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. You can also download our free Jersey Shore Beach Guide app (here for iPhones, here for Androids).

Monmouth County

SANDY HOOK

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.

Don’t miss: Fort Hancock; Sandy Hook Lighthouse; 7-mile multi-use pathway.
This summer: Sandy Hook is open daily from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Lighthouse, visitor centers and historic houses are closed until further notice due to Covid-19. 
Beach fee
: Free.
Parking: Daily, $20. Season, $100. Limited capacity.

SEA BRIGHT

Exit N105; S117

The Shore’s northernmost beach town is dominated by private oceanfront clubs, mostly rebuilt after Sandy.

Don’t miss: David Burke’s Drifthouse.
This summer
: All seven beach access gates will be open this season; daily wristbands will be sold by gate attendants whenever the beach is open. 
Beach fee
: Daily, $8; under 12, free. Season, $100; seniors 65+ and disabled, $35. Active military and their families, free.
Parking: Metered parking available for $1 per hour 9 am to 9 pm, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

MONMOUTH BEACH

Exit N105; S117

Large vacation homes look across Route 36 at the rocky seawall that kept most of them relatively safe from Hurricane Sandy.

Beach fee: Daily, $9; under 12, free. Season, $80. Available for purchase online with Viply; limited to 175 visitors per summer season.
Parking: Limited on street, free. Season permit, $45. Season permit grants access to parking at main pavilion and a separate lot.

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

LONG BRANCH

Exit 105

The trendy restaurants and shops of Pier Village have enlivened this historic oceanfront resort.

Don’t miss: Seven Presidents Park; Pier Village; the West End; New Jersey Repertory Company.
This summer
: 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: $8 for 18+; 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 14-17, $30. Badges only for Long Branch Municipal Beach, not Seven Presidents Park.
Parking: Metered and free on street. Garages in Pier Village, Mon-Thurs, $15/day; Fri-Sun, $25/day. Limited capacity.

DEAL

Exit N100A; S105

Wealthy, insular suburb by the sea.

Don’t miss: Conover Pavilion; Axelrod Performing Arts Center.
This summer
: 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: Weekday admission, $10; weekend or holiday admission, $12; children under 12, free. Season, $150.
Parking: Free on street; lot at Conover Pavilion. Limited capacity.

ASBURY PARK

Exit N100A; S102

Music- and arts-centric beach town, with a love for good food, good drink and a good party.

Don’t miss: The boardwalk; Cookman Avenue shopping and cafes; the Stone Pony; the Wonder Bar; Asbury Lanes.
This summer
: 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. Both Stone Pony and Asbury Lanes will be opening this summer. Wonderbar’s outdoor area is open. 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 first-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, $6. Weekends, $9. Daily badges available via Viply at 6:30 pm the night prior or in person the day of if not sold out. Season, $70 for adults; teens (13-17) and seniors (62+), $20. Children under 12, active military and veterans are free. Weekdays free until mid-June.
Parking: Metered on street near beach and with daily fees in parking lots. Free parking a short walk from the beach.

OCEAN GROVE

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.

Don’t miss: The historic tent city; the Great Amphitheatre; Main Avenue shopping and restaurants.
This summer: 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 at 5 pm. 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, $10. Season, $95; juniors 12-17 and seniors, $50. Weekdays free until mid-June. Beach will only be open on weekends from Memorial Day to June 19, and open daily from June 20–Sept. 7.
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

BRADLEY BEACH

Exit N98; S100B

Classic beach town with stone boardwalk and ornate fountains.

Don’t miss: The Buttered Biscuit for breakfast and brunch; Del Ponte’s Bakery for fresh baked goods.
This summer: Seasonal and daily badges are available in limited quantities via Viply or in-person sales. The daily entrance fee has been raised this year from $9 to $12. Six feet of distance is enforced on the beach; masks are encouraged. Restrooms are open; there are no parking restrictions.
Beach fee: Daily, $12; 12 and under, free; active military, free. Season, $80; seniors (65+), $30; juniors (13-15), $30.
Parking: Metered street parking near ocean ($1.50/hour). Free parking west of the ocean. All Parking on the East Side of Ocean Avenue and the East End of Bradley Blvd. is paid parking. The parking spaces are numbered, and payment is accepted at the pay station kiosks located on Ocean Avenue and Sylvan Lake.

