15 Best Beaches in New Jersey (NJ)

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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With nearly 130 miles of coastline, New Jersey is famous for its sandy beaches that offer a perfect seaside getaway for many vacationers. It doesn’t matter if you are searching for a secluded beach or a place with family-friendly activities, New Jersey has hundreds of beaches, each with its own unique atmosphere and different setting.

Let’s have a look at the best beaches in New Jersey:

1. Asbury Park Beach

Asbury Park BeachSource: Andrew F. Kazmierski / shutterstock
Asbury Park Beach

A mile-long stretch of white sand, Asbury Park Beach is famous for its popular boardwalks and for songs from the famous singer Bruce Springsteen, who describes this little beach town on his Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. album.

The beach offers plenty of activities, including sunbathing, swimming, and fishing. From October to May, Asbury Park Beach becomes pet-friendly and visitors can bring their dogs. At other times of the year, head out to the Eighth Avenue Dog Beach to walk your four-legged friends.

Asbury Park’s famous boardwalk was hit by Hurricane Sandy, but managed to bounce back and today features a vibrant music scene and plenty of shopping and dining options. For French comfort food and great cocktails, go to the Pascal & Sabine restaurant.

2. Point Pleasant

Point Pleasant BeachSource: James Kirkikis / shutterstock
Point Pleasant Beach

Point Pleasant is known for its crystal clear waters and numerous attractions including the nearby Jenkinson’s Aquarium and Jenkinson’s Boardwalk where you will find arcade games, ice cream shops, and food stalls.

The beach itself offers plenty of activities too such as swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. It may come as a surprise that the beach is lined with tropical palm trees!

For refreshing drinks and cocktails on the beach, head out to Martell’s Tiki Bar or Jenk’s. Vacationers can use the facilities like restrooms and showers and the whole area is monitored by lifeguards.

You can also go to nearby Bradshaw Beach which is open to the public, but keep in mind that the boardwalk here is private land and daily, weekly, or seasonal badges need to be presented in order to gain access..

3. Long Beach Island

Long Beach Island, NJSource: Anthony Tucci / shutterstock
Long Beach Island

Locally known as LBI, Long Beach Island is one of the most visited and famous beach locations in New Jersey and offers 18 miles of sandy beachfront. Located just under 2 hours by bus or car from NYC, it is home to a number of beaches like Ship Bottom, Harvey Cedars, Surf City, and Beach Heaven.

Attractions like Fantasy Island Amusement Park and Barnegat Lighthouse State Park attract both tourists and New Jersey Residents.

4. Spring Lake Beach

Spring Lake Beach, NJSource: Andrew F. Kazmierski / shutterstock
Spring Lake Beach

Situated just a few steps from Sea Girt, Spring Lake Beach is a 2-mile long pristine beach that features one of the longest boardwalks in the state of New Jersey. The good news is that parking is free, but make sure to arrive early as the number of parking spots is limited. The bad news is entrance to the beach costs $8!

In the afternoon, check out one of the most sophisticated towns in the region, Spring Lake. This quaint town was a popular vacation spot for New York’s wealthiest people back in the 19th century. Today, Spring Lake is filled with great restaurants, ice cream parlors, and local candy shops.

Keep in mind that bringing food, alcohol, and coolers to Spring Lake Beach is strictly forbidden.

5. Cape May

Cape MaySource: vincent noel / shutterstock
Cape May

One of the most beautiful seaside areas in the state of New Jersey, Cape May is definitely the largest summer destination in the region and it’s a 3-hour drive from the city.

There are several amazing beaches here, such as Higbee Beach, Steger Beach and Poverty Beach and some of the most popular activities include kayaking, boating, windsurfing, and surfing. Vacationers can play volleyball on the beach, grab a bite at some of the beachfront restaurants, or go bird watching.

All of the beaches at Cape May are open throughout the year, but travelers are required to have an admission tag in summer months. Cape May is one of the central gathering points in the state during the Fourth of July celebrations.

6. Belmar Beach

Belmar BeachSource: Mike Ver Sprill / shutterstock
Belmar Beach

Belmar Beach measures 1.3 miles of coastline but is technically made up of several linked beaches. The best thing about Belmar Beach is definitely its list of amenities and facilities available for visitors. For instance, there is a cell phone charger on every block, water bottle filling stations can be found on the playground, and all of the beaches are cleaned every single morning.

Several beaches feature water activities like surfing, kayaking, and boarding. Besides all the cool beach activities and amenities, there is also the famous Belmar’s boardwalk which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy but was completely renovated in 2013.

7. Ocean Grove Beach

Ocean Grove BeachSource: gary718 / shutterstock
Ocean Grove Beach

In case you are looking for some relaxation and peace, head out to the lovely Ocean Grove Beach. You won’t see many food stalls and bars here where you can order craft beers, but you will find a less crowded beach that features fine white sand and kite flying events. There are also sandcastle building contests and inner tube races during the summer season.

This pet-friendly beach features a badge system, which means that all visitors need to pay a small fee to enter.

The small town of Ocean Grove is only a few blocks away from the boardwalk and offers a variety of restaurants to choose from and many branded department stores. For some delicious ice cream at the end of the day, stop at the famous Nagle’s Apothecary Café.

