Looking to visit some of the best beaches in New Jersey? The state has long been known for its 130 miles of coastline and many beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. Even the term Jersey Shore has become ingrained in pop culture.
Whether you’re a visitor or a lifelong Jersey native, here are the 24 best beaches in New Jersey!
Best Beaches in Central Jersey
1. Ocean Grove Beach
Ocean Grove, New Jersey
Founded as a Christian camp meeting ground back in 1869, Ocean Grove Beach offers one square mile of pristine shoreline.
The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association still owns the beach today and hosts all types of fun beach activities year-round. Enter a sand sculpting contest, take part in a scavenger hunt, or watch a movie by the pier.
2. Sandy Hook Beach
Middletown, New Jersey
Sandy Hook Beach is comprised of six small beach areas and more than seven miles of total shoreline. Located on a small peninsula extending into New York Harbor, Sandy Hook offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city.
Because the beach is part of Gateway National Recreation Area, you can enjoy all kinds of park amenities as well. When you’re not swimming, take advantage of multiple hiking trails and bike paths. Then, grab a bite from one of the food and ice cream trucks that park on the beach!
3. Belmar Beach
Belmar, New Jersey
If you value cleanliness, be sure to visit Belmar Beach. Staff carefully groom this 1.3-mile beach each morning to ensure that it always remains in top condition for visitors. Smoking and littering are not only prohibited but also subject to fines.
Plus, Belmar is not only one of the best beaches in New Jersey but also one of the most accessible beaches in the state. Via the beach’s mobility mats, those with wheelchairs and strollers can easily access its sandy dunes.
4. Spring Lake Beach
Spring Lake, New Jersey
Located within the charming borough of the same name, Spring Lake Beach is surrounded by beautiful early 20th-century buildings. The beach offers over two miles of shoreline, as well as a two-mile boardwalk that stays open year-round. Spring Lake Beach also has five jetties that are designated for fishing.
At the beach’s north and south ends, there are food options, showers, restrooms, and other amenities. Keep in mind that all daily and season badges must be purchased online.
5. Asbury Park Beach
Asbury Park, New Jersey
One of the best beaches in New Jersey, Asbury Park Beach delivers one mile of beautiful sandy shores. There is a designated surfing area between Eighth Avenue and Deal Lake Drive, where surfing lessons and camps are held annually.
Keep in mind, however, that parking is limited and often fills up quickly. Be sure to arrive early, particularly if you’re visiting on a holiday, weekend, or during the typically busy summer months.
6. Long Branch Beach
Long Branch, New Jersey
Long Branch Beach is one of two beaches in Long Branch, a small resort town established in the 18th century.
The beach offers well over a mile of clean sand and is equipped with multiple ADA-compliant ramps. What’s more, surf chairs and water chairs are available for rent. Contact the beach office for more information.
7. Sea Girt Beach
Sea Girt, New Jersey
If you like to visit the beach year-round, add Sea Girt Beach to your shortlist of best beaches in New Jersey. The beach, its boardwalk, and pavilion stay open to the public all year long.
It is also home to the Sea Girt Lighthouse—a historic Victorian home that has stood for over 120 years. As one of the boardwalk’s starting points, the lighthouse leads you right to the water!
8. Sea Bright Public Beach
Sea Bright, New Jersey
Although the borough of Sea Bright is home to several beach access points, Sea Bright Public Beach is the standout. Considered one of the jewels of Jersey Shore, the beach is known for its tidy shores and quaint atmosphere.
This is a municipal beach, complete with lifeguards, restrooms, a playground, a pavilion, and plenty of parking. Access Sea Bright Beach from any one of six access points, a few of which are equipped with ADA-compliant ramps.
9. Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park
Long Branch, New Jersey
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park is one of the best beaches in New Jersey for those looking to avoid large crowds. Tucked away in an inconspicuous area of Long Branch, this haven delivers 38 acres of golden sand and various amenities.