AVON-BY-THE-SEA

Exit N98; S100B

Family-friendly Victorian community with ample beachfront.

Don’t miss: Avon Pavilion.
This summer: Beach access and parking are limited this summer; daily badges will be sold in person at the Sylvania Ave, Washington Ave and Norwood Ave booths. (No longer using 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, $12; 11 and under, free. Season, $100; seniors (65+) and juniors (12-18), $55.
Parking: Free on street. Limited.

BELMAR

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.

Don’t miss: 9th Avenue Pier.
This summer: 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 and under, free. Season, $70 seniors and disabled, $30. Active military and their families, first responders, and veterans with proper ID get onto the beach for free.
Parking: Metered on street. Free parking is available on the west side of Ocean Avenue and along side streets. The east side of Ocean Avenue is now paid parking. Download the app to pay virtually.

SPRING LAKE

Exit 98

Unhurried small town that seamlessly melds resort amenities with charming, upscale residential streets.

Don’t miss: The Breakers on the Ocean; Spring Lake Community House and Theatre 
This summer
: 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. Badges are only available to purchase online. No cash or credit accepted at beachfront. 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. Under 12, free. Late season (August 1–Labor Day), $70; seniors (65+), $80. Weekdays free until mid-June.
Parking: Free on Ocean Avenue.

SEA GIRT

Exit 98

Quiet, elegant hamlet that shuts down at midnight.

Don’t miss: Sea Girt Lighthouse; the Parker House; downtown shopping district.
This summer
: 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 badges holders if the beach becomes overcrowded. Badges are also available to purchase online on CommunityPass. Restrooms are open; social distancing is strictly enforced. Water fountains and consessions are closed. The Sea Girt Lighthouse is temporarily closed.
Beach fee
: Daily, $11.98. Coupon book with 10 daily passes, $100. Season, $110; seniors 65+, $65; 12 and under, active military and their families, free. Fee added for credit-card transactions.
Parking: Free on street.

MANASQUAN

Exit N90; S98

Quaint town with a small but bustling downtown business district and quiet boardwalk.

Don’t miss: Algonquin Arts Theatre; Main Street shopping district.
This summer
: 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 has reopened.
Beach fee: Daily, $10 for 12+. Weekly, $45 for 12+. Adult season, $85; senior season (65 and older) $30; junior season (ages 12–16), $40. Active military and their families, free. Veterans (not including families), free. Can purchase online via CommunityPass.
Parking: Free on street. Municipal lots, $10 per day weekdays, $15 per day weekends.

Ocean County

POINT PLEASANT BEACH

Exit N90; S98

Family-friendly destination, with lively boardwalk amusement rides, arcades, mini-golf and ample ice cream joints.

Don’t miss: Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, Amusement Park and Aquarium; Martell’s Tiki Bar; the downtown antiques district.
This summer
: Masks required for all over age 2 at Boardwalk. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk and beach are open to the public. Arcades and aquarium are open with limited occupancy and masks required. Mini golf, Fun House, lighthouse, Sweet Shop and amusement park are open with limited hours. The amusement park is operating at 50 percent capacity amusement rides; Jenkinson’s Aquarium is operating at 25 pecent. 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: $11 daily; $12 weekends. Children ages 5-11, $3 weekdays, $4 weekends; under 5, free. Season, $110; child (5-11), $55; senior (65+), $80; under 5, free. Martell’s: Season, on sale for $80 until May 1, then $125. Check website for specific age restrictions (21+ on weekends, or under age 13. No children 13-20 allowed Friday-Monday.)
Parking: Limited free street parking. Metered parking in municipal lot; multiple lots open for day parking. Costs and parking systems vary.

BAY HEAD

Exit N90; S98

With no public restrooms on the beach, upscale Bay Head is predominantly a destination for homeowners and seasonal renters.

Don’t miss: East Avenue, a popular beachfront stretch for strolling and jogging.
This summer
: Beaches are open and badges are available via the Viply app or at the Bay Head Improvement Association (BHIA) Beach Office, 532 Lake Avenue (no credit cards). Mueller’s Bakery is open for take-out; expect long lines. Burke’s Market, a gourmet grocer and sandwich shop, has a wide assortment of prepared foods for take-out. 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, $9; season, $90; half-season, $50. Under 12 free.
Parking: Limited on street, free.

MANTOLOKING

Exit N82; S98

Wealthy residential community of large oceanfront homes.

