Raise your hand if you’re ready to trade your living room couch for a beach chair in the sand. It’s time to stop dreaming and start planning your summer vacation with a trip to the beaches of New Jersey. We have the insider tips to help you pick the one that’s shore to please your crew.
Frequently voted the best destination for families, Ocean City also gets the stamp of approval from kids. Enjoy expansive stretches of clean shorefront and attentive lifeguards as you play in the surf. Nearby, discover plenty of family-friendly activities along the boardwalk, including a water park, mini golf, go-karts and much more.
Meanwhile, the extra-wide beaches in The Wildwoods are the ideal spot for families to enjoy soft sands and endless fun. Boogie board, body surf or build sandcastles on the FREE beach, or walk to the nearby boardwalk to explore beachfront waterparks, amusement piers with more than 100 rides and roller coasters, kid-friendly restaurants and live entertainment.
Quiet and Laid Back
Looking to escape the crowds? Cape May offers stretches of sand from Higbee Beach at the west end to Poverty Beach at the east end, each with their own vibe. Explore a remote and rugged shoreline surrounded by natural dunes at Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area or opt for a more developed—yet still peaceful—escape at Cape May Point State Park.
Another option for serenity down the shore is Spring Lake, a small coastal community offering a two-mile beach, charming Victorian inns and casual eateries along the ocean.
While you’ll need to pay for beach badges and parking to enjoy some destinations on the Jersey Shore, you’ll also find plenty of free beaches and low-cost options.
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.
Another of our favorites is Island Beach State Park, touting breathtaking natural beauty along its unspoiled coastline and marshes. You’ll find plenty of wildlife (osprey, foxes and more), as well as picturesque views of Barnegat Lighthouse, located just across the inlet. In the summer, you’ll only pay one low price by carload.
If you’re looking to be seen on the scene, find a sandy spot along the Atlantic City beach, where you can enjoy sunbathing, surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, beach volleyball and relaxing in style. Then take a stroll down the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk, where casinos, shopping, shows and attractions draw visitors from around the world.
Meanwhile, in 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 the hip crowd gathers for days in the sun.
With a renowned reputation as one of the best surfing spots along the Jersey Shore, Inlet Beach in Manasquan is an idyllic spot to catch some waves. Check the daily surf report for more details.
Another popular spot for surfing is Belmar, where perfect waves mean year-round surfing. First time hanging ten? Newbies can take a surfing lesson from Summertime Surf & Paddle School, where you can learn the basics and then test your new skills on Belmar’s legendary stretch of ocean.
Rather make your own match? Check out all beaches in New Jersey for more options.
Once you find your perfect beach, make sure to visit the official website or social media channels to get up-to-the-minute information before sinking your toes in the sand.