Manalapan Commerce & Culture
In this low-density community where the population hovers around 400, the busiest intersection is a cul-de-sac. Water is literally everywhere and is the lifeblood of Manalapan’s culture. Most homes have private docks, and residents are as likely to run their errands in a runabout as in an automobile. Megayachts, however, need not apply—they must anchor elsewhere along the channel. The town’s Atlantic coast hides the Lofthus, an iron-hulled Norwegian vessel that shipwrecked off Manalapan’s shores in the late 19th century. Over a century later, the wreckage—now a home for marine flora and fauna—was declared historic and added to the Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve, an underwater park. It’s something that only reinforces that if you want to find the action in Manalapan, it is best to start on or under the water.