The Ultimate Jersey Shore Beach Guide

What to expect when you’re down the Shore this summer.

Karina Anthony enjoys the shade of her Virginia Beach Hotel. Photo by Jessica Orlowicz

The Jersey Shore has more than 130 miles of beaches linking together more than 40 municipalities, plus oceanfront parks areas under federal, state and county jurisdiction. Each has its own set of rules and fees. This summer, all require groups of beachgoers to maintain at least six feet of social distance on the sand. Many have limited access to beachfront amenities, including restrooms. This town-by-town guide was last updated in late June; watch for future updates as conditions change. You can also download our free Jersey Shore Beach Guide app (here for iPhones, here for Androids).

Monmouth County


Exit N105; S117

The National Recreation Area features historic sites and wide, sandy beaches, including Gunnison Beach, the state’s only legal nude beach. The Seastreak ferry brings visitors from New York. The 7-mile pathway is great for strolling or bike riding. Until further notice, admission will be limited to 50 percent capacity. The lighthouse, visitor centers, historic houses and picnic areas are closed.

Beach fee: Free.
Parking: Daily, $15. Season, $75. Limited capacity.


Exit N105; S117

The Shore’s northernmost beach town is dominated by private oceanfront clubs, mostly rebuilt after Sandy. Four access gates are open for beachgoers, but beach capacity and metered parking are limited. The walkway on the sea wall is closed. Restroom facilities are available; face coverings are encouraged. Popular eatery David Burke’s Drifthouse, is offering limited outdoor seating.

Beach fee: Daily, $8; under 12, free. Season, $100; seniors 65+ and disabled, $35. Active military and their families, free.
Parking: Limited on street, free. Season permit, $45.


Exit N105; S117

Large vacation homes look across Route 36 at the rocky seawall that kept most of them relatively safe from Hurricane Sandy. Masks are required everywhere but on the sand. Restrooms are operating at 50 percent capacity. Daily badge sales are limited to 175 per day; purchase badges via the Viply mobile app.

Beach fee: Daily, $9; under 12, free. Season, $75.
Parking: Limited on street, free. Season permit, $45.

Memorial Day weekend beachgoers in Long Branch observed the state’s guidance on social distancing. Photo by James J. Connolly


Exit 105

The trendy restaurants and shops of Pier Village have enlivened this historic oceanfront resort. Daily beach access is limited; access points are closed once beach is filled. Showers and portable potties are available on the beach. Badges are available in person or via the Viply app. The county-run Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park is open with restrictions on capacity and parking, and with strict social-distancing guidelines. Daily beach passes for the park can be purchased on site or via Viply. Park entry fee: $7; 17 and under, free. Parking: $10. No access after capacity is reached. In Pier Village, restaurants are open for expanded outdoor dining and select retailers are open for shopping.

Beach fee: Weekdays, $5; 14-17, $3. Weekends & holidays, $7; 14-17, $3. Seniors and 13 & under, free. Season, $45; students 13-17, $30.
Parking: Metered and free on street; Pier Village garages: Mon-Thur $15/day, Fri-Sun $25/day. Limited capacity.


Exit N100A; S105

Think of it as an affluent, insular suburb by the sea. Public beach access is available at the Conover Pavilion, rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy. Beachgoers must wear masks at entry points and while using the facilities. Water fountains and playgrounds are closed. Beach badges may be purchased at the Conover Pavilion kiosks on Phillips Avenue or at the Hathaway Avenue Beach kiosks.

Beach fee: Weekdays, $8. Weekends, $10; under 12, free. Season, $150.
Parking: Free on street and at Conover Pavilion lot. Limited capacity.


Exit N100A; S102

Music- and arts-centric beach town, with a love for good food, good drink and a good party. This summer, benches have been removed from the boardwalk, masks are required and a yellow line divides the boards into two lanes to encourage distanced walking. Each entry point to the beach has a dispenser for hand sanitizer. Beachgoers can pick up meals-to-go or sit for limited capacity outdoor dining at boardwalk food stands and restaurants, including Langosta Lounge, Pops Garage and Stella Marina. Major entertainment venues the Stone Pony, Asbury Lanes and the Wonder Bar are closed until further notice. Restroom access is limited; public showers, water fountains and playgrounds are closed. Daily beach badges are available via Viply starting at 6:30 pm the night before and on a frist-come-first-serve basis in person the day of. Downtown, sections of Cookman Avenue and adjacent streets are closed to vehicles Thursday-Sunday to allow for expanded outdoor seating at restaurants.

