With nearly 130 miles of beach to be seen, explored and loved, New Jersey is home to some of the best beaches and boardwalks on the East Coast. With white sand beaches, lively boardwalks, and charming towns, finding a NJ beach that best suits your lifestyle and vacation needs are key.
Build sandcastles, splash in the waves, go fishing and experience a vacation that’s right for you, your family, and friends. Looking for a more relaxing break? Read a good book, eat at delicious restaurants, and unwind on a beautiful stretch of sand in New Jersey.
Take a break and stop in between Memorial Day and Labor Day, to get that summer feeling in the Garden State. Ready to learn more? Here are some of our favorite New Jersey beaches.
MONMOUTH COUNTY BEACHES
At the north end of the Jersey Shore sits Sandy Hook, NJ in the Gateway National Recreation Area. Whether you visit for the day or choose to stay, the natural beauty here is spectacular.
With miles of ocean and bayside beaches, endless biking and hiking trails and picturesque marshes to discover, Sandy Hook has plenty of opportunities to unwind. Feel at one with nature by bird watching or take a guided canoe ride.
If you’re coming from New York, this is the perfect road trip destination; either by driving or taking the Seastreak Ferry. Decompress and fall in love with Sandy Hook’s pure environment.
Asbury Park Beach in Asbury Park, NJ is an up-and-coming beach that has been turning heads in recent years, and you’ll want to check it out for yourself. With a new boardwalk, featuring great restaurants and quirky shops, Asbury Park’s sociable vibe makes this a fun retreat.
This mile long beach has soft white sand, making it the best destination for building sandcastles and playing with children. Jump in the water, try paddle boarding, or go fishing.
Fun fact: Bruce Springsteen was born and grew up nearby! Come for a day, relax for a weekend, and stop by Stone Pony to see live music and enjoy a break from busy everyday life.
OCEAN GROVE BEACH
Close to town, perfect surf, and immaculate beaches, what more could you ask for? Ocean Grove is a tiny coastal town just minutes away from Asbury Park Beach.
Read a book and watch the children play at this year-round family beach. The beach is just 1-square mile — but it has welcomed vacationers for over 100 years!
Go for a run, play some tennis and enjoy outdoor living at its finest. Feeling competitive? Get your shovels ready because sandcastle competitions and other family events are held year-round.
Grab some ice cream, watch the waves break and take in the summer months in style at Ocean Grove.
Beach Tags: Most municipalities along the New Jersey coastline require a beach tag in the summer. They are a user fee to help offset the local municipalities cost of maintaining their beaches and providing lifeguards and other services such as trash removal, beach cleaning and police protection. Beach tags are available daily, weekly, or seasonally and must be purchased for the specific beach you’re visiting.
Watch as Belmar comes alive between Memorial Day and Labor Day. With warm weather comes more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, and Belmar knows how to accommodate visitors during the summer months. Walk the spotless streets, browse the charming shops, and stop off into the marina to schedule a boat tour.
Belmar Beach is known for being extremely clean and family friendly. With a vibrant downtown and playgrounds (including a couple of seaside parks) placed throughout, children are busy all day in the sun. Check online as the town hosts many seasonal events and festivals that you must see and be a part of.
SPRING LAKE BEACH
Near Ocean Grove and Asbury Park beaches, you’ll find Spring Lake Beach in Spring Lake, NJ. Meander around the boardwalk, take a seat on one of the many benches and enjoy the view of the beach. With warm water and soft white sand, it’s no wonder so many people flock here in the summer months!
A quiet beach town with lovely buildings and local favorites, stop by mom and pops cafés and grab curated gifts on your holiday. Grab a bite to eat at one of the local beloved restaurants and check out local events put on by the town.
OCEAN COUNTY BEACHES
Wander along the warm sand and watch birds soar at Point Pleasant Beach! Are you a strong swimmer or kayaker? You’ve found your happy place here. The beach sometimes has a strong current, and the tide can be rough at times, so adventure at your own risk. (There are lifeguards on duty here, though!)
Stop off at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk for a family friendly beach, amusement park, games and delicious ice cream shops. Make sure you stop by one of the many pizza shops, for a delicious slice and nice cold drink. Come as a stranger and leave as a local.