This summer: 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. No restrictions but masks are encouraged.
Beach fee: Daily, $12. Seasonal, $95.
Parking: Four-hour limit street parking, free.

NORMANDY BEACH

Exit N82; S98

Tiny residential community; one of the Dover North Beaches.

This summer: The beach is open and accessible to members of the Normandy Beach Improvement Association (NBIA) or for anyone who purchases a daily badge, 9 am-1 pm at Bay Beach House entrance on Broad Avenue. Badges required as of June 26. Daily badge sales are limited.
Beach fee: Annual NBIA Membership is $425. Limited daily passes are available.
Parking: Limited on street. Parking on Ocean Terrace is prohibited.

LAVALLETTE

Exit 82

Quintessentially quiet Shore town, with a yacht club, shops and restaurants.

This summer: 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. 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. Weekly, $35. Season, $60 ($40 before June 1); seniors (65+), $20; disabled, $15; active military or veterans, free.
Parking: Season, $10; limited street parking, free.

ORTLEY BEACH

Exit 82

Summer retreat for families who bike to the beach and keep coming back.

This summer: The beach and boardwalk are open with social distancing required. Beach badges available at the Recreation Administration office, 1810 Warren Point Road.
Beach fee: Weekday badges, $4; weekends, $5; seasonal, $40. Lifetime senior badges (65+), $15.
Parking: Limited street parking along the boardwalk, free. Public pay-to-park lots at the end of 3rd Avenue, and between 6th and 7th avenues.

SEASIDE HEIGHTS

Exit 82

Family-friendly boardwalk arcades meet singles-oriented nightlife scene.

Don’t miss: The boardwalk; Casino Pier; the Sky Ride; Breakwater Beach.
This summer
: The beach and boardwalk are open. Restrooms are open on a limited basis. Seasonal and daily badges are for sale on a limited basis, on Viply and in person. At Casino Pier, Pier Grill and Waves Bar are open for outdoor dining daily, and foodstands are open for takeout. As for games and rides, Smugglers Quay Golf, Wacky Rooftop Golf, Midways games and the Go-Karts and select rides (including the Sky Ride) are now open. Breakwater Beach is also open.
Beach fee: Daily fee, $9 (ocean beaches) and $5 (Bay Beach on Saturday, Sunday and holidays). Weekly badge, $35 (Sunday through Saturday). Season badge, $45 if purchased on or before May 15. Season badge, $60 if purchased after May 15. Senior Citizen season badge, $15 for persons 65+. Two badges are $25 if purchased at the same time and both persons are present when purchased. Children 11 and under, free daily. Active and retired military personnel and their dependents, free daily.
Parking: Metered and private lots. Meters from $1-$2/hour, depending on the location.

SEASIDE PARK

Exit 82

A close neighbor to Seaside Heights, with its own boardwalk.

Don’t miss: The boardwalk; the Sawmill.
This summer
: The beach and boardwalk are open. 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, $12; under 11, free. Weekly, $35. Season, $65; seniors (65+), $20.
Parking: Municipal lots with park-and-pay kiosks along Ocean Avenue; free parking along side streets.

Island State Beach Park Photo by Frank Marshal

ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK

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.

Don’t miss: Surf fishing; bike trails; guided tours; Sedge Island Kayak EcoTour.
This summer
: Swimming access is available when lifeguards on duty. Guided tours are resuming in July. Bathrooms, pavilions and concessions are open.
Beach fees: Free; entrance is charged per vehicle from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Parking: NJ residents: $6 weekdays, $12 weekends and holidays, $5 motorcycles. Non-residents: $12 weekdays, $20 weekends and holidays, $7 motorcycles. Walk-in entrance at Fisherman’s Walkway, $3. Bikes free.

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

BARNEGAT LIGHT (LBI)

Exit 63

LBI fishing village meets quiet, unpretentious beach town.

Don’t miss: Barnegat Lighthouse; Viking Village; Mustache Bill’s diner.
This summer
: All beaches are open. Badges are required and can be purchased daily at the booth on West 11th Street (8 am-6 pm) or via badge checkers (Viply app orders or cash) or by mail. At Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, parking lots are open 8 am-8 pm; Old Barney and the visitors’ center are closed until further notice; picnicking is now permitted; restrooms are open 11 am-3 pm.
Beach fees: Daily, $5. Weekly (Saturday through Friday), $22. Season, $40 ($30 until June 5); seniors (65+; must display proof of age in person to purchase), $12. 11 and under, free. Heads up—there’s a $1 surcharge for badges purchased on the beach.
Parking: Free.