8. Lavallette Beach

Lavallette BeachSource: put_the_needle_on_the_record / Flickr
Lavallette Beach

Featuring 2 white-sand beaches that are great for swimming and a mile-long boardwalk, Lavallette Beach is patrolled daily by trained lifeguards and operates on a badge system where guests need to purchase daily, weekly, or seasonal passes in advance.

Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed to walk on the beach itself, but if you are visiting Lavallette Beach with a canine friend, you can always take them for a walk on the boardwalk.

Head out to the small town that features a yacht club, dozens of shops, and several great restaurants. It also hosts an annual truck fest in June. When it comes to parking, there are plenty of parking spots on the streets surrounding Lavallette.

9. Sandy Hook Beach

Sandy Hook BeachSource: Alexander Image / shutterstock
Sandy Hook Beach

One of the reasons why Sandy Hook is one of the best beaches in the area, is that it is easily reachable. Take the Seastreak ferry that runs from Manhattan to this Jersey Beach in approximately 35 minutes. The price of the return ticket is only $5 and the entrance to the beach is included in the price.

Once you arrive at Sandy Hook, you can choose to visit one of the four beaches, including the family-friendly E and D beaches, a nudist beach called the Gunnison Beach, or the popular North Beach.

If you are planning to visit Sandy Hook on a Wednesday, check out the Summer Beach Concert that starts at 6 p.m.

10. Wildwoods

WildwoodsSource: Eduard Panichev / shutterstock

A pristine 5-mile-long stretch of coastline, Wildwoods is home to several free beaches which are ideal for a bunch of water activities, including boogie boarding, kayaking, jet skiing, swimming, and surfing.

There are more than 200 festivals here throughout the year like Wildwood’s International Kite Festival and Monster Truck Races. In case you are into wild rides, go to the Wildwood boardwalk and check out the amazing Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Waterparks such as Ocean Oasis Waterpark and Splash Zone Waterpark.

You will also find many entertainment venues, shops, bars, and restaurants along the boardwalk. There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from. For instance, you can stay in a 1960s mod motel or rent an upscale condo for a week. Wildwoods tagline that says “As wild as you want to be” definitely explains this place well.

11. Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile BeachSource: Mike Ver Sprill / shutterstock
Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach, also known as the Avalon Beach, is located between the two small towns of Stone Harbor and Avalon and offers water activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, surfing, and windsurfing.

Families with children will be happy to hear that there are 9 parks and playgrounds. Just a 2-hour drive from NYC, Seven Mile Beach also offers amazing views of the cape from Stone Harbor Point and features several tennis and volleyball courts.

The entrance to both Avalon and Stone Harbor beaches costs $6 for a daily ticket and $12 for a weekly ticket.

12. Avon by the Sea

Avon by the SeaSource: Andrew F. Kazmierski / shutterstock
Avon By The Sea

Located close to Asbury Park, Avon by the Sea is a popular beach destination that is open year-round.

Vacationers who plan on visiting Avon by the Sea during the summer seasons need to pre-purchase a beach badge to be able to enter the beach daily between 9am and 5pm. These badges are available for purchase at three different locations in Avon.

The beach itself has plenty of free parking and restrooms for guests. You will also notice trained lifeguards who patrol the area from Memorial Day through to Labor Day. In case you get hungry, there are many restaurants and bars on the nearby boardwalk.

13. Atlantic City Beach

Atlantic City BeachSource: Jon Bilous / shutterstock
Atlantic City Beach

The entrance to Atlantic City Beach is free of charge and this wide coastal area offers perfect conditions for water activities like windsurfing, kayaking, fishing, and surfing.

Of course, the most famous part of the beach is it’s boardwalk dating back to 1870. You will find a number of high-end boutiques and shops, as well as many restaurants and bars.

Don’t forget to check out the nearby Absecon Lighthouse, which is the third-tallest lighthouse in the U.S.

14. Fisherman’s Cove

Fisherman’s CoveSource: gigglechick / Flickr
Fisherman’s Cove

Home to many species of birds and wildlife, Fisherman’s Cove is part of the Monmouth County Park System and is a popular destination for joggers, boaters, birdwatchers, and fishers.

Nearby is Dog Beach Park where dogs are free to run without a leash.

This 55-acre beach area is a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventurous vacationers who wish to escape large crowds of tourists and find a peaceful place close to the ocean. Borough’s downtown district is located just a short drive from Fisherman’s Cove and features several shops, restaurants, and the famous Algonquin Arts Theatre.

15. Keansburg Beach

Keansburg BeachSource: Andrew F. Kazmierski / shutterstock
Keansburg Beach

Well-known for its amazing views of NYC, Keansburg Beach is an isolated beach close to Middletown.

The beach is open every day of the year and unlike most beaches in the state, visitors don’t need to have a ticket or badge for access. There is a fishing pier at the beach and metered parking can be found close to Bay Walks.

You will also find showers and restrooms for public use in the vicinity of Keansburg Beach.


15 Best Beaches in New Jersey (NJ):

  • Asbury Park Beach
  • Point Pleasant
  • Long Beach Island
  • Spring Lake Beach
  • Cape May
  • Belmar Beach
  • Ocean Grove Beach
  • Lavallette Beach
  • Sandy Hook Beach
  • Wildwoods
  • Seven Mile Beach
  • Avon by the Sea
  • Atlantic City Beach
  • Fisherman’s Cove
  • Keansburg Beach