Looking to take up a new hobby? Learn how to surf at Lavallette Beach! Would you like to fish or crab? You can do that too at Lavallette docks. Want to just sit by the waves and have a quick dip in the cool water? Feel free, as this a perfect beach with lots to see.
In recent years, the beaches of Lavallette have undergone extensive refurbishments since hurricanes, floods and storms have damaged the beaches and neighborhoods. With a natural, well-kept, and pleasing beach to see, all visitors will be happy with the new improvements.
This quiet beach is great for families, and you will want to come back year after year.
Maybe the most famous of the New Jersey beach towns — thanks to the reality show, Jersey Shore — Seaside Heights has a lively atmosphere for all ages to love! From ultimate arcades, beach bars and crazy mini golf, this NJ beach holiday will be action packed.
Cruise the boardwalk, hop on rides and have yummy ice cream while visiting Seaside Heights. See the ultimate American boardwalk and take a dip in the ocean all afternoon. This fast paced, adventure filled destination is ready to see you.
ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK
Reflect on change over time and experience it in the present at Island Beach State Park. On a narrow barrier island, this untouched beach has been pushed and shoved solely by mother nature. The changing tides, storms and ecosystem are constantly adjusting, and it is magnificent to see in person.
Walk self-guided trails, explore natural, spotless beaches, and reset in ultimate privacy. Escape the hustle and bustle of other Jersey Shore beaches and appreciate some peace and quiet. Visit year round and make this destination a key place for your holiday.
LONG BEACH ISLAND
Look on for miles and see nothing but sandy shores, cheerful people and charming small towns. From peaceful and unkept beaches, to lively amusement parks, Long Beach has something for everyone!
With plenty of beaches to see on this 18-mile coastline, discover why the State of New Jersey has some of the best beaches. Stop off at Ship Bottom Beach and have the beach to yourself, or swing by Brant Beach for fishing, surfing and electric crowds.
Make sure you visit the historic lighthouses while in LBI. Experience a seasonal town that comes alive during the summer months with amazing events, dining and local community.
ATLANTIC COUNTY BEACHES
Visit a New Jersey staple and leave the stress of daily life at home within minutes of arriving at Brigantine. With mile long pristine beaches to discover, a friendly community, and a whole lot of charm, this barrier island needs to be seen!
From kayaking to sailing, this quiet and serene town is a unique and calming place to visit. With unspoiled beaches and plenty of space to spare, this is the time to unwind, bask in nature and feel the soft sand beneath your toes.
With nature parks, exquisite dining, and peaceful activities to be had, this may be the Jersey Shores’ best kept secret.
If you’re looking for action, high intensity, busy parking lots, and loud crowds, then Atlantic City is the place for you! Being the only city on the Jersey Shore, Atlantic City is fast paced and will give you all the excitement you might need in a beach town.
With a bustling amusement park, a never-ending boardwalk, and many casinos to choose from, there will never be a dull moment. Explore iconic lighthouses, wander the sandy beach and partake in beach activities like fishing, surfing and parasailing.
CAPE MAY COUNTY
Interested in a little road trip? Think about going to Ocean City, NJ, a classic American resort town. With the Atlantic Ocean and Great Egg Harbor Bay on either side, visitors are treated to many different beach coastlines and conditions.
With a rich history and an iconic boardwalk, stop off at arcades, amusement parks and afternoon ice cream. Watch the sunrise and sunset on the Ocean City boardwalk and be captivated with gushing views and gorgeous colors.
Stuck between Atlantic City and Ocean City? Ocean City is the calmer, more family friendly version of Atlantic City.
SEA ISLE CITY BEACH
Looking to unwind and calm your body? Sea Isle City Beach is a great escape in New Jersey. With beautiful views of the ocean, watch the sunset at Townsends Inlet Waterfront Park or grab a book and unwind in a beach oasis.
With normal beach activities like kayaking, swimming and paddle boarding available, step outside the box and book a beach front yoga class. Find your inner Zen and fall in love with Sea Isle City. Eat at wonderful restaurants, have a night on the town and partake in family activities with memories that will last a lifetime.
