Best Jersey Shore Beaches

Check out our selection of some of the best beaches on the Jersey Shore.
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Photo By: Craig Terry/Cape May County, NJ Department Of Tourism

Photo By: Craig Terry/Cape May County, NJ Department Of Tourism

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Photo By: Craig Terry/Cape May County, NJ Department Of Tourism

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Cape May

The oldest seaside resort community in the country hasn’t lost any of its luster and is still a popular beach for relaxing and exploring. Both Cape May’s lighthouse and its historic district — which is filled with lovely Victorian homes — are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ocean City

Just like that other Ocean City (in Maryland), this New Jersey town has something going for it besides the great beaches: a fantastic boardwalk with plenty of entertainment. The 2.5-mile stretch is a major reason that Ocean City is billed as "America’s greatest family resort."

Wildwood

With the widest beaches in the state, the Wildwoods — Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood — are the perfect place for building sand castles and playing volleyball. The area even boasts a dog-friendly beach that welcomes your pups year-round.

Long Beach Island

This 18-mile-long island, known to locals as LBI, is home to a number of small beach communities. On the northern tip, climb up 217 steps to the top of the Barnegat Lighthouse for amazing views of the Atlantic. Head farther south to find great surfing spots such as Beach Haven.

Spring Lake

One of New Jersey’s more upscale beach towns, Spring Lake offers 2 miles of quiet shoreline and the longest non-commercial boardwalk in the state. After a day in the sun, stroll through the quaint shopping district and stay in one of the 19th-century bed-and-breakfasts.

Avalon

The charming coastal town of Avalon is more laid-back and less crowded than many of New Jersey’s other beaches. Together with the equally idyllic Stone Harbor, it occupies a barrier island called Seven Mile Beach.

Point Pleasant

Families will have no trouble filling their days at Point Pleasant Beach. In addition to swimming along the spotless shores, there’s a kid-friendly boardwalk with rides, arcades and mini-golf. Even on cloudy days, visitors can enjoy stops at the town’s antique center and aquarium.

Atlantic City

Atlantic City may be most famous for its casinos, but for daytime summer fun, visitors head to the free beaches. The boardwalk provides easy access to world-class restaurants, high-end shopping and, of course, all those slot machines.

Manasquan

With lovely, wide beaches, Manasquan is a popular getaway for New Yorkers looking to escape from the city to the shore. Its reliable waves make it a major draw for surfers, but fishermen and families will also find plenty to do.

Lavallette

Lavallette is just north of Seaside Heights, but it couldn’t be more different from that party destination. Choose between the pristine (but facility-free) beach on the Atlantic and the calmer waters along Barnegat Bay.

Asbury Park

The beaches and revitalized boardwalk in Asbury Park attract a diverse and lively crowd. In the place where musical legend Bruce Springsteen started his career, it’s no surprise that music is a hot commodity. There are a number of venues amid the vibrant dining scene.

Sea Bright

A narrow, 4-mile-long community on the northern end of the Jersey Shore, Sea Bright is the state’s easternmost beach. It’s known for its many members-only beach clubs, but all visitors can enjoy the public beach in the center of town.

Seaside Heights

MTV’s reality series Jersey Shore may have given Seaside Heights a bad reputation, but it’s still a happening place to be — and not just for hard-partying 20-somethings. Both adults and kids will find entertainment along the lively boardwalk.

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