New Jersey is on every beach-lovers bucket list because it has more than 130 miles of coastline with numerous beaches. No matter how many New Jersey beaches you get to, you will want to visit another. The diversity is so high that there is something for everyone here. You could come solo, with friends, or family – there is enough ‘vitamin sea’ for every traveler!
Best New Jersey beaches to visit
Although there are more than 44 New Jersey beaches, we handpicked the best ones you should visit. Depending upon where you stay, what you do, and who to travel with, choose the beaches the suit you most:
1. Cape May
If we had to choose one out of all the beaches in New Jersey, we would choose Cape May. There is a different feel altogether and you have to be here to believe it. It is a huge beach that looks absolutely gorgeous and is well-kept.
The surrounding area gives you the best beach and party vibe. It has tree-lined blocks with lovely Victorian houses. You will find several food joints around. If beer is what you’re looking for, head to Carney’s, and also taste the exotic clam pizza at the Lucky Bones Back Water Grille.
2. Beach Haven
Every island under the list of Long Beach Island is fabulous but if you had to choose one, come to Beach Haven. It gives you a chill vibe with an amazing surrounding. If you’re coming over during the weekend, you’d want to get to the Sea Shell. If you plan to stay here later during a night, play skeeball at the Fantasy Island.
3. Ocean City
Ocean City is unique, pretty, and draws in tourists all the time. It has a boardwalk that strikes the sheer balance between a touristy and old-school vibe. The town looks charming by the waters and gives you plenty of things to do.
If you’re looking for amusement parks to go with your children get to Playland’s Castaway Cove, Gillian’s Wonderland Pier or OC Waterpark. Since the area in and around the beach is usually crowded, it is also safe and has all the amenities you could need.
4. Asbury Park Beach
The Asbury park beach NJ is one of the names you must have heard of. It is famous for the boardwalks that play music by Bruce Springsteen all the time. This is the perfect beach to swim, sunbathe, and go fishing. Between October and May, this beach is quite pet-friendly. If you come here during sunrise or sunset, you’d find many locals walk their dog.
The beach rose to fame after Hurricane Sandy hit the boardwalk, but it quickly got back in shape. Tourists love the music scene, shopping options, and eateries around the beach. If you’re looking for some French comfort food with cocktails at NJ, come over to Pascal & Sabine restaurant.
5. Point Pleasant
The Point Pleasant Beach New Jersey is famous for its crystal clear water and several attractions around. From the Jenkinson’s Boardwalk to the Jenkinson’s Aquarium, there is simply so much to see. Try some new ice cream flavors or savor the street food from the stalls, play arcade games or make sandcastles with kids, this place has it all!
If you’re looking for the best beach to go surfing, you can choose Point Pleasant. The beach is beautified by tropical palm trees that could make your perfect selfie spot. You can also use facilities like shower, restroom, and find lifeguards monitoring swimmers.
Try refreshing drinks at Jenk’s or Martell’s Tiki Bar. If you’re planning to go beach hopping, get to the Bradshaw Beach. Note that the boardwalk is private and only people who have seasonal badges can access it.
6. Long Beach Island
Long Beach Island includes a large stretch of beaches within an area of 18 miles. You can get here by availing a two-hour bus ride from New York City. This place has some of the best beaches of New Jersey and they include Surf City, Ship Bottom, Harvey Cedars, and of course, Beach Haven.
There are plenty of places of interest here like the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park and Fantasy Island Amusement Park. You will find a large boardwalk filled with bars and restaurants, to help you plan an entire day here.
7. Manasquan Beach
If you’re trying to look for a northern locale to provide an all-round day at this beach, you should try Manasquan. This place is famous for its fine sands and surfing-sprees. You will find teens, couples, families, and seniors come over and have a nice time.
Masanquan doesn’t have boardwalks but has tiny roads that are like walkways along the beach. You should try drinks and tacos from Gee Gee’s when you come here. You are likely to find the main entrance crowded during peak times but straying on either side will help you find solitude.
8. Bradley Beach
The narrow yet pretty beach locates south of Asbury Park. This place is frequented by families and elderly people who are often found strolling the boardwalk. The aesthetics of the beach is welcoming and it has a miniature golf course to make it look more fun. This beach is perfect for leisure and relaxation. From here, you can get to the nearby Monmouth County to shop or eat at a restaurant.
9. Spring Lake Beach
The Spring Lake Beach locates a few steps away from the Sea Girt and stretches for two miles. It is a pristine beach that has one of the longest boardwalks in New Jersey. The area around offers free car parking but you need to come early to occupy a spot in the limited space. You have to pay an entry fee to get to the beach and it costs $8 each.
The quaint town of Spring Lake makes one of the pretty vacation spots, much of which belonged to wealthy people from New York in the 19th century. Presently, the place is filled with numerous restaurants, candy shops, ice cream parlors.