There are several volleyball nets set up around the beachfront for visitors to enjoy. The beach also has a convenient snack bar and multiple sheltered eating areas.
10. Manasquan Beach
Manasquan, New Jersey
Manasquan Beach, which locals often refer to as the “Squan”, is a mile-long beachfront area perfect for surfing and swimming. With clean facilities, an arcade, and restaurants within walking distance, Manasquan has everything you need for a fun day out.
As for parking, the beach has five municipal parking lots nearby, as well as limited on-street parking.
11. Avon Beach
Avon By The Sea, New Jersey
Many regard Avon Beach as one of the cleanest, quietest, and best beaches in New Jersey. The beach stays open year-round, but be mindful that restrooms and other amenities don’t open until Mother’s Day weekend.
Since parking is limited to on-street parking, consider arriving early in the day to secure your spot.
Best Beaches in South Jersey
12. Cape May Beach
Cape May, New Jersey
With over two miles of gorgeous shoreline, Cape May stands toe to toe with the best beaches in New Jersey. The beach has 16 different access points, all of which could be considered separate beaches.
Cape May’s many beach activities include swimming, surfing, fishing, skimboarding, kayaking, volleyball, and more. Pick up a city beach tag and you’ll be able to access all the beaches throughout Cape May.
13. Avalon Beach
Avalon, New Jersey
Also known as Seven Mile Beach, Avalon Beach is a popular seashore resort in an affluent area of South Jersey. It not only frames Seven Mile Island but also extends into another borough in the Ocean City area.
Avalon Beach is known for its “high dunes”—an area of white sands that protects the beach from storm erosion. While 21 of the beach’s access points are protected, there are designated areas for swimming, surfing, rafting, fishing, and kayaking.
14. Ocean City Beach
Ocean City, New Jersey
Spanning eight miles, Ocean City Beach is a summer vacation hotspot for thousands of visitors each year. The beach is one of the more family-friendly best beaches in New Jersey, as alcohol is prohibited in Ocean City.
Be sure to take a walk down the beach’s historic boardwalk, which was built back in 1902. Today, it is home to two amusement parks, go-carts, mini-golf, and other fun vacation activities.
15. Wildwood Crest Beach
Wildwood Crest, New Jersey
The three-mile, award-winning Wildwood Crest Beach certainly deserves to be mentioned among the best beaches in New Jersey. Beyond its gorgeous oceanfront views, Wildwood is known for its retro-style buildings and family-oriented entertainment.
The beach has a recently-expanded boardwalk that spans well over 30 blocks. Check out all that this resort town has to offer as you soak up the sound of crashing waves.
16. Seaside Heights Beach
Seaside Heights, New Jersey
Geared towards young adults, Seaside Heights Beach delivers the stereotypical Jersey Shore experience. The beach attracts large crowds and is known for its bustling nightlife along Casino Pier.
To avoid the busyness of Seaside Heights, visit the beach on a weekday or during a non-summer month.
17. Brigantine Beach
Brigantine, New Jersey
Brigantine Beach is located on a barrier island only a few miles north of Atlantic City. Long regarded as one of the best beaches in New Jersey, Brigantine allows swimming, kayaking, and other water activities. There are even four designated surfing areas.
A serene escape from the ever-busy Atlantic City, Brigantine Beach is isolated from most buildings and attractions. Any restaurants will likely require a bit of a trek, so be sure to pack a cooler!
18. Long Beach Island
Long Beach, New Jersey
Long Beach Island lives up to its name, delivering a whopping 18 miles of sandy shoreline. “LBI” has six different beach access points, all of which offer something different.
For rest and relaxation, enter at Harvey Cedars or Barnegat Light. For a little more excitement, enter at Long Beach Township, Surf City, or Beach Bottom. Be sure to claim street parking early on in the day, as parking is limited.
19. Point Pleasant Beach
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
Located on Ocean County’s Barnegat Peninsula, Point Pleasant Beach is a resort town and beach of the same name. The shoreline spans one mile and provides breathtaking views of the Atlantic.