Catch some rays, smell the air all and fall in love with beach towns of the East Coast.
Wake up early and feel the salty air on your skin, hear the waves crash on the shore and see dazzling colors during an Avalon sunrise. Wanting a later start to the day? Grab some breakfast at a beach town favorite before heading on over to the beach.
Grab your camera, because this is the place to try boating, sailing and any other water sport you can dream of. Walk the pier, scan the ocean, and enjoy your summer months among mile long beaches and soft white sands.
The fun continues well into the night with mini golf, amazing restaurants, and a bustling small town. Leave feeling relaxed and refreshed!
7 MILE BEACH
Looking for a gem? You’ve found one here! Divided between Avalon and Stone Harbor sits 7 Mile Beach, a family favorite with fun crowds, calm waters, and soft white sand. Starting Memorial Day and all through the summer, enjoy great weather, ideal beach views and various outdoor water sports.
Surf, swim and play in the waves for an exciting day at the beach or relax and gaze at sand dunes in the distance. Grab your cooler and pack your lunch because this is going to be an all-day affair. Go early and check out the sunrise, it will be a memorable moment.
Are you wanting to chill out and lay back for a few days? Think about a trip to Stone Harbor! Visiting this small town and community makes you feel like you’re home. With boutique stores, one-of-a-kind restaurants, and spotless beaches, enjoy a relaxed well-earned break.
Those looking for some peace and quality family time, this is the beach for you. This idyllic beach town changes the way you will view the Jersey Shore. With a quaint atmosphere and family friendly beach conditions, this should be the top choice for all families.
With five miles of exciting beaches; play volleyball, boogie board and play all day at Wildwood. Those looking for a little more excitement and adventure can walk or bike Wildwoods’ 36 block boardwalk. Stop by shops, grab some beach toys and try favorite snacks on this family favorite destination.
However, the fun doesn’t stop there. Make sure you stop by Morey’s Pier Amusement Park. With excitement around every corner, keep your eyes wide open so you don’t miss a thing!
Are you looking for a lazy beach holiday? Hire a beach taxi to take all your belongings to the beach and get you set up for the day. Try a relaxing yoga class, read a book and watch as children have the time of their life at Wildwoods.
Known as one of the oldest seaside resorts on the East Coast, this charming and quirky town is stunning during the summer months. Tour gorgeous Victorian homes, dine at tasty seafood restaurants, all while treating yourself to the sandy, unspoiled beaches of Cape May.
Perfect for families and young children, learn to swim, fish, and kayak Cape May’s best beaches with the safety of lifeguards. Lounge on the beach, take a quick dip, and end your day with a beach stroll and a delicious ice cream cone, all while the sun sets over New Jersey.
With tours, concerts and events held year around in this quaint beach town, you’ll love the homey feel and kind locals who make this destination so special. Looking to spice up your vacation? Look at parasailing or whale watching for an adventure on the water.
NEW JERSEY BEACHES FAQ
What is the nicest beach in New Jersey?
Choosing one beach in New Jersey as the nicest is a tough question! That said, Seaside Park Beach, Belmar Beach, and Island Beach State Park usually rank pretty high on best beach lists.
What is the most popular beach in New Jersey?
The beaches in Cape May are the most popular beaches in New Jersey. Cape May itself is such a charming town, and their beaches are always super nice.
Are any beaches in New Jersey free?
Yes! Some municipalities require you buy a daily, weekly or seasonal beach tag, or pass, to visit their beaches during the summer months…but not all of them do. Atlantic City, Corson’s Inlet State Park, Sandy Hook, Wildwood, North Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, and Strathmere are all free to visit.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO NEW JERSEY
- YOUR NEW JERSEY VACATION
- CAPE MAY: 21 Fantastic Things To Do In Cape May, New Jersey
- WATER PARKS: Water Parks New Jersey: 21 Destinations For Family Fun
- PRINCETON: 19 Things To Do In Princeton NJ You Can’t Miss
- JERSEY CITY: 23 Best Things To Do In Jersey City You’ll Love
WHERE TO STAY IN NEW JERSEY
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