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Top 10 Beaches in New Jersey

Here's what you need to know...
  • Statistics show that tourism is on the rise in New Jersey which helps the state’s economy
  • Money spent on hotel rooms, food, recreation, and retail has helped create jobs and pay for government services
  • One of the largest tourists attractions in New Jersey during summer months is its 63 public beaches
  • Visitation growth is up by 2.4 percent in the state but is reported to be as high as eight percent in shore counties
  • You must consider scenery, the visitors, amenities around the beach, and location when you’re choosing a beach

When you think about domestic beach destinations, New Jersey probably won’t be the first place that comes to mind.

The Garden State is best known for sights like Liberty State Park and Thomas Edison National Historic Park, but there is no shortage of beaches to visit if you want to soak up the sun in one of the most historic states in the nation.

Since there are over 63 public beaches that you can choose from, planning your stay can be a bit difficult. If you don’t already have a favorite, you’ll have to sift through all of the options and choose which destination you want to spend your free time enjoying.

Thankfully, we got you covered. Let’s discuss the top 10 beaches in New Jersey we recommend and why you should choose the beaches of New Jersey to visit.

Looking to soak up some sun in New Jersey? Before hitting the road, enter your ZIP code above and compare at least three to four policies today to find the best auto insurance for you!

The Impact Tourism Has on the New Jersey Economy

New Jersey’s economy was severely impacted after Hurricane Sandy hit off the coast in October of 2012. When images of the Jersey Shore and the infamous Boardwalk were released, it was hard to imagine that shore cities in the area would ever recover.

Fast-forward just a few years, and you can see that Sandy didn’t hurt the economy for the long term. In fact, visitation in the state is up by over two percent statewide and as much as eight percent in shore cities during the warm summer months.

With tourism demand up 3.3 percent, more than $43 billion in revenues were generated because of visitation alone in 2015.

Some would attribute Atlantic City as the reason why so many are visiting New Jersey, but that’s not the case at all. Casino closures have slowed down visitors in the mood for gaming. In fact, winning declined by six and a half percent.

The reason that tourism is on the rise is primarily because of the good weather in New Jersey and all of the great shore cities there are in a relatively condensed area.

Why are the beaches in New Jersey so appealing?


New Jersey isn’t the only state on the east coast with beaches. That could leave you wondering why tourists are traveling up the coast to beaches in the Garden State instead of traveling south to Florida.

There are a few reasons why the beaches up and down the 130-mile coastline in Jersey are so appealing. Here are the most popular reasons:

  • So many options from barrier islands and fishing villages to bays and boardwalks
  • There are top-rated surfing beaches for skilled and new surfers
  • The beaches are clean and well-maintained
  • There are destinations that are perfect for families, children, young couples, and singles
  • Beaches are close to other attractions like historic monuments, museums, casinos, sports recreation centers, retail centers, and more

Top 10 Beaches in New Jersey

A beach has to have unique qualities to make the top 10 list. While not all beaches have the same must-do activities, there is sure to be a beach that you’ll love.

From quaint harbor towns to tourist attractions for the most lively guests, here is a large list of quality beaches located in one of the smallest U.S. states:

#1 — Cape May

Known For: The Cape May Lighthouse and Victorian homes
Must Do Activity: Go boating, visit local art shows on the island, or take time to visit the Cape May County Zoo

Cape May is the oldest seaside resort community in not just New Jersey but the entire country. That’s why it’s nicknamed the Queen of the Seaside Resorts.

With it’s majestic Cape May lighthouse and a district filled with some of the most dazzling Victorian homes, it’s the perfect place for relaxation and exploration all on the same trip.

#2 — Ocean City

Known For: A boardwalk that caters to the needs of kids and adults
Must Do Activity: The boardwalk, amusement rides on the beach, and riding your rental bike up the eight-mile coast

Ocean City isn’t home to the traditional boardwalk.

In fact, this town is as wholesome as it gets with attractions that are geared to keep the whole family happy.

The seaside community has heritage and character you can’t find in most areas all throughout the country. Alcohol is banned, but the fun isn’t. That’s why it’s called America’s Greatest Family Resort.

#3 — Atlantic City

Known For: Casinos and a boardwalk that is perfect for summer fun
Must Do Activity: Easy access to world-famous restaurants and high-class shopping on the boardwalk

If you live on the east coast, Atlantic City and Las Vegas have similar reputations.

While this is the place to visit when you’re in need of a gambling fix, it’s also a coastal resort town with a four-mile-long promenade that’s been in the city since 1870.

After soaking up the sun on the beach, don’t forget to visit the Entrance to the Stars which is much like the Hollywood Stars.

#4 — Long Beach Island

Known For: Surfing
Must Do Activity: Hang out with surfers from the east coast

If you love to surf, you’ll find that a lot of the beaches in New Jersey just aren’t ideal for surfing. The conditions are usually too dangerous, and you must wait long periods of time before you can rip tide.

Long Beach Island, which goes by LBI, is an exception to the rule. While the island itself does attract a lot of people, if you go to the southern tip you may be able to find the perfect jetty and less of a crowd.