Beach fee: Weekdays, $5. Weekends, $7. Season, $70; teens 13-17 and seniors 62+, $20. Children under 12, active military and veterans, free.
Parking: Metered on street near beach and with daily fees in parking lots. Free parking a short walk from the beach.


Exit N100A; S100B

Founded as a religious retreat, this quiet, dry town still serves a large religious community in the summers, but also attracts artsy year-round residents. The original allotment of seasonal beach badges sold out in late May, and a second round was released in early June. A limited number of daily badges are available via Viply starting the night before. The shops and cafes on Main Avenue offer refreshments and meals with limited outdoor dining and beachware for curbside shopping and pickup. The historic tent city is open to its inhabitants as usual.

Beach fee: Daily, $9. Weekly, $40. Season, $90; juniors 12-17 and seniors, $45.
Parking: Free on street.

Brianna Tremblay of West Orange and son Logan, 3, prepare to hit the sand at Bradley Beach. Photo by James J. Connolly


Exit N98; S100B

Classic beach town with stone boardwalk and ornate fountains. Beach access and parking are limited this summer; daily badges are available via the Viply app. Restroom and shower access is also limited. At Avon Pavilion, outdoor dining is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

Beach fee: Daily, $13; 12 and under, free; active military, free. Season, $75; juniors 13-15, $25; seniors 65+, $30.
Parking: Metered near ocean ($1.50/hour). Free parking a short walk from the beach.


Exit N98; S100B

Family-friendly Victorian community with ample beachfront. Beach access and parking are limited this summer; daily badges are available via the Viply app. Restroom and shower access is also limited. The pavilion portion of the beachfront Avon Pavilion was closed at press time, but the kitchen is dishing out food to go, 4-7 pm daily.

Beach fee: Daily, $10; 11 & under, free. Season, $95; seniors 65+ and juniors 12-18, $50.
Parking: Free on street. Limited.


Exit 98

A larger Shore town with a long boardwalk and lots of dining and shopping on Main Street, six blocks from the beach. Families opt for the quiet north end, while the singles crowd heads for the livelier south-end beaches and nightlife. To encourage distancing this summer, additional ticket booths for daily badge sales (cash only) have been installed at the boardwalk; there are also two booths at Silver Lake. Seasonal badges are available at the Taylor Pavilion. Masks are required to enter boardwalk restrooms. On the bay side, limited outdoor seating is available at the 9th Avenue Pier (reservations recommended).

Beach fee: Daily, $9; 15 & under, free. Season, $70; seniors 65+ and disabled, $30. Active military and their families, first responders and veterans, free.
Parking: Metered on street. Free parking west of Ocean Avenue and on side streets.


Exit 98

Unhurried small town that seamlessly melds resort amenities with charming, upscale residential streets. Beach capacity is limited and beachgoers are required to wear masks at access points and when using bathrooms, interacting with beach staff and visiting snack bars. A limited number of beach passes, daily and seasonal, are available online via Community Pass. The Breakers on the Ocean is open for pickup and delivery, 11 am-5 pm, as well as limited outdoor dining.

Beach fee: Daily, $10. Season, $105; seniors 65+, $75; under 12, free. Late season (August 1-Labor Day), $65.
Parking: Free on Ocean Avenue.


Exit 98

Quiet, elegant hamlet with small downtown. Daily beach badges are available at the Pavilion on Beacon Boulevard and at the New York, Philadelphia and Trenton beach entrances. Access will be restricted to daily and seasonal-badge holders if the beach becomes overcrowded. Restrooms are open; social distancing is strictly enforced. Water fountains and concessions are closed. The Sea Girt Lighthouse and the popular Parker House eatery and nightspot were temporarily closed at deadline.

