Find Your Perfect Beach in New Jersey

  • beach

So what are you looking for—the perfect kid-friendly beach to take the family or a non-stop beach party vibe? No matter what kind of scene you’d love for your summer vacation, the beaches in New Jersey are sure to please.


Frequently voted the best destination for families, it should come as no surprise that Ocean City boasts a spectacular kid-friendly beach. Enjoy expansive stretches of clean shorefront and attentive lifeguards as you play near the ocean. Nearby, discover plenty of family friendly activities along the boardwalk, such as a water park, mini-golf, go-karts and much more.

Meanwhile, the beaches at The Wildwoods offer a bustling scene of families enjoying the soft sands and variety of activities. Boogie board, body surf or build sandcastles on the FREE beach, or walk to the nearby boardwalks to explore three beachfront waterparks, amusement piers with more than 100 rides and roller coasters, family friendly restaurants and live entertainment.

Quiet and Laid Back

Looking to escape the crowds? Cape May offers a stretch of beaches from Higbee Beach at the west end to Poverty Beach at the east end, each with their own vibe. Explore a remote and rugged stretch of sand surrounded by wild sand dunes at Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area, or opt for a more developed—yet still peaceful—stretch of sand at Cape May Point.

Another option is the beach in Spring Lake, a small coastal community offering a two-mile stretch of beach, charming Victorian inns and casual eateries by the shore.


A number of beaches along the Jersey Shore require a beach badge fee, plus paying for parking, but you’ll also find plenty of FREE beaches for budget-friendly fun in the sun. One of our favorites is Island Beach State Park in Seaside Park, touting breathtaking natural beauty and rugged coastline and marshes, where you’ll find plenty of wildlife (osprey, foxes and more), as well as the picturesque views of Barnegat Lighthouse, located just across the inlet. For the summer, only pay by the carload.

For clean (and free!) developed beaches, a kid-friendly atmosphere and a close proximity to boardwalk attractions such as rides and water slides, you won’t want to miss Keansburg.

Social Scene

If a beach party vibe with plenty of people are on your must-list, find a sandy spot along the Atlantic City beach, where you’ll see beach goers sunbathing, surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, playing beach volleyball and having fun with friends. Enjoy the scene and take a stroll down the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk, where casinos, shopping, shows and attractions draw visitors from around the world.

Meanwhile, at Asbury Park, take in the lively scene along the beach surrounding the Asbury Park Convention Hall, where brightly colored umbrellas and beach towels dot the shoreline, as groups of families and friends gather for a day in the sun. 

Surfer’s Paradise

With a renowned reputation as one of the best surfing spots along the Jersey Shore (and the location of the annual Manasquan Classic Longboard Contest) Inlet Beach in Manasquan is a perfect spot to catch some great waves. Check the daily surf report for more details.

Another popular spot for surfing is the beach at Belmar, where perfect waves mean year-round surfing. Never been surfing before? For newbies, take a surfing lesson for Summertime Surf & Paddle School, where you can learn the basics and then try to catch a wave on Belmar’s legendary stretch of ocean.

See all beaches in New Jersey for more options.