HARVEY CEDARS (LBI)

Exit 63

Tony section of LBI, where many large homes have replaced the more modest originals.

Don’t miss: Craft Day by the Bay, July 3, Sunset Park; Arts Festival, July 18, Sunset Park; Blue Claw Crab Race & Craft Show, August 21, Sunset Park. 
This summer
: The beach is open. Starting June 19, when beach badges are required, all badges can be purchased at the booth in Sunset Park; daily and weekly badges can be purchased from badge checkers on the beach (cash accepted; Viply app purchases encouraged).
Beach fees: Daily, $7. Weekly, $20. Season, $45 ($35 before June 15); seniors (65+), $12. 11 & under, free.
Parking: Free.

SURF CITY (LBI)

Exit 63

LBI’s artsy district, with galleries and eateries along the main drag.

Don’t miss: Beginning June 21, the Surf City Volunteer Fire Company & EMS Farmers Market runs 8am-noon, every Monday through Labor Day. Local galleries will open when permissible. Art galleries on Long Beach Boulevard include SwellColors Glass Studio and Gallery and m.t. Burton Gallery 19th Street Studio.
This summer
: Beaches open as of June 19; beachgoers must adhere to social-distancing guidelines. Badges can be purchased on the beach from badge checkers, 10 am-5 pm, or at Borough Hall.
Beach fees: Daily, $10. Weekly, $20. Season, $45 ($35 until May 31). Seniors (65+), free. 11 & under, free.
Parking: Free.

SHIP BOTTOM

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.

Don’t miss: 13th Annual Lighthouse International Film Festival, June 4-June 6; Hartland Golf and Arcade; Ron Jon Surf Shop; Farias Surf & Sport (seven LBI locations).
This summer
: All beaches are open. Beach badges can be pre-purchased via the Viply app and picked up at Ship Bottom Municipal Offices. Senior badges are only sold at Borough Hall with ID. After June 14, you’ll need to pick up badges from any beach attendant; there is an additional service charge to purchase by credit card.
Beach fees: Daily, $10. Weekly, $25. Season, $45 ($35 until May 31); seniors (65+), $10. 12 & under, free.
Parking: Free.

LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP (LBI)

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.

Don’t miss: St. Francis Community Center’s Fish and Chip Dinner, June 12; Summer Craft Show, July 24; BayView Park LBI Foundation of the Arts & Sciences.
This summer
: All beaches are open; daily and weekly badges can be purchased at the badge shack on 68th Street in Brant Beach (open daily, 9 am-3 pm) or on the beach from badge checkers. Masks are not required on beaches. All parking lots, parks, playgrounds, recreational facilities and public restrooms are open.
Beach fees: Daily, $10. Weekly, $20. Season, $45 ($35 until June 16); seniors, $5. 11 & under, free.
Parking: Free.

BEACH HAVEN (LBI)

Exit 63

The center of LBI tourism, with waterfront motels, a vibrant restaurant scene and downtown amusements.

Don’t miss: Fantasy Island Amusement Park; Thundering Surf Waterpark; Surflight Theatre; Museum of NJ Maritime History; the Chicken or the Egg; Downtown shopping area (Bay Village, Schooner’s Wharf); Long Beach Island Museum.
This summer
: Beach badges are available at the badge office on Centre Street, from a checker on the beach (no cash) or via the Viply app. Fantasy Island Amusement Park arcade to open in May, rides in June. Thundering Surf Waterpark open weekends. The Surflight Theatre is open for live singing and ice cream under the outdoor tent, and shows will resume in the outdoor space starting July 3. Restaurants with outdoor areas, such as Parker’s Garage and the Gables, are open.
Beach fees: Daily, $10. Weekly, $20. Season, $40 ($30 pre-season). Seniors (65+), free. 12 & under, free. Wednesdays free admission!
Parking: Free.

Atlantic County

BRIGANTINE

Exit 38B

Family-friendly community just north of Atlantic City.