#5 — Spring Lake

Known For: Upscale beach resort town
Must Do Activity: Sightsee on the non-commercial boardwalk and visit historic districts with fine dining

If you want to avoid partying and the college crowd, Spring Lake is the perfect upscale beach town to visit. While the two-mile beach is beautiful because of the ban on food and drinks, some believe what’s off the shore is even more so.

With tree-lined streets and historic Victorian homes, you can rent a house and enjoy the authenticity of this destination.

#6 — Avalon

Known For: One of the more secluded upscale beaches
Must Do Activity: Go sightseeing and visit some of the seven-mile island mansions

Sometimes the best getaway is one where you visit a beautiful yet secluded place. Whether you’re on a romantic getaway or a family trip, there’s always something for you to enjoy without having to face some of the larger Jersey crowds.

After you’ve soaked up plenty of sun, visit some of the Avalon mansions.

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#7 — Point Pleasant

Known For: One of the most family-friendly beaches with loads of attractions
Must Do Activity: Visit Point Pleasant Boardwalk where the Fun House and the Jenkinson’s Adventure Lookout Ropes are located

If you’re looking for a beach that will keep your children busy with all types of activities, go to Point Pleasant. The attractions are all in one place.

Here you’ll be able to enjoy most of your time on the Point Pleasant Beach boardwalk that’s been given the nickname ‘Seaside Playground’.

Complete the ropes course, hop onto rides, visit the aquarium, and then head over to an affordable restaurant for a delicious dinner.

#8 — Wildwood

Known For: The largest amusement park of all of the beaches in New Jersey
Must Do Activity: Ride all of the classic and thrill rides and then visit the town’s interactive art colony

Wildwood is perfect for families or for couples who are still kids at heart. Most boardwalks have at least a few amusement rides, but Wildwood is home to the largest amusement park nestled on a New Jersey beach.

With more than 100 rides and attractions located on a two and a half mile stretch of boardwalk, you’ll never get bored.

There’s also a seaside art colony that you simply can’t skip if you love the arts.

#9 — Asbury Park

Known For: Top-rated restaurants
Must Do Activity: Visit one of the many upscale restaurants located throughout the seaside town and on the boardwalk

If you make eating a priority when you’re on vacation, you may want to select Asbury Park just because of all of the top restaurants located there.

From German-style restaurants with schnitzel to modern eateries with upscale Mexican-inspired dishes and cocktails, the sky is the limit. Not to mention, you can eat all of this while sitting on a sandy white beach.

#10 — Stone Harbor

Known For: Family-friendly destination with beaches that you can bring pets to
Must Do Activity: Visit the northern end of the beach around 80th to take your four-legged friend to the beach with you

If your idea of a vacation is one where you can bring your pet with you, Stone Harbor tops the list of the pet-friendly beaches.

As long as your canine is leashed, you can visit the northern end of the coast until 6 pm. You are even allowed to take your pets downtown, where they hand out treats.

Safety Tips While at the Beach in New Jersey

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As beautiful as the beach is, if you aren’t cautious, your relaxing trip could end in disaster. Being prepared is the key to a good trip no matter where you’re going.

Here are some of the most valuable tips to consider to ensure you’re all smiles the whole trip:

  • Review posted signs and obey them
  • Check weather conditions before heading to the shore
  • Look for the lifeguard stand to see if there is a lifeguard on duty
  • Make sure children have a lifejacket
  • Look out for coral, sea urchins and other sea life
  • Swim in safe areas where there aren’t rip currents
  • Stay hydrated
  • Bring protective clothing and sunscreen

— Parking Tips at the Beach


You should also take the appropriate safety precautions when you’re parking your car in a public lot. You could contact a ride-sharing service for a quick ride to and from the beach, but having the freedom to come and go when you please is always a plus.

Here are a few shore parking tips to consider:

  • Park at the train station near Pleasant Beach to avoid paying $40 at lots
  • You can park on the beach if you have a mobile sports fishing permit
  • Avalon has a free lot at the beach entrance
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain sight
  • Don’t leave blankets in the car to look like valuables are under them
  • Buy a secure lock box

— Buy the Right Coverage


Lastly, you shouldn’t only focus on how to stay safe on the shore. Getting to the shore is a whole different task.

If you’re driving to New Jersey, be sure that you have the right car insurance. The last thing you need is to get into an accident without having protection.

If you’re renting a car, you can purchase coverage through the rental agency to supplement what you’re already carrying on your policy.

If you’re driving your personal car and it’s registered in New Jersey, you must have the coverage that’s required by law or you can be fined. Mandatory insurance laws say that you must have:

  • Third-Party Liability
  • Personal Injury Protection
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In addition to mandatory requirements, you should contemplate buying physical damage coverage to pay for repairs after a collision or a mishap in the parking area.

While parking anywhere is risky, at the beach where there is a lot of vehicle traffic, it’s much easier for vandals to strike.

Choose the beach destination that you love and start planning your summer trip. After the plans have been made, start arranging your insurance.

If you need help securing coverage, use an online rate comparison tool to shop around.

Try our FREE online quote too and start comparison shopping today! Enter your ZIP code below!

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