We all love heading “down the shore” once the weather gets warmer, but it’s the beach towns’ personalities that make for the most memorable trip. From attraction-packed waterfront destinations to charming seaside towns, these beloved beach locales along the New Jersey shore are sure to become your favorites.
If you want to go big, this bustling beach town has it all. Visit the Asbury Park boardwalk, dotted with vibrant, colorful murals, plus the iconic Stone Pony music venue, The Wonder Bar and of course the expansive stretches of sandy beaches. Stay at The Asbury Hotel, a trendy hotel that was voted the best new hotel in the country by USA Today in 2017. Beach badge daily fee required for ages 13 and older.
Avalon & Stone Harbor
Sometimes, two is better than one. These two neighboring towns, which share the Seven Mile Beach, are lovely destinations offering visitors two beautiful beachy oases with a 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 ages 12 and older.
For a family-friendly shore destination that prides itself on offering a clean beach environment, Belmar delivers. Find a fantastic collection of unique shops and cafes in the downtown area, enjoy fishing at the Belmar Manutti Marina or relax along the beautiful stretch of white-sand beach. The waterfront is cleaned and groomed daily, and smoking is prohibited on the beach and boardwalk. Beach badge daily fee required for ages 14 and older.
This town—at the southernmost tip of New Jersey—is a charming beach-lovers’ paradise filled with an impressive selection of activities. Take in views of the colorfully painted Victorian-style 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 for ages 12 and older.
Kid-friendly activities abound in the beach town of Keansburg, where you’ll find the Keansburg Amusement Park & Runaway 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 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, commonly referred to as LBI. This 18-mile barrier island comes to life during the summer months, and it is home to a number of interesting towns and communities, each offering a stunning collection of unique shopping, dining experiences and events. Beach badge daily fees vary by municipality—details can be found here.
Long Branch is enjoying a resurgence of lively, upscale restaurants, nightlife and renovated beach areas. Visit Pier Village, the waterfront shopping and entertainment district, for an impressive lineup of luxurious restaurants and stores. Walk along the revitalized boardwalk for some sightseeing and people watching, or head over to the 38-acre Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park for swimming, relaxing and alfresco snacking under the spacious tent. Beach badge daily fee required for ages 14 and older.
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 miles 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, including surf fishing, rollerblading and biking along the multi-use pathway, and of course relaxing on the beach. This is a FREE beach with a paid parking lot.
Find even more to do in New Jersey by downloading a free travel guide or signing up for our e-newsletter. And as always, be sure to check the official websites and social media channels of your destination before you go to ensure you have all the need-to-know information.