Don’t miss: Brigantine Farmers Market to open Saturdays starting in June; Brigantine Historical Museum; Marine Mammal Stranding Center; gift shops (Brigantine Beach Gift Shop, Donna Elias Studios).
This summer
: Beaches and the Seawall Promenade are open; swimming is restricted to beaches with lifeguards. 4×4 vehicles are permitted on designated beaches; 2021 permit required. Beach tags and permits can be purchased from the Beach Fee office on 42nd Street. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is conducting rescue operations as normal and is open for visits on Saturdays.
Beach fees: Daily, $10. Weekly, $15. Season, $20 ($15 before June 1); seniors (60-64) $8 before June 1; after, $20. Seniors (65+), free. 12 & under, free. Veterans, free. Active military, four free passes.
Parking: Limited free parking; permits for municipal lots. $25/season or $8/day.

ATLANTIC CITY

Exit 38B

New Jersey’s casino-gambling resort offers big-name entertainment, top-quality restaurants, family-friendly attractions and the original Boardwalk. What happens in AC stays in AC.

Don’t miss: The Boardwalk; the casinos; the Steel Pier; Absecon Lighthouse.
This summer
: The beach, casinos and Boardwalk are open. Attractions including piers, playgrounds and carnival rides are now open, with the latter operating. The Atlantic City Aquarium remains temporarily closed. Restaurants along the boardwalk are open for takeout, with a limited number offering outdoor and indoor dining options. The sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages is now temporarily permitted within the limits of the Boardwalk, nonresidential areas of Gardner’s Basin and the Orange Loop beach blocks.
Beach fees: Free.
Parking: Metered. Private lots and casino parking, roughly $5 weekdays and $10 on holidays and weekends.

VENTNOR

Exit 36

Resort community at the southern end of the Atlantic City Boardwalk.

Don’t miss: Ventnor City Farmers Market, Fridays, 8:30am-noon from Memorial day to September 24; Wednesday Sunset Cinema/Concerts starting June 30; Summer Beach Jam Concerts (Saturdays on the beach). 
This summer
: Lifeguards on duty from 10am-6pm. The boardwalk is open for pedestrians and bike riders. Beach badges are available for purchase at Ventnor City Hall (cash or check only), Viply or on the beach from designated checkers.
Beach fees: Season, $20 ($7 before June 1); seniors, $3.50; under 12, free.
Parking: Metered and free.

MARGATE CITY

Exit 36

The year-round home of Lucy the Elephant, the Shore’s most hallowed hollow pachyderm.

Don’t miss: Lucy the Elephant.
This summer
: Lucy the Elephant tours are available once again. Beach badges are available for purchase and pickup at the Martin Bloom Pavilion on South Huntington Avenue from 10 am-3 pm daily or on the Viply app.
Beach fees: Badges include all-season access (no weekly/daily). All badges $20 after June 1; prior, $10 for adult; $3.50 seniors; under 12, free. Free seasonal tags available to veterans and active military members.
Parking: Metered parking and street parking closer to beach.

LONGPORT

Exit 36

Upscale beach community at the southern tip of Atlantic City’s Absecon Island.

Don’t miss: Longport dog beach.
This summer
: Permissable beach activities include sunbathing, walking/jogging, surfing, swimming and fishing. Beach tags are available at Longport’s community building daily from 9am-4pm or via the Viply app. Dogs are allowed on Longport Dog Beach on Route 152 at Ocean Drive Bridge.
Beach fees: Season, $30. Seniors $10; 11 and under, free.
Parking: Limited but free.

Cape May County 

OCEAN CITY

Exit N25; S30

Surf’s up in this dry town that’s hopping during the summer months—especially on the busy boardwalk.

Don’t miss: The boardwalk; Gillian’s Wonderland Pier; OC Waterpark; Playland’s Castaway Cove; Corson’s Inlet State Park.
This summer
: Beaches are open. 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, Playland’s Castaway Cove and OC Waterpark are operating at 50 percent capacity. Corson’s Inlet State Park is open for hiking, fishing, crabbing, boating and sunbathing. Beach tags may be purchased online or in person at City Hall on Asbury Avenue and other government buildings listed on the website. Boardwalk food concessions are open for takeout, with a limited number of restaurants offering outdoor dining options. Daily badges available from tag inspectors on the beach.
Beach fee: Daily, $5. Weekly, $10. Season, $25 ($20 before June 1). Active military and their families & veterans, free.
Parking: Limited free and metered street parking; pay-to-park lots.

STRATHMERE

Exit N13; S25

Sssshhh. This secluded beach is the Shore’s best-kept secret.