Beach fee: Daily, $10. Coupon book with 10 daily passes, $100. Season, $110; seniors 65+, $65; 12 & under and active military and their families, free. Fee added for credit card transactions.
Parking: Free on street.


Exit N90; S98

Quaint town with a small but bustling downtown business district and quiet boardwalk. Daily badges and parking passes are available at beach entrances. Restrooms, showers and water fountains are open, but playgrounds remain closed. Main Street downtown will be closed to vehicles on Wednesday and Thursday all summer to allow for outdoor shopping and dining. The Algonquin Arts Theatre had not announced opening plans by deadline.

Beach fee: Daily, $10. Weekly, $45. Season, $85; juniors 12-16, $40; seniors 65+, $30. Active military and their families, and veterans, free.
Parking: Free on street. Municipal lots, $10/day weekdays, $15/day weekends.

Ocean County


Exit N90; S98

Family-friendly destination, with lively boardwalk amusement rides, arcades, mini-golf and ample ice cream joints. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk and beach are open to the public, but amusement rides and Jenkinson’s Aquarium remain closed. The Adventure Lookout ropes course is open at noon daily. Boardwalk favorites Martell’s Tiki Bar and Jenks Club are open for outdoor dining. Charter fishing boats, including the Norma K-III and Gambler, are available for parties up to 25. Reservations are required.

Beach fee: Jenkinson’s North, South and Risden’s Beach: Daily, $10 weekdays, $11 weekends. Children 5-11, $3; under 5, free. Season, $100; seniors 65+, $75; children 5-11, $50; under 5, free.
Parking: Limited free street parking. Metered parking in municipal lots.


Exit N90; S98

With no public restrooms on the beach, upscale Bay Head is predominantly a destination for homeowners and seasonal renters. Beaches are open and badges are available via the Viply app or at the Bay Head Improvement Association Beach Office, 532 Lake Avenue (no credit cards). Mueller’s Bakery is open for takeout; expect long lines. Burke’s Market has a wide assortment of prepared foods for takeout. Many of the town’s gift and clothing shops are displaying sidewalk tables of merchandise to purchase by phone, credit cards only. Closest public restroom to the beach is in Centennial Park.

Beach fee: Daily, $8. Season, $90. Half-season, $50. Under 12, free.
Parking: Limited on street, free.


Exit N82; S98

Wealthy residential community of large oceanfront homes. Beaches are open. Day badges are available 10 am-6 pm daily at the Downer Avenue badge shed, and 10 am-6 pm Thursday-Sunday at the Lyman Street shed. Credit cards only. Restrooms are open on the walkways at Downer, Lyman and Albertson Street.

Beach fee: Daily, $10. Season, $75.
Parking: On-street parking, free (with four-hour time limit).


Exit N82; S98

Tiny residential community; one of the Dover North Beaches. The beach is open to members of the Normandy Beach Improvement Association (NBIA) or for anyone who purchases a daily badge, 9 am-2 pm at Bay Beach House entrance on Broad Avenue. Badges required as of June 25. Daily badge sales are limited.

Beach fee: Annual NBIA Membership is $375. Limited daily passes are available.
Parking: Limited on street.


Exit 82

Quintessentially quiet Shore town, with a yacht club, shops and restaurants. The beach is open with badges required as of June 20. The boardwalk is open to the public for walking, however, biking is prohibited this summer. Lavallette pavilions and public water fountains are temporarily closed. Seasonal beach badges are available for purchase only at the little league concession stand on the corner of Baltimore and Jersey City Avenue. Daily/weekly badges may also be purchased. Only check and credit card sales are accepted, no cash.

Beach fee: Daily, $12; under 12, free. Season, $50; weekly, $35; seniors 65+, $20; disabled visitors, $15. Active military and veterans, free.
Parking: Season, $10; limited street parking, free.


Exit 82

Summer retreat for families who bike to the beach and keep coming back. The beach and boardwalk are open, with social distancing required. Beach badges are available at the Recreation Administration office, 1810 Warren Point Road.

