New Jersey Beach Towns
We love heading “down the shore” once the weather gets warmer, but it’s also the beach town’s personalities that create a memorable trip and experience. From attraction-packed waterfront destinations to charming seaside towns, try one of these beloved beach towns along the New Jersey shore.
If you’re looking to go big, this bustling beach town has it all: the Ocean Avenue Boardwalk dotted with waterfront restaurants, live music and large events at the Convention Hall & Paramount Theatre, sprawling green space at Sunset Park, a charming fountain and places to sit in Library Square, and expansive stretches of sandy beaches. Stay at The Asbury, a trendy hotel that was voted Best New Hotel in the U.S. for 2016 by USA Today. See upcoming events in Asbury Park for even more ideas. Beach badge daily fee required.
Avalon & Stone Harbor
Sometimes, two is better than one. These two neighboring towns share the Seven Mile Beach, and both of these lovely destinations offer a charming, small-town feel. Go shopping in Stone Harbor’s 96th Street Shopping District, or check out Avalon’s unique retail corridor, located along Dune Drive. For the active types, choose from an array of activities, such as boating, sailing, fishing, surfing, tennis and beach volleyball. Beach badge daily fee required.
For a wholesome destination with small-town charm, Belmar delivers. Find unique shops and cafes in the downtown area; enjoy fishing on the Belmar Marina or along the 1.3-mile stretch of white sand beaches. The waterfront is cleaned and groomed daily, and smoking is prohibited on the beach and boardwalk. Beach badge daily fee required.
This town at the southernmost tip of New Jersey, is filled with yesteryear charm and offers an impressive selection of activities. Take in views of the colorfully painted Victorian homes, stroll the brick-lined Washington Street Mall to browse specialty shops and boutiques, make a reservation at one of the many exemplary restaurants, watch a theatrical production and stay at a historic bed-and-breakfast. Beach badge daily fee required. (Children 11 years old and younger are free.)
Kid-friendly activities abound in the beach town of Keansburg, where you’ll find the Keansburg Amusement Park & Runway Rapids Waterpark, with thrilling rides, bumper cars, water slides and interactive water features. Anglers can find their spot along the Keansburg Fishing Pier, and those looking to take a peaceful walk with oceanfront views can explore the Keansburg Waterfront Boardwalk. Or, if you need a break from the sunshine, enjoy a book at the nearby Keansburg Waterfront Library. This is a FREE beach with metered street parking.
Long Beach Island (LBI)
For numerous beach towns packed into one destination, head to Long Beach Island, often called LBI. This 18-mile barrier island comes to life during the summer months, and it is home to a number of towns and communities, each offering their own flavor and experience. Beach badge daily fee required.
For an upscale experience, Long Branch is enjoying a resurgence of lively restaurants, nightlife and renovated beach areas. Looking for luxurious restaurants, bars and shops? You won’t want to miss Pier Village, the waterfront shopping and entertainment district. Walk along the new boardwalk for some sightseeing and people watching, or head over to the 38-acre Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park for swimming, picnicking and reclining along the shoreline. Beach badge daily fee required (ages 14-61); FREE children 13 and under, seniors ages 62 and older with I.D.
Less of a beach town and more of a serene beachfront getaway, the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area is a barrier peninsula offering a seven-mile stretch of ocean and bay beaches, inviting visitors to swim, relax and enjoy some sunshine. There are a number of things to do in Sandy Hook, from surf fishing to hiking along Old Dune Trail to biking along the 5-mile multi-use pathway to relaxing on the Sandy Hook beach. Take in beautiful views at the North Beach Observation Deck or the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. This is a FREE beach with a paid parking lot.