Don’t miss: Whale Beach; Old Shack Ice Cream; Twisties Tavern on the Bay; the Deauville Inn.
This summer
: Beaches are open. The Old Shack and the Deauville Inn, local favorite eateries, are open for indoor/outdoor dining and takeout.
Beach fee: No beach fees in 2021, though they may be required in future seasons.
Parking: Free.

SEA ISLE CITY

Exit N13; S17

Tight-knit town with lots of bars, a retro seafood village and a youngish crowd.

Don’t miss: Family-friendly summer movie series Wednesday nights at Excursion Park; Chamber of Commerce Farmers Markets, Tuesday mornings; Beachcomber’s Environmental Tours; Townsends Inlet Waterfront Park; Mike’s Seafood & Dock Raw Bar in historic Fish Alley.
This summer
: Beaches are open. Beach tags are available via the Viply app, sold by beach taggers on the beach, 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 before May 15); Wednesdays are free.
Parking: Free parking on street. Metered lots at 125 JFK Blvd.; 40th S. & Central Ave.; 42nd Pl. & the Bay; 45th St. & Landis Ave.; 48th St. & Central Ave.; and 94th St. & Landis Ave.

AVALON

Exit 13

Sophisticated seaside enclave with large, secluded oceanfront homes.

Don’t miss: Beachside Science at Surfside Park (6 pm, third Wednesday of week, May-August); Tuesday beach movies (June 29-Aug 24); Surfside Live Fridays at Surfside Park (DJ, dancing, games; June 24-Aug 20); Sunday concert series at Surfside Park (June 27-Aug 29). New businesses include Il Posto Ristorante, Here Comes the Sun boutique, City Hydration Dune Drive shopping; Avalon Freeze ice cream stand.
This summer
: Beaches are open. 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 ($25 before June 1). 11 & under, free. Tags accepted in Stone Harbor.
Parking: Free.

STONE HARBOR

Exit 10

Lively downtown shopping and dining scene a few blocks from the broad, uncrowded beach.

Don’t miss: Fitness Festival July 10; The Wetlands Institute; Salt Marsh Safari; downtown shopping district; Springer’s Ice Cream; Harbor Square Theatre (multiscreen cinema). 
This summer
: Beaches are open. Pickleball and tennis courts on 82nd and 97th Street are open for recreation (every other court for social distancing), with 90-minute time limits per group for $30. Salt Marsh Safari is open for tours; visitors are required to wear a face covering. The Wetlands Institute is open Saturdays and Sundays. 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 starting May 10. The Harbor Square Theater is open. The Beach Tag Office (95th Street and the beach) is open daily for tag pick-up 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 with special veterans tag. Tags accepted in Avalon.
Parking: Metered on street and in beach lot (25 cents per 15 minutes).

THE WILDWOODS

Exit N4; S6

Retro fun and lots of amusements for the whole family.

Don’t miss: Barefoot Country Festival (August 19-22); National BBQ Championship and Anglesea Blues Festival (July 8-11); Morey’s Piers and Waterparks; Splash Zone Waterpark; Doo Wop Experience Museum; neon motel district; Hereford Inlet Lighthouse.
This summer
: Beaches are open and spacious for social distancing. At Morey’s Piers, amusement rides, games and waterparks are open. Adventure Pier and Ocean Oasis Water Park open starting Memorial Day weekend. Morey’s hotels—Blue Palms, Pan American, Starlux Boutique and Port Royal—are open, as is Curley’s Fries on Surfside Pier. Outdoor dining is available at Jumbo’s Grub and Pub, and the newly added outdoor food hall area at the Surfside Pier. The Caribbean Motel and other retro resorts are also open. Hereford Inlet Lighthouse has opened.
Beach fee: Free.
Parking: Free.

CAPE MAY

Exit 0

Historic resort town with something for everyone—especially if you love the Victorian ambiance.

Don’t miss: Washington Street Mall; downtown Victorian district and the Emlen Physick Estate; Cape May Stage; East Lynne Theater Company; Cape May Lighthouse; Cape May Bird Observatory; Cape May County Zoo; Beach Plum Farm; Sunset Beach (for sunsets, of course).
This summer
: Beaches are open. 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 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, $8. 3-day, $15. Weekly, $20. Season, $30. Active military and their families, free.
Parking: Metered on street.

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