Beach fee: Weekday, $7; weekends, $8. Season,$50; lifetime senior badge 65+, $15.
Parking: Limited free street parking along the boardwalk. Pay-to-park lots at the end of Third Avenue and between Sixth and Seventh avenues.


Exit 82

Family-friendly boardwalk arcades meet singles-oriented nightlife scene. The beach and boardwalk are open; social distancing is required on the sand. Restrooms are open on a limited basis. Seasonal and daily badges are for sale on a limited basis, exclusively via the Viply app. At Casino Pier, rides, arcade games and the waterpark are temporarily closed.

Beach fee: Daily, $8; 11 and under, free. Season, $60; seniors 65+, $10. Active military and veterans, free. Bay Beach is free everyday.
Parking: Metered and private lots. Meters $1-$2 per hour depending on location.


Exit 82

A close neighbor to Seaside Heights, with its own boardwalk. The beach and boardwalk are open, social distancing is mandatory on the boardwalk. Badges are available at the Seaside Park website or at the Beach Control building and outside the Seaside Park Police Department (checks and credit cards only). Public restrooms are open in conjuntion with beach hours. Spots on the boardwalk are open for takeout or outdoor dining, including the Sawmill.

Beach fee: Daily, $10; under 11, free. Weekly, $35. Season, $60; seniors 65+, $20.
Parking: Municipal lots with park-and-pay kiosks on Ocean Avenue; free parking on side streets.

Island State Beach Park Photo by Frank Marshal


Exit 82

This narrow finger between the Atlantic and Barnegat Bay is one of Jersey’s last stretches of untouched oceanfront. It’s the place to go for nature and solitude. Swimming access is expected to open in phases starting July 1. Until then, beach access is allowed in one of two swimming areas, but swimming is barred. Guided tours are on hold until further notice. Parking is limited to 50 percent capacity. Bathrooms, pavilions and consessions are open. Masks are required at or around gatehouses, restrooms and park buildings. 

Beach fees: Free; entrance is charged per vehicle, Memorial Day-Labor Day.
Parking: NJ residents: $6 weekdays, $10 weekends and holidays, $5 motorcycles. Non-residents: $12 weekdays, $20 weekends and holidays, $7 motorcycles. Walk-in entrance at Fisherman’s Walkway, $3.

A quiet moment on the beach at Barnegat Light, the northernmost borough on Long Beach Island. Photo by Ann Coen


Exit 63

LBI fishing village meets quiet, unpretentious beach town. Beaches are open, and badges are available via the Viply app or 8 am-6 pm. at the booth on West 11th Street. The parking lots at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park are open 8 am-8 pm at 50 percent capacity, but Old Barney and the visitors’ center are closed, and there is no picnicking. Restrooms are open 11 am-3 pm.

Beach fees: Daily, $5. Weekly (Saturday-Friday), $22. Season, $40; seniors 65+, $12; 11 & under, free. There’s a $1 surcharge for badges purchased on the beach.
Parking: Free


Exit 63

Tony section of LBI, where many large homes have replaced the more modest originals. The beach is open, and beach badges are required starting June 27. Badges can be purchased via the Viply app, at the booth in Sunset Park, or from badge checkers on the beach. All July events are cancelled, including concerts, craft shows and sports camps.

Beach fees: Daily, $7. Weekly, $20. Season, $40; seniors 65+, $9; 11 & under, free.
Parking: Free


Exit 63

LBI’s artsy district, with galleries and eateries along the main drag. Beaches are open; beachgoers must adhere to social-distancing guidelines. Badges are available on the beach from badge checkers, 10 am-5 pm. The Surf City Volunteer Fire Company & EMS Farmers Market runs every Monday, 9 am-noon, through Labor Day. Local galleries, including Solace Studio + Gallery and m.t. burton gallery, will open when permissible; both offer online ordering and private appointments.

Beach fees: Daily, $8. Weekly, $20. Season, $45; seniors 65+, free; 11 & under, free.
Parking: Free


Exit 63

The gateway to LBI, with ample hotels, restaurants and shops—especially surf shops. All beaches are open; beachgoers must adhere to social-distancing guidelines. Beach badges can be prepurchased via the Viply app and picked up from a badge checker; no cash sales.