Note that you can’t get food, coolers, or alcohol inside the beach. It is against their safety and clean policy.
10. Stone Harbor
Stone Harbor makes you want to take off your shoes to feel the sand. The sands here are like no other. It looks clean and feels soft and adds to the natural beauty of the beach. The beach doesn’t have a huge parking area but the walk to the beach is quick from your car. This beach is loved by singer Taylor Swift as she used to come here with her family.
11. Belmar Beach
Belmar Beach stretches 1.3 miles of coastline but comprises of several linked beaches. The conjunction of Belmar Beach is famous for its amenities – you will find a cellphone charger in each block, water station for refill drinking water, and more.
Belmar Beach is cleaned every morning and offers several water activities like surfing, boarding, and kayaking. It is also one of the famed New Jersey beaches with boardwalks. This one was also disrupted by Hurricane Sandy and was renovated in 2013.
12. Sandy Hook
There isn’t an easy way to reach Sandy Hook, but if you’re looking for the ideal blue beach waters, you must come here. Sandy Hook is a part of multi-state Gateway National Recreation Area and is famous for wildlife trails. Towards the northern end of barrier split, you’d spot the famous Sandy Hook Lighthouse. It is the oldest functioning lighthouse in the country!
13. Ocean Grove Beach
Ocean Grove Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in NJ because it is secluded and have fewer tourists coming over. The peaceful beach helps you relax while you munch on tasty treats from the food stalls. The bars have exclusive drinks and craft beers.
The only time you might find the beach full of people is during the kite flying events. The white sands of this beach are perfect to make sandcastles. You can even take part in a sandcastle contest, inner tube race, and much more.
The Ocean Grove Beach is pet-friendly but you need to pay a fee and take a badge to enter. You can visit the tiny town of Ocean Grove that is just a few steps away from its boardwalk. There are plenty of restaurants where you can eat and department stores to shop from. If you want to end the day with tasty ice cream, stop by at Nagle’s Apothecary Café.
14. Wildwood Crest
Wildwood Crest is one of the less crowded beaches that neighbors crazy party beaches to the north. This beach is apt for people who want to unwind after a great party and just relax. Wildwood Crest is clean, calm, and you can trying fishing here.
15. Lavallette Beach
The Lavallette Beach features two white-sand beaches by the perfect swimming waters and a mile of boardwalk. This beach is patrolled everyday by trained lifeguards and operates on the badge system too. You need to buy daily or seasonal passes ahead of time to go to this beach. You are not allowed to bring pets on the beach but you can bring them to the boardwalk.
You’d love to go around the town around the beach and shop, visit the yacht club, and eat at any of the great restaurants. Lavallette Beach is famous for the annual truck fest that happens in June.
Make sure you park your car in the streets of Lavallette as there isn’t much space near the beach.
16. Barnegat Light
Barnegat Light is one of the most beautiful New Jersey beaches. It is tough to navigate because you need to take a hike. There is a lot of space between the parking area and the beach, so you need to do some walking.
Once you reach the beach, it is pure bliss. It is one of the best places to relax and take the best travel photos. You can take a trip to the town’s lighthouse called the Old Barney. If you can climb up the 217 steps, you get the best views of the Long Beach Island and get to click more pictures here.
17. Avon by the Sea
Avon by the Sea locates near the Asbury Park and it is one of the most popular New Jersey beaches. The beach is always crowded during summers and you need to buy a beach badge in advance. They allow you to enter between 9 am to 5 pm only. You can purchase the badges from three different locations in Avon.
The beach offers plenty of parking space, restrooms, and other amenities. You will notice trained lifeguards that patrol the area right from the Memorial Day to the Labor Day. There are plenty of eateries and bars at the nearby boardwalk to keep you going all through the day.
18. Island Beach State Park
Island Beach State Park resembles the Sandy Hook at many levels. The beach looks visually appealing and natural, much like Sandy Hook. You can park your car near the beach and laze around as long as you can. It has a great food court with the best of booze and nibbles that you could need.
19. Ortley Beach
If you’re looking for a quiet beach that isn’t much fancy, you can come to Ortley Beach. This place is known to have a decent crowd that makes it one of the best family beaches in NJ. It has a simple boardwalk and lets you have some time alone. If you’re visiting the Lavallette Beach, you must drop in here for sunset.
20. Surf City
Surf City lies right in the middle of Long Beach Island and usually has the largest crowd. It is tough to get a parking spot here but there is a lot of food to look out for. It is one of the best places to go bodysurfing. If you can’t surf, allow yourself to be lost in the charm of the area around.
Depending on where you stay and where you want to go to when in New Jersey, you will find more beaches to get to. Simply navigate your way through and you might find one of the unexplored beaches that is worth your time.