With over 100 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline, New Jersey beaches are awesome travel destinations for beach goers and families. The Garden State is situated in the Northeast region of America. As a result, the state's climate offers favorable weather and water temperatures throughout the Summer and Fall season(s). Jersey residents, as well as traveling tourists from surrounding states like Pennsylvania and New York, know and love the beach culture along the Jersey coast. New Jersey's coastline offers crowded beach towns as well as state parks with stretches of empty beaches. The state hosts long boardwalks, amusement parks, water parks, and some of the best beaches on the East Coast, all guarded by well-trained lifeguards. Families in this region go "down the shore" for kayaking, boogie boarding, wind surfing, and to practice their mini-golf and ice cream eating skills.
Visitors from cities like Philadelphia and New York City must conduct research before picking a beach destination that suits them. Before a road trip getaway along NJ's coast, readers should consider the following travel guide to find the best, family-friendly beaches to lay out in the Jersey sand (in no particular order)...
New Jersey Beaches to Excite the Whole Family
1. Cape May
The small town of Cape May lies on the Southern tip of New Jersey. Cape May is best known for colorful, Victorian style houses that make up the town. Not many travelers find solitude in Cape May during the Summer months. The town is completely jam packed during this season—which is part of the allure for many visitors. Head to the Cape May strip mall and to the town's many eateries to sample the delicious, local fare. There are family activities aplenty in this two-mile town from beach volleyball and surfing to exploring the Cape May Zoo and the scenic sunsets in North Cape May.
2. Ocean City
Ocean City is best known for its boardwalk, where folks can sample classic fare like the famous Manco and Manco pizza. Walk down the long boardwalk and look for well-known gathering spots like Gillian's Wonderland Pier to ride the ferris wheel and play on the miniature golf courses. Ocean City is a dry town where families with kids have tons of options for activities during their stay. Ocean City's boardwalk is found on the North end of the island and the more residential area lies in the South end.
3. Seaside Heights and Seaside Park
Two very different scenes are found right next to each other in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, NJ. Seaside Heights is the well-known and nationwide recognized site of the reality show, "The Jersey Shore." On the other hand, Seaside Park is home to Island Beach State Park which is the largest reserve of undeveloped barrier island in New Jersey. Theoretically, one could go clubbing in shoulder-to-shoulder crowds in Seaside Heights one night and find themselves without a soul as far as the eye can see the next day in Island Beach State Park. To say there are options for anyone along these two beach towns is an understatement!
4. The Wildwoods
North Wildwood, West Wildwood, Wildwood proper, and Wildwood Crest make up this five-mile island. There is no beach badge required as the Wildwoods are some of the last free NJ beaches. The Morey's Piers and boardwalk are highly visited on this South Jersey barrier island in Cape May County.
5. Atlantic City
Looking to go gambling in New Jersey? There is no better location than Atlantic City. Get a cocktail, have a nice dinner, and see a show before hitting the blackjack table at hotels like The Borgata or Harrah's.
6. Asbury Park
Made famous by Bruce Springsteen and Tillie, Asbury Park is the place to see live music. From famous music venues like The Stone Pony and Wonder Bar, to street performers playing as Ocean Grove turns into Asbury—visitors can see world-class musicians perform on any given night. Otherwise, Asbury offers a boardwalk area, many beaches, restaurants, and much more to keep travelers occupied during their stay.
7. Point Pleasant
Point Pleasant Beach is home to the famous Jenkinson's boardwalk, where tourists can find food, drinks, and attractions like the aquarium. Point Pleasant has many family beaches as well—find a place to park and hit the beach all day long. After the beach, head down to the inlet to feast on some locally caught seafood.
8. Sandy Hook
Monmouth County is home to Sandy Hook—a National Recreation Area where visitors from across the country flock to during the Summertime. Sandy Hook is also home to one of the only nude beaches on the East Coast: Gunnison beach. For everyone else not interested in getting their cheeks burnt, head to parking lots like "D" or "C" to enjoy a family-friendly beach environment with opportunities for surfing and swimming.
9. Stone Harbor & Avalon
Neighboring shore towns Stone Harbor and Avalon are as beautiful and scenic as it gets in South Jersey. As a result, the price point of these towns for residents and tourists is a bit higher than somewhere like Wildwood. The seven-mile stretch includes some awesome beaches and opportunities for waterfront drinking and dining.
10. Long Beach Island (LBI)
LBI is a barrier island made up of shore towns like Barnegat Light on the North end, Beach Haven in the South, and Ship Bottom & Surf City when tourists enter the island. Head south to entertain the kids at Fantasy Island Amusement Park in Beach Haven. While there, try the nearby fan-favorite food joint known as Chicken or the Egg. Long Beach Island is a beautiful place with so much to do for the whole family.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there's nothing better than the Summer months at the Jersey Shore! Any family with kids is liable to have an awesome beach day when traveling to these family-friendly New Jersey beaches. Enjoy traveling the NJ coastline!
Any New Jersey beach ideas of your own? Share your adventure at our Wide Open Roads Facebook!
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