The Ultimate Jersey Shore Beach Guide

Need tips on what to do and see at the Jersey Shore this summer? Look no further than our incredible beach guide!

Sandy Hook
Exit N-105 | S-117

Vibe: National Recreation Area with wide sandy beaches, including Gunnison Beach, the state’s only legal nude beach. The Seastreak ferry brings visitors from New York.
Don’t Miss: The 7-mile-long Multi-Use Pathway for hiking and biking; Sandy Hook Lighthouse (which celebrated its 250th Anniversary in June 2014); historic Fort Hancock; Sandy Hook Beach Concerts (Wednesdays at 6pm); End of Summer Party (September 8); Sandy Hook Proving Ground.
Beach Fee: Free.
Parking: Daily, $15. Season, $75.

Sea Bright
Exit N-105 | S-117
Vibe: The Shore’s northernmost beach town is dominated by private oceanfront clubs, mostly rebuilt after Sandy.
Don’t Miss: Gracie & the Dudes Ice Cream Parlor; Yumi Sushi Restaurant; Bain’s Hardware Store (for sand chairs and barbecue grills); BeachWalk at Sea Bright (the former Fairbanks Motel, renovated post-Sandy); David Burke’s Drifthouse replaces Ama Ristorante.
Beach Fee: Daily, $8; under 12, free. Season, $100; seniors (65+) and disabled, $35. Active military and families, free.
Parking: Free on street and in municipal lot.

Monmouth Beach
Exit N-105 | S-117
Vibe: Large vacation homes look across Route 36 at the rocky seawall that kept most of them relatively safe from Hurricane Sandy.
What’s Not: Sallee Tee’s, a waterfront favorite on the Shrewsbury River, has permanently closed.
Beach Fee: Daily, $9; under 12, free. Season, $75; seniors (65+), $25.
Parking: Limited on street, free. Season permit, $40.

Long Branch
Exit 105
Vibe: The trendy restaurants and shops of Pier Village have enlivened this historic oceanfront resort. Families flock to Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, a public park with a mile of sandy beach.
Don’t Miss: Oceanfront dining at Avenue, McLoone’s Pier House, Sirena and Rooney’s; brunch at the Turning Point in Pier Village; hot dogs at the Windmill and Max’s Famous; cocktails at Mix Martini Lounge; the Tiki Bar at Ocean Place; Thursday’s by the Sea free concert series (starting June 28 at 7pm); 28th Annual Oceanfest, July 4th weekend; West End Cruise Night and Classic Car Show (Aug 18, 6pm); Jazz & Blues Festival (August 25th)
Beach Fee: Weekdays, $5; ages 14-17, $3. Weekends & holidays, $7; ages 14-17, $3. Seniors and 13 & under, free. Season, $45; students (13-17), $30. Badges only for Long Branch Municipal Beach, not Seven Presidents Park.
Parking: Metered and free on street; garages in Pier Village; Mon-Thu $10/day, Fri-Sun $15/day.

Deal
Exit N-98 | S-105
Vibe: Wealthy, insular suburb by the sea.
What’s New: The rebuilt Conover Pavilion is open to the public (daily and yearly memberships available) with lockers, showers, and a snack bar.
Don’t Miss: Shopping on Norwood Avenue; the pool at Casino Beach Club (open to public; daily and yearly memberships available).
Beach Fee: Weekdays, $8. Weekends, $10; under 12, free. Season, $150.
Parking: Free on street; lot at Conover Pavilion.

The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park remains one of the city's most popular destinations.

The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park remains one of the city’s most popular destinations. Photo by Iain Ogilvie

Asbury Park
Exit N-100A | S-102
Vibe: Music- and arts-centric town, with a love for good food, good drink and a good party.
What’s New: The renovated Asbury Lanes.
Don’t Miss: Jersey Gay Pride Festival (June 3); 5th Annual 5 Alarm 5k (June 12); The Stone Pony’s Summer Stage Series (June 1-October 12); Jams on the Sand Concert Series (Thursdays June 21-August 30); Asbury Park Promenade of Mermaids (June 30th); The Salvation Rooftop Bar (at The Asbury Hotel); Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten
Beach Fee: Weekdays, $5. Weekends, $7. Season, $70; teens (13-17) and seniors (62+), $20. Children under 12, active military and veterans are free.
Parking: Metered on street by the beach, parking lots with daily fees, and free parking a couple of blocks away from the beach.

Ocean Grove
Exit N-100 | S-100B
Vibe: Founded as a religious retreat, this quiet, dry town still serves a large religious community in the summers, but also has attracted artsy year-round residents.
Don’t Miss: Saturday Night Entertainment at the Great Auditorium; the historic tent city; Ocean Grove Giant Craft Show (June 16, 9am-4pm); Bridgefest (June 23); Choir Festival (July 8, 7pm).
Beach Fee: Daily, $8. Weekly, $40. Season, $80; seniors, $45; juniors (12-17), $40.
Parking: Free on street.

Bradley Beach
Exit N-98 | S-100B
Vibe: Throwback town with bench-lined stone boardwalk and ornate fountains.
Don’t Miss: Annual Lobster Fest (June 23-24); Jack Wright Ocean Mile Swim (July 5, 9:30 am on Kent Ave); Ireland at the Beach (July 13-14th at the Fifth Avenue Gazebo, 7-9pm); Bradley Beach Pirate Day & Evening Concert (July 21); Shipwreck Island Mini Golf (on the sand); Citricos Mediterranean Italian Grille; Vic’s Italian for pizza; the Sandcastle Inn B&B.
Beach Fee: Daily, $8.50; 12 and under, free; active military, free. Season, $70; seniors (65+), $30; juniors (13-15), $25.
Parking: Metered street parking near ocean ($1.50/hr). Free parking west of the ocean.

Avon-by-the-Sea
Exit N-98 | S-100B
Vibe: Family-friendly Victorian community with ample beachfront.
Don’t Miss: Boardwalk entertainment starting in July; fishing at Shark River Inlet; the swans at Sylvan Lake; historic downtown Main Street; the Macaroon Shop; Bedrock Bistro; Boardwalk Craft Fair; and at the Avon Pavilion – breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the sand.
Beach Fee: Daily, $9; 11 & under, free. Season, $90; seniors (65+) and juniors (12-18), $45.
Parking: Free on street.

Belmar
Exit 98
Vibe: Families opt for the north end, while the younger crowd hits the south-end beaches.
Don’t Miss: The restaurant scene (Brandl, Klein’s, La Dolce Vita); alfresco dining on the 9th Avenue Pier; B&Bs (Inn at the Shore, Saltwater Inn, Tandem Bike Inn); nightlife at D’Jais; Bar A (AKA Bar Anticipation) in neighboring Lake Como; the Beach Haus Brewery; Saturday Night Movies on the Beach (every Saturday, starting July 14th on 8th Avenue Beach); Annual Sandcastle Contest (July 18); Belmar 5 Mile Run (July 14)
Beach Fee: Daily, $8; 13 & under, free. Season, $55; seniors (62+) and disabled, $15; Active military and their families, first responders, and veterans with proper ID get on to the beach for free..
Parking: Metered on street.

Spring Lake
Exit 98
Vibe: Unhurried small town that seamlessly melds resort amenities with charming, upscale residential areas.
Don’t Miss:  Third Avenue shops; breakfast at Ray’s Cafe; Hoffman’s Ice Cream (Spring Lake Heights); the Scone Pony; lunch on the veranda at Breakers; B&Bs, including the Ocean House and the Chateau; Whimsicality, an eclