• Congress Hall Beach Tent in New Jersey
    Beach Tent at Congress Hall; Photo by Charles Riter

Last-Minute Weekend Beach Getaways

Get to the beach with these last-minute trip ideas.

Coming from New York & Easton, PA:

Sandy Hook

Explore the gorgeous beaches and historic sites when you spend the day (or weekend) at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook. Set up camp onsite at Camp Gateway, enjoy boutique lodging at Seascape Manor Bed & Breakfast, Blue Bay Inn, or BeachWalk at Sea Bright. Also stay at The Oyster Point Hotel in nearby Red Bank, where shopping, dining and nightlife provide plenty to do.

Long Branch

Escape to this oceanfront resort town, touting white sand beaches and a boardwalk promenade lined with shops and eateries. When you stay at the Bungalow Hotel, you’ll have access to a private beach area and within walking distance of the boardwalk. Meanwhile, the Ocean Place Resort & Spa is also steps from the beach and offers a glittering swimming pool overlooking the ocean, as well as a luxe spa.

Asbury Park

Explore the revitalized boardwalk at this historic beach town and get a first-hand experience of the trendy new wave of style at The Asbury, named one of the best new hotels in the world in 2017 by Travel + Leisure. Spend the day soaking up the sun on the beach, and then head up to the hotel’s trendy rooftop bar for a sunset cocktail. Or also drop into The Empress Hotel with ocean front views and complete with pool and tiki bar.


Pristine beaches await in this family-friendly Jersey Shore town, where lodging often takes the form of historic hotels and quaint bed-and-breakfasts in Victorian mansions. Stay within walking distance of the beach at the Saltwater Inn, The Inn at the Shore, or Belmar Motor Lodge.

Seaside Heights

For a bustling boardwalk experience, make your way to this beach town, touting two amusement piers, a waterpark, arcades and summer fireworks. Book one of the many low-key motels, such as Colony Motel or nearby Luna Mar Motel, for beachfront access. Larger motels include the Aztec Ocean Resort or Hershey Motel.

Coming from Delaware & Philadelphia, PA:

Long Beach Island (LBI)

This 18-mile-long island is dotted with quaint beach towns. On the northern end, stay at The North Shore Inn and explore Barnegat Lighthouse State Park during the day. Or stay further south at the family-friendly Engleside Inn or Mariner Inn in Beach Haven and have fun on amusement park rides or water slides.

Atlantic City

Nightlife, casino excitement, shopping, gourmet dining and a world-famous boardwalk are the draw at this city on the Shore. Stay where all the action is at Tropicana Casino & Resort or Caesars Atlantic City, and then spend the day soaking in the sunshine on the free beaches. Also checkout the newest hotels to open in Atlantic City the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Ocean Resort Casino.

Point Pleasant Beach

With its super-clean beaches and kid-approved attractions like Jenkinson’s Aquarium and Castaway Cove Mini-Golf, Point Pleasant Beach is an easy choice for a quick family trip. Stay within walking distance of the boardwalk at The Driftwood Motel, a family-friendly motel with its own private beach staffed with a lifeguard. Other nearby hotels include the Point Pleasant Manor and White Sands Oceanfront Resort & Spa.


If you love an action-packed beach scene, you’ll love the Wildwoods beaches. These free beaches stretch for five miles and offer plenty of fun activities, from jet-skiing to surfing. The nearby water slides and roller coasters at Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks offer even more adventure. Stay near the action—and get a first-hand look at the incredible mid-century Doo Wop architecture of the area—when you stay at the Starlux Boutique Hotel. Also look to stay at Montego Bay Resort, Surf Song Beach Resort, Heart of Wildwood Resort, or El Coronado Resort.

Cape May

Stroll past colorful Victorian mansions, browse the shops at Washington Street Mall and dine on one of the many outdoor patios in this charming town at the southernmost shore of New Jersey. Book a room at a historic property such as the charming Virginia Hotel & Cottages, or the grand Congress Hall (America’s oldest seaside resort, dating back to 1816) to get the full Cape May experience. Other accommodation options include La Mer Beachfront Inn, Marquis de Lafayette Hotel and The Grand Hotel.


See more of New Jersey’s beaches and room accommodations.