Beach fees: Daily, $10. Weekly, $25. Season, $45; seniors 65+, $10; 12 & under, free.
Parking: Free


Exit 63

LBI’s largest municipality hopscotches from Loveladies to Holgate, encompassing 19 communities. That means it offers a little of everything—from dining to shopping to quiet beaches. All beaches and public restrooms are open; daily badges can be purchased 9 am-3 pm at the 68th Street beach shack in Brant Beach  or from badge checkers. Daddy O in Brant Beach is open for outdoor dining.

Beach fees: Daily, $10. Weekly, $20. Season, $45; seniors, $5; 11 & under, free.
Parking: Free


Exit 63

The center of LBI tourism, with waterfront motels, a vibrant restaurant scene and downtown amusements. Beach badges are available at the badge office on Centre Street, from a checker on the beach (no cash) or via the Viply app. Additional beach staff will regulate the six feet of distance between groups that is required on the sand. Fantasy Island Amusement Park, Thundering Surf Waterpark are temporarliy closed. The Surflight Theatre is open for live singing and ice cream under thier “big-top” tent outdoors, and shows will resume in the outdoor space staring in early July. Restaurants with outdoor areas, such as Parker’s Garage and the Gables, are open for limited outdoor dining.

Beach fees: Daily, $5. Weekly, $20. Season, $40; seniors 65+, free; 12 & under, free.
Parking: Free

Atlantic County


Exit 38B

Family-friendly community just north of Atlantic City. Beaches and the Seawall Promenade are open; swimming is restricted to beaches with lifeguards. 4×4 vehicles are permitted on designated beaches; 2020 permit required. Beach tags and permits can be purchased from the Beach Fee office on 42nd Street. The Cove Beach recreational area is closed to vehicular traffic. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is conducting rescue operations as normal, but is closed for visits.

Beach fees: Daily, $10. Weekly, $15. Season, $20; seniors 60-64, $20; seniors 65+, free; 12 & under, free. Veterans, free. Active military, four free passes.
Parking: Limited free parking; permits for municipal lots $25 seasonal, $8 daily.


Exit 38B

New Jersey’s casino-gambling resort offers big-name entertainment, top-quality restaurants, family-friendly attractions and the original Boardwalk (celebrating its 150th  anniversary this summer). What happens in AC, stays in AC. The beach and Boardwalk are open, but casinos, the aquarium, carnival rides, playgrounds and indoor recreational facilities are temporarily closed. Social-distancing guidelines apply on the Boardwalk and the beach. Outdoor seating is limited; public restrooms are limited or closed entirely.

Beach fees: Free
Parking: Metered. Private lots and casino parking, roughly $5 weekdays, $10 holidays and weekends.


Exit 36

Resort community at the southern end of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is open for pedestrians and bike riders, but social distancing must be maintained. Beach badges are available for purchase at Ventnor City Hall or on the beach from designated checkers.

Beach fees: Season, $15; under 12, free.
Parking: Metered and free.


Exit 36

The year-round home of Lucy the Elephant, the Shore’s most hallowed hollow pachyderm. Alas, Lucy’s interior is temporarily closed for tours, but at 65 feet tall, she’s still an awesome sight to behold. Margate’s beaches, on the other hand, are open. Beach badges are available for purchase and pickup at the Martin Bloom Pavilion on South Huntington Avenue from 10 am-3 pm daily.

Beach fees: Season, $15.
Parking: Metered.


Exit 36

Upscale beach community at the southern tip of Atlantic City’s Absecon Island. Permissable beach activities include sunbathing, walking/jogging, surfing and fishing. Swimming is prohibited. Beach tags are available at the Longport Community Building on 33rd and Atlantic Avenue or via the Viply app. Dogs are allowed on Longport Dog Beach on Route 152 at Ocean Drive Bridge.

Beach fees: Season, $30; seniors 65+, $10; 12 & under, and active military and veterans, free.
Parking: Limited free.

