Toms River is a township in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States, and the county seat of Ocean County. Formerly known as the Township of Dover, in 2006 voters approved a change of the official name to the Township of Toms River, adopting the name of the largest unincorporated community within the township. In 2006, Toms River was ranked by Morgan Quitno Press as the 15th safest city in the United States, of 369 cities nationwide. In 2007, Toms River was again ranked as the 14th-safest city in the United States of 371 cities nationwide.
While most of Toms River is on the mainland, Dover Beaches North and South are situated on the Barnegat Peninsula, a long, narrow barrier peninsula that separates Barnegat Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. Dover Beaches South adjoins the independent municipalities of Lavallette to the north and Seaside Heights to the north. Toms River Township borders the Ocean County municipalities of Berkeley Township, Brick Township, Island Heights, Jackson Township, Lakewood Township, Lavallette, Manchester Township, Seaside Heights and South Toms River.
Toms River has many shopping malls including Ocean County Mall (the only enclosed mall in Ocean County) and Seacourt Pavilion, located across Bay Avenue from the Ocean County Mall. The Waterhouse Museum features the works of painter Charles Waterhouse. Toms River Fest has been held during the summer in Toms River, bringing many people from in and out of the area. Joshua Huddy Park is located in Downtown Toms River and is host to a replica of the Revolutionary War Fort that was once standing. The town hosted a miniature battle during the Revolution in which Captain Joshua Huddy was captured and hung. The trail of Huddy can be followed throughout the town.
Students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade attend the Toms River Regional Schools, a regional public school system (centered primarily in Toms River Township) that is the largest suburban school district in New Jersey. Ocean County College, a two-year college that offers four-year options in cooperation with other New Jersey colleges and universities, is located on Hooper Avenue in Toms River.