New Jersey has some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast, with something to offer for everyone. In fact, each year the NJ Sea Grant Consortium runs a contest where folks can vote on the top New Jersey Beaches. When thinking about what makes a beach great, these areas may be top of mind:
- Cleanliness: Any top rated beach should be clean and free of litter, debris, and pollution. Visitors should feel comfortable walking barefoot and of course swimming in the water.
- Sand Quality: A great beach should have soft, fine-grained sand so it is easy to walk on and doesn’t get too hot under the sun.
- Water Quality: Who wants to swim in murky water. A top beach should have clear, clean water. It’s also important to keep in mind that a beach that has waves (which some people prefer) will not have clear water. The waves tend to churn up the sand keeping the water from being clear.
- Scenery: Scenery could including anything from people to beautiful vistas, natural landmarks, and colorful sunsets.
- Accessibility: Look for things like ample parking, public transportation, and other facilities to make it convenient to visit the beach.
- Facilities: A top beach should have facilities such as restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and food concessions to make visitors comfortable.
- Activities: The beach is always more fun if there are activities such as surfing, snorkeling, boating, fishing, and beach volleyball to keep visitors entertained.
- Safety: Last but not least, safety is really a critical factor. The beach should have lifeguards on duty, warning signs in hazardous areas, and other safety measures to ensure that visitors can enjoy the beach without worrying about their safety.
Here are some of the top New Jersey beaches:
- Cape May: Located at the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May is known for its Victorian architecture and beautiful beaches. Cape May is a popular family-friendly destination, with wide sandy beaches, calm waters, and a charming boardwalk.
- Ocean City: Known as America’s Greatest Family Resort, Ocean City is a bustling beach town that attracts visitors from all over. Ocean City’s beaches are clean and well-maintained, and there are plenty of family-friendly activities, such as mini-golf, water parks, and amusement rides.
- Wildwood: Wildwood is a classic beach town with a retro vibe. The beaches are wide and spacious, with plenty of room for sunbathing, swimming, and playing beach games. The boardwalk is a popular destination, with arcades, shops, and restaurants.
- Long Beach Island: Long Beach Island is a 18-mile-long barrier island with some of the best beaches in New Jersey. The island has a relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere, with plenty of activities, such as fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
- Asbury Park: Asbury Park is a vibrant beach town known for its music scene, art galleries, and trendy restaurants. The beach is wide and clean, with plenty of space for beachgoers. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants in the area to explore.
- Point Pleasant: Point Pleasant is a popular beach town with a lively boardwalk and plenty of family-friendly activities. The beach is clean and spacious, with calm waters for swimming and playing in the waves. The boardwalk has plenty of restaurants, shops, and amusement rides.
Our Top New Jersey Beaches Pick: Seaside Heights! (duh)
Also voted top beach in Ocean County 2022, so we aren’t alone in our assessment. If you are looking for a walkable and community feel for your summer vacation? Look no further….Seaside Heights is very walkable town and at 16-by-4-blocks, has over a mile of wide sandy beaches with everything you need moments away.
The beaches are wide and clean. At low tide, there are many spots that have fantastic sand bars which are great for shell collecting, lounging in the sun or perhaps a quick soccer game….fun for the whole family!
From Memorial Day to Labor Day the beach costs $10 per day, or you can get a season badge for $50. Children 11 and younger are always free!
You can find affordable parking all up and down Seaside and all a very short walk to the beach. When you get there, if you don’t have your own chairs and umbrellas there are several vendors right on the beach who offer rentals.
Of course it is just a short walk up to the boardwalk for lunch, and when nature calls, there are several free public restrooms are located along the boardwalk at Webster, Kearney and Hiering Avenues.
Have a little to much sand on you? There are cold showers available at all ramps to rinse off. Is it a wonder that Seaside Heights is rated as a Top Jersey Shore Weekend Getaway by FunNewJersey.com?
Seaside is also a popular surfing beach. Surf areas are located at Grant Avenue and Sheridan Avenue at all times of the day.
If someone in your party has wheelchair needs, then Seaside has you covered there as well. The town is proud to offer a FREE Beach & Boardwalk Wheelchair Program. Surf chairs are available at the Webster Ave information booth, but you can make arrangements during any operational day by calling Lifeguard Headquarters (732) 793-4646.
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down! After a day in the sun, whether you have a rental to go back to or if you make use of the hot showers and changing facilities located at the end of Hiering Ave (privately operated and costs a small fee) stay a bit longer and enjoy nightly activities.
July through August Seaside runs FREE weekly entertainment programs. Music Mondays features rock & roll, jazz and oldies at the Hiering Ave stage at 7pm.
There are fireworks every Wednesday which can be enjoyed from anywhere on the boardwalk at 9:30. Date night out? Enjoy a movie every Thursday located at the end of Hiering Ave at dusk. Sunday night it’s the kids turn (13 and over) – same time and place!
While Kites, Kayaks, Ball Playing, Frisbee throwing and related recreational activities that could inconvenience fellow beach-goers, are generally prohibited when the beaches are open guests are invited to partake in those activities before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m. or if the beach is not crowded during regular hours (subject to the discretion of the Lifeguard Captain).
Overall, these top New Jersey beaches offer something for everyone, from lively boardwalks to quiet, family-friendly towns. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway or a fun-filled family vacation.