Aside from having one of the best beaches in New Jersey, the town’s main attraction is Jenkinson’s Boardwalk. It has not only standard boardwalk shops and amenities but also an aquarium, arcade, batting cage, and more.
20. Seaside Park Beach
Seaside Park, New Jersey
The small borough is home to two of the best beaches in New Jersey—Island Beach State Park and Seaside Park Beach. The latter spans nearly two miles and even has a small boardwalk for visitors to enjoy.
Seaside Park Beach is down the road from the township of Seaside Heights, making it the perfect alternative for those who prefer something quieter.
21. Lavallette Beach
Lavallette, New Jersey
Lavallette Beach is another oceanfront area that extends out onto the Barnegat Peninsula. As the town of Lavallette itself is less than a square mile in size, the beach is its main attraction.
Lavellette Beach is complete with a walkway, and if you walk far enough, you’ll come across a pair of bay beaches. These calmer waters are ideal for fishing, kayaking, and other pastimes.
22. Sea Isle City Beach
Sea Isle City, New Jersey
Sea Isle City Beach is one of best beaches in New Jersey as it has access points for various activities. For those who like to “hang 10”, there are eight access points designated for surfing. Kiteboarding is permitted at two access points, and kayaking is permitted at four access points.
What’s more, concession stands are scattered across the beach. You’re never too far from a cold beverage or treat!
23. Stone Harbor Beach
Stone Harbor, New Jersey
The southern counterpart to Avalon Beach, Stone Harbor Beach is one of two oceanfront areas on Seven Mile Island. This clean, quiet beach has welcomed visitors for over 75 years.
Take a stroll down its cobblestone street, which is lined with boutique shops. If you can spare the time, visit the Wetlands Institute to learn more about the Jersey Shore.
24. Margate Beach
Margate, New Jersey
Although only five miles from Atlantic City, Margate Beach holds its own as one of the best beaches in New Jersey. Spanning over one mile long and one mile wide, there is always plenty of white sand for visitors to enjoy.
What’s more, Margate Beach has access points down almost every avenue by its coastline. After swimming, surfing, or boating, be sure to visit the iconic Lucy the Elephant!
What to Bring to the Beach
Before visiting one of the best beaches in New Jersey, there are a few items you’ll need to gather:
Sunscreen is perhaps the most important item to pack for the beach. Protect your skin from harmful UV rays with the Neutrogena Sport Face Oil-Free SPF 70+. This broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen is great for all skin types and delivers sweat and water resistance for 80 minutes. Not to mention, it’s very affordable.
You should pack at least two towels whenever you visit the beach. Use one towel to lie down on the sand and another towel to dry off after swimming. We recommend grabbing a couple of NovForth Microfiber Beach Towels. They are oversized, soft, absorbent, and affordable!
Whether it’s a camping tent or canopy, bringing shelter to the beach will afford you extra sun protection and privacy. We recommend the Sun Ninja Pop Up Sun Shelter. It uses just four poles to assemble. Keep in mind, however, that some of the best beaches in New Jersey have no-tent rules. Check the beach’s website to confirm.
A beach chair is a must-have for when you aren’t swimming or lying down in the sand. The Coleman Utopia Breeze Beach Chair is our favorite, as it includes a mesh cupholder, back pocket, and carry bag.
When spending a day at one of the best beaches in New Jersey, it’s important to stay hydrated and nourished. Pack your drinks, food, and treats in the Tourit Cooler Backpack. It’s fully waterproof and leakproof, is equipped with cushioned straps, and fits up to 30 cans!
Wrapping Up the Best Beaches in New Jersey
If you crave big waves and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Jersey Shore is the place for you. Before visiting one of the best beaches in New Jersey, be sure to pack everything needed for a successful trip.
For sandy shores in other states, check out our best beaches posts from all over the country!