Cape May County 


Exit N25; S30

Surf’s up in this dry town that’s hopping during the summer months—especially on the busy boardwalk. Beaches are open with social-distancing guidelines in place. Tents and canopies are prohibited on beaches between 1st and 10th Street. The boardwalk is accessible for daily exercise and takeout dining. Boardwalk attractions, including Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, Castaway Cove and OC Waterpark are closed until further notice. Corson’s Inlet State Park is open for hiking, fishing, crabbing, boating and sunbathing. Beach tags may be purchased in person at City Hall on Asbury Avenue. Boardwalk food concessions are open for takeout, with a limited number of restaurants offering outdoor dining options.

Beach fee: Daily, $10. Weekly, $15. Season, $25; Active military and their families, and veterans, free.
Parking: Limited free street parking; pay-to-park lots.


Exit N13; S25

Sssshhh. This secluded beach is the Shore’s best-kept secret. Beaches are open with social distancing enforced. Local favorite eateries the Old Shack, Twisties Tavern on the Bay and the Deauville Inn are open for takeout; check about outdoor service.

Beach fee: Free
Parking: Free


Exit N13; S17

Tight-knit town with lots of bars, a retro seafood village and a youngish crowd. Beaches are open, with social distancing enforced. Beach tags are available via the Viply app or at the Welcome Center, 9 am–4 pm daily. A beach-tag vending machine is accessible in the City Hall lobby.

Beach fee: Daily, $5. Weekly, $10. Season, $25 ($20 through June 30); Wednesdays, free.
Parking: Free on the street and metered in lots.


Exit 13

Sophisticated seaside enclave with large, secluded oceanfront homes. Beaches are open, with social distancing enforced. Beach badges are required starting July 3. Badges may be purchased through the Viply app or at the beach-tag booth at 30th Street and Avalon Avenue.

Beach fee: Daily, $6. Weekly, $13. Season, $30; 11 & under, free. Tags accepted in Stone Harbor. Beach tags are not required prior to July 3. 
Parking: Free


Exit 10

Lively downtown shopping and dining scene a few blocks from the broad, uncrowded beach. Beaches are open; social distancing is advised. Pickleball and tennis courts on 82nd and 97th streets are open for recreation (every other court for social distancing), with 90-minute time limits per group.  Salt Marsh Safari is open for tours; visitors are required to wear a face covering. The Wetlands Institute plans to reopen for visitors on June 22. The Reeds at Shelter Haven is open, with new social-distancing protocols; the hotel’s Water Star Grille is offering meals to go and outdoor dining at properly distanced tables. The Harbor Square Theater is closed until further notice. The Beach Tag Office (95th Street and the beach) is open daily for tag pickup and sales.

Beach fee: Daily, $6. Weekly, $13. Season, $30 ($25 before June 30); 11 & under, free. Active military and their families, free. Veterans, free. Tags accepted in Avalon.
Parking: Metered on street and in beach lot at 95th street; season permit, $225.


Exit N4; S6

Retro fun and lots of amusements for the whole family. Beaches are open and spacious for social distancing. At Morey’s Piers, amusement rides, games and waterparks are temporarily closed. Morey’s hotels—Blue Palms, Pan American, Starlux Boutique and Port Royal—are open, as is Curley’s Fries on Surfside Pier. The Caribbean Motel and other retro resorts are also open. Hereford Inlet Lighthouse is temporarily closed.

Beach fee: Free
Parking: Free


Exit 0

Historic resort town with something for everyone—especially if you love the Victorian ambience. Beaches are open; social distancing is advised. Seasonal and daily beach badges are available at booths located at Broadway, Gurney, Howard and Madison Avenues, and at select beach entrance ramps. Public restrooms are open and the promenade is accessible to walkers and joggers. Trails are open at the Cape May Bird Observatory. Retail stores are open for limited capacity shopping, and local restaurants—including Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille, the Mad Batter and the Rusty Nail—are open for outdoor seating in addition to serving meals-to-go.

Beach fee: Daily, $6. Three-day, $12. Weekly, $18. Season, $28; active military and their families, free.
Parking: Metered on street.

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