Pure Paradise: New Jersey Beaches are Good for the Soul

Cape May

When you think summer in New Jersey, one of the first things that comes to mind has to be going “Down the Shore”—and for good reason! Our state boasts 130 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline and over 60 designated beaches. They promise an array of blissful backdrops for savoring those ahhh-mazing pleasures we look forward to all year long.  
Below, check out a sampling of New Jersey beach destinations and what you can do during your next day trip, long weekend or vacation. Before you go, though, we suggest looking up the latest, local updates and current availability, hours and official guidelines.

Lounge in Legendary Beach Towns
For more than 200 years, our white-sand beaches have lured people seeking sunny summer vibes, perfected by friendly hospitality. In fact, you’ll find America’s oldest seaside resort right here. Cape May’s iconic Congress Hall started hosting guests in 1816!
Ever since, generation after generation eagerly anticipates its escapes to the world-famous Jersey Shore. Also noteworthy: sizzling Atlantic City, home of the world’s first boardwalk and New Jersey’s longest, opened in 1870. You can stroll the boardwalk there, as well as in other renowned, award-winning towns such as Ocean City, Wildwood, Point Pleasant Beach and Seaside Heights (among others). Cape May, too, features a nearly two-mile promenade—not to mention still-illustrious, Victorian splendor, validated by National Historic Landmark status.

Treasured Destinations Up and Down the Coast
Each of New Jersey’s three Shore Regions (Shore, Greater Atlantic City and Southern Shore) holds plenty more fabulous destinations, each with its own personality. Rediscover your go-to oceanside spot, or discover a new one to love.
Long Beach Island, or LBI as the locals know it, charms with a quintessential summer experience featuring six unique towns that brings families back year after year. Or, luxuriate in easygoing Avalon, Avon-by-the-Sea, Lavallette, Sea Girt and Ocean Grove. Check out eclectic Asbury Park, quaint Manasquan and Stone Harbor, and picturesque Belmar, Brigantine, Long Branch and Island Beach State Park.
Alfresco Fun For All
Surf’s up at the Jersey Shore—but catching a wave isn’t the only cool pursuit. On our sparkling oceans and bays, enjoy water activities such as swimming, boating, kayaking, paddle boarding and fishing. Cruise around on bike paths. Or simply stretch out and relax, basking in the salt-tinged breeze and soaking up the sunshine.
Along our shoreline, you’ll see more than sand and sea. Natural and historic wonders abound. They include Sandy Hook—with its beckoning lighthouse and fascinating fort over 250 years old—as well as “Old Barney,” the second-tallest lighthouse in the US. Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, where this red-and-white delight stands, also features the Maritime Forest Trail, a prime place for birdwatching and exploring a distinctive environment.
Nostalgic Sweets and Culinary Treats
Satisfy your cravings with confections you remember from childhood and favorite summertime fare. Savor seafood straight from the source and dishes composed of fresh local ingredients. New Jersey restaurants span global cuisines, with options ranging from casual classics to finer dining.
Indulge in curbside pickup, take-out or delivery, and savor your meal outdoors or at your vacation home-away-from-home. Pair with beer, wine, cocktails and spirits, like those from our growing collection of wineries, breweries and distilleries.
For even more something-for-everyone New Jersey trip ideas and accommodations across the state, head to visitnj.org, where you can also download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.