The beach around Washington Avenue is sometimes called Ego Beach, because of its reputation as a place for the young, hard-body set to see and be seen. And just a few steps off the beach there sits Ventura's Greenhouse, the popular watering hole and restaurant, which has decks that offer both ocean views and adult beverages.

But that same area is also the longtime home of Lucy The Elephant, the single most popular thing for kids to see in Margate. And directly between Lucy and the beach is a snack bar that sells family-style food and soft drinks - a few steps away from the headquarters of Margate's beach patrol.

So yes, it's fair to say that this area has at least a little something for everyone. It's also fair to say that most of Margate's roughly 2 miles of beaches don't have such an obvious culture clash going on as what you'll find at Lucy and the Greenhouse.

Because the rest of the beach is pretty basic and family-friendly. You can find a playground right at the edge of the sand at the Margate Public Library, near Huntington Avenue, which also offers public restrooms in the Bloom Pavilion, the town's community-center complex. Look for more beach restrooms at Clarendon, Rumson and Madison avenues - most of them in the form of port-a-potties (or relief cabanas, as town officials like to say) or inside, back at the Greenhouse.

For more information, including the locations of surfing beaches, check with the Beach Patrol at 609-822-2370.

Beach tags are required in Margate. Starting June 1st, badges for the season cost $15, and can be used in Ventnor too.

Parking can be tough on weekends, and watch out: In most of Margate, there's no legal street parking on the beach blocks.

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