New Jersey Beaches

Our radar screens for the most action and once again, it’s directing us to these top 13 beach destinations. With 130 miles of coastline spanning from Sandy Hook to Cape May of unmatched beaches with treasured lighthouses, fishing and historical villages and scenic views, one does not need to leave this wonderful state. Featured here are our great day trip planning and getaway ideas. You will find wacky activities, traditional Jersey fun boardwalk excitement and competitions of all sorts, as well as historic sites and nature walks. Each exit offers highlights of the beach and special upcoming events and nearby family friendly attractions. Plan ahead and go to the beach website to check out rates and parking. So which exit suits you?

EXIT 117 – SANDY HOOK: A 7-mile stretch of sandy beaches bordering both the bay and the ocean. Enjoy swimming, sunning and surf fishing. Nearby activities: Gateway National Park, including Fort Hancock Nike Missile Base and Fort Hancock Museum; Twin Lights; Maritime Museum; hiking; biking; birding. Nearby Attraction: Keansburg Amusement Park and Runaway Rapids Water Park. Wednesdays - 6pm: Free Beach Concerts. End of Summer Party on Friday, September 8, 2017 at North Beach Pavilion.

EXIT 105 -- SEVENTH PRESIDENT’S BEACH AND LONG BRANCH: Enjoy the beach, boardwalk and Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, a 33-acre county park with facilities for swimming, boating and picnicking. Nearby attraction: Pier Village with shops, restaurants, and skateplex.

EXIT 102 -- BRADLEY BEACH: Family friendly with kids’ parks, Victorian Style houses, concert music series, and other entertainment. Surrounded by nearby beaches including famous Asbury Park, Avon By The Sea, and Ocean Grove. Walk along the revitalized Boardwalk of Asbury Park and you’ll find unique shops, eclectic restaurants and other entertainment. Check out Silverball Pinball Museum, Paramount Theater, Asbury Splash Park, Ghost & Vampire Tours, Asbury Amusement Factory, Antique Emporium. Experience Ocean Grove shops, arts and crafts shows, and the giant flea market at the Great Auditorium. June 10: Pirate Day. June 24-25: Bradley Beach Lobsterfest! June 26: Opera by the Sea. July 1: Summer Concert Series. July 3, 3-9pm.: Fireworks. July 29: Bradley Beach Pirate Day.

EXIT 98 -- BELMAR: Stretches across 1.3 miles with a revamped boardwalk for walking, jogging, people watching or relaxing. There are colorful and fun beach playgrounds every few blocks. Try the surf camp for kids of all ages, or beach volleyball (nets all set up, just bring the ball). Check out Belmar Parasail, fishing charters. Plenty of shops and restaurants. Farmers Market Every Saturday; July 12: NJ Sandcastle Contest. Nearby Lake Como. Movie on 8th Avenue Beach, July 22 and Saturdays in August, 8-10pm.

EXIT 98 -- SPRING LAKE: Considered one of the most beautiful seashore towns boasting 2 miles of uncluttered beach and the longest non-commercial boardwalk. You will find well kept Victorian mansions, bed and breakfasts, a quaint downtown area with over 50 fine shops and boutiques, gourmet restaurants and Spring Lake.

EXIT 98 – POINT PLEASANT: All the beach fun plus a mile long boardwalk. Walk along the famous Jenkinson’s boardwalk with dozens of rides alongside games of chance, some of the most competitive miniature golf and Jenkinson’s Aquarium. Kiddie Beach Shows and concerts, fishing excursions and the Antique Emporium. June 3, 4pm: Walk the Art’s. Monday: Kiddie Beach Shows. Wednesdays: Jenkinson’s Inlet Music Festival. Thursday: Fireworks. Fridays: Movies on the Beach

EXIT 98 – MANASQUAN: Elks Beach in Manasquan is the only beach dedicated to the handicapped in the Jersey Shore area, providing handicapped parking and a wooden boardwalk to a platform on the beach. In addition, there are several large handicapped chairs available for the use. Other attractions and things to do include: Algonquin Arts Theatre, Fisherman’s Cover Conservation Area, Edgar Felix Memorial Bikeway (nature and parks, biking trails), and Paddle boarding. July 1: Concert and Fireworks. July 18: Inlet Celebration. Manasquan. Thursday Concert on the Main Beach. September 2: Labor Day Celebration with concert and fireworks.

EXIT 63 – LONG BEACH ISLAND: Enjoy 18 miles of fun from kayaking, fishing, bicycling, boating, concerts and tours. Attractions: Fantasy Island amusement park, mini-golf, Surflight Theater family shows, Tuckerton Seaport and Batsto Village, Barnegat Lighthouse (climb 217 steps to the top), walk back in time at the LBI Maritime Museum, Thundering Surf Waterpark, Schooner’s Wharf. June 11: 5th Annual Privateers and Pirates Festival; Jun 25-26: 24th Annual Baymen’s Seafood & Music Festival. June 8-11: Ninth Lighthouse International Film Festival. June 16-17: 6th Annual Pour Into Summer Wine Festival.

EXIT 40 – BRIGANTINE: Relax on pristine white sandy beaches or get active and try your hand at sport fishing and windsurfing. Kids love Shark Park Playground. Other sites include the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, Brigantine Lighthouse and Brigantine Beach Historical Museum. Across the bridge is the world famous Atlantic City Boardwalk. Take a walking tour of the first boardwalk in the U.S. Then soak up the sun and jump the waves at the beach. Shop at the AC Shopping outlets.

EXIT 30 – OCEAN CITY: Located at the tip of Cape May County, Ocean City is family-friendly beach town with Gillian’s Wonderland Pier Amusement Park, Playland’s Castaway Cove, Boardwalk Adventures Water Park, Corson’s Inlet State Park, arcade, boardwalk, mini-golf, Ocean City Pops Orchestra concerts. Jun 2: Wonder Bear’s Birthday at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier. June 2-4: Ocean City Flower Show. June 14-17: Miss New Jersey Pageant. July 4: Fourth of July Celebration with kite flying competition and fireworks. Tuesdays 10am – 1pm on Asbury Ave: Funtastic Tuesdays with entertainment, face Painters, balloon sculptors. Thursdays-7:30-9:30pm: Family Night with entertainment on the boardwalk. July 21 - 8pm. O-Town and Ryan Cabrera in Concert. August 12: Miss Ocean City Pageant. August 18 - 7pm. Little Miss Ocean City

EXIT 17 -- SEA ISLE CITY: There are beaches for everyone from catamaran and sailboat launching beaches, kayaking beaches, rafting beaches, surf-fishing beaches, to volleyball beaches and kiteboarding beaches. June 18-19: Skimmer Festival, 24-26: Food Truck Festival. You’ll also find biking and inline skating, sailing lessons, family fun nights and family dance parties at Excursion Park plus free concerts and movies under the stars, full moon beach yoga, and a historical museum. June 3, 2-6pm: Sea Isle Beer Fest. July 4: Concert and Fireworks. Thursday: Family Fun Night. Fridays: Free Movies Under the Stars. Saturdays: Free Concerts Under the Stars

EXIT 10A – STONE HARBOR: Flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on the East and the Inter-coastal Waterway on the west, Stone Harbor is known as Seven Mile Island and has endless beautiful, family beaches. Non-beach activity: Wetlands Institute, a nature center, featuring exhibits on marine live; dune walks and kayaking. Downtown Stone Harbor with cute unique shops and places to eat, and a Birding & Wildlife Cruise. Mondays: Stone Harbor Family Nights Free. Wednesdays: Stone Harbor Movie Nights on the Lawn. July 2: Stone Harbor Independence Day Celebration with music and fireworks.

EXIT 4B – WILDWOOD: Voted one of the top New Jersey beaches, Wildwood has it all – powder white beaches, an abundance of sport opportunities, amusement parks, water parks and more. Best of all – no badge fee! Other activities include historical tours, zoo, dolphin tours, horticultural gardens and more. Check out Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Water Parks, Splash Zone Water Park, Wildwood Convention Center, George Boyer Historical Museum, Seaport Aquarium, Doo Wop Preservation League Museum, Wildwood Insectarium. Friday Nights: Fireworks on the Beach. Wednesdays & Saturdays: Wildwood Crest Summer Music Series. June 23-25: North Wildwood Italian-American Festival. July 7-9: NJ State BBQ Championship & Anglesea Blues Festival. July 4: Parade and Fireworks

EXIT 0 – CAPE MAY: Located at the southern tip of Cape May Peninsula where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Cape May is a perfect destination for both couples and families. There are beautiful powdery beaches, plus its biggest attractions, the Cape May County Park and Zoo, Nature Center of Cape May, and Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum at Cape May Airport. Upcoming events at the Historic Cold Spring Village: June3: Harborfest. July 1-2 Independence day Celebration. Wednesdays at Cape May Lighthouse: Family Fun Days. July 15-16: 13th Annual Celtic Festival. July 25 at Cape May Lighthouse: Christmas in July.