the busiest for travelers in 12 years. The New Jersey Department of Transportation is suspending all road work and lane closures until Tuesday. The DOT is also reminding drivers to plan for extra time and to expect some congestion in work areas even though actual work is not being done.

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