New Jersey, often overshadowed by its cosmopolitan neighbor, New York, boasts a plethora of natural treasures. One of its crowning glories is the impressive stretch of coastline adorned with pristine beaches. The state’s diverse coastline, ranging from historic boardwalks to secluded natural retreats, offers something for everyone. If you’re on the lookout for the best beaches in NJ, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a deep dive into the must-visit beaches that define New Jersey’s shoreline.
See The List below of the 17 Best Beaches in NJ
1. Cape May
Nestled at the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May is more than just a beach; it’s a historical journey. From its Victorian homes to the vintage trolleys, everything tells a story. However, its beach is undeniably the main attraction. Stretching miles, the soft sand and gentle waves beckon visitors for a day of sunbathing, swimming, and dolphin watching. Post-beach activities? Stroll the boardwalk, indulging in gourmet treats, or hopping onto a horse-drawn carriage for an evening ride.
2. The Wildwoods
Stretching over five miles, The Wildwoods offers an enchanting blend of thrilling amusement parks, music festivals, and the tranquility of vast sandy beaches. The free beaches here are spacious, allowing ample room for sunbathers and beach games. The iconic boardwalk, teeming with life, offers an array of entertainment from concerts to roller coasters, making it a hub for families and thrill-seekers alike.
3. Ocean City
Popularly dubbed ‘America’s Greatest Family Resort’, Ocean City is a sanctuary for families. The lifeguard-protected beaches are perfect for kids, while the 2.5-mile boardwalk brimming with shops, eateries, and attractions guarantees hours of non-stop entertainment. Whether you’re building sandcastles, sampling the famous fudge, or biking down the boardwalk, Ocean City promises an unforgettable experience.
4. Asbury Park
A haven for art lovers, Asbury Park seamlessly blends its rich musical history with the tranquil allure of its beaches. Beyond sunbathing and swimming, this trendy hotspot is famous for its live music venues and bustling boardwalk. With eateries serving everything from gourmet pizzas to sushi, and boutique shops scattered throughout, it’s not just one of the best beaches in NJ but a cultural experience in itself.
5. Stone Harbor
Stone Harbor offers a blend of upscale relaxation. Its beaches are quieter, giving visitors a sense of peace and exclusivity. The town itself is dotted with boutique stores, art galleries, and delightful eateries. For those keen on adventure, there are water sports, while nature enthusiasts can explore the nearby bird sanctuaries.
6. Long Beach Island
Sprawling across 18 miles, Long Beach Island or LBI, as locals fondly call it, is the quintessential beach destination. Its vast expanse comprises serene beaches, surf spots, and a string of seafood restaurants serving the freshest catch. Whether you’re devouring a lobster roll, kite-surfing, or simply soaking up the sun, LBI is sure to captivate.
Renowned for its high dunes and serene ambiance, Avalon is where you go to escape the bustle. The beaches are immaculate, bordered by dune trails perfect for a morning jog or a sunset walk. With myriad water activities on offer, from kayaking to paddleboarding, Avalon ensures an action-packed beach day.
8. Sea Bright
Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Shrewsbury River, Sea Bright promises panoramic views. Its exclusive beach clubs and private beaches give it an air of luxury. Yet, there are public beaches for those looking for a simple day of sun and surf. Post-beach, the town offers a variety of dining options, from seafood shacks to gourmet restaurants.
9. Spring Lake
Beyond its two-mile non-commercial boardwalk and pristine beaches, Spring Lake oozes charm with its historic inns and B&Bs. Often termed the ‘Jewel of the Jersey Shore’, it offers tennis courts, parks, and boutiques, making it more than just a beach destination.
10. Point Pleasant Beach
Lively and vibrant, Point Pleasant Beach boasts a bustling boardwalk lined with arcades, eateries, and an aquarium. The beach, perfect for sunbathing and swimming, becomes a hub of activity in the evenings with concerts and fireworks.
Belmar, one of the best beaches in NJ, is a magnet for both beachgoers and party enthusiasts. Its expansive beachfront is perfect for volleyball, surfing, and sunbathing. Come evening, the town comes alive with its vibrant nightlife, making it a favorite among younger crowds.
12. Seaside Heights
Synonymous with its Ferris wheel, Seaside Heights offers more than just panoramic views. The boardwalk, alive with arcades and food stalls, is a staple, while the beach serves as a hub for festivals and concerts throughout the summer.
13. Bradley Beach
This tranquil beach offers the best of both worlds. The scenic boardwalk is perfect for leisurely walks, while the beach, known for its cleanliness, is ideal for relaxation. Events like the annual Lobsterfest add to its charm.
14. Sandy Hook
Steeped in history, Sandy Hook offers more than just beaches. The historic lighthouses and gun batteries are a must-visit. Its bay-side beaches are a hotspot for kite surfing and fishing, making it a versatile destination.
Popular among families and surfers, Manasquan guarantees fun. Its beaches are lifeguard-protected, while the town boasts live theaters and concerts, ensuring entertainment on and off the beach.
16. Island Beach State Park
Preserving New Jersey’s shoreline’s natural beauty, this state park is a nature lover’s paradise. It’s home to various ecosystems, from dunes to tidal marshes. The beaches are untouched, making it perfect for those seeking solitude.
17. Barnegat Light
Known for its iconic lighthouse, Barnegat Light is more than just a beacon. Its beaches, peaceful and less crowded, are complemented by nature trails, making it a perfect blend of beach and nature.
In conclusion, New Jersey’s coastline is a treasure trove of experiences, waiting to be explored. Each beach, unique in its ambiance and offerings, promises memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history buff, or simply looking to unwind, the best beaches in NJ offer something for every traveler. Dive in, explore, and let New Jersey’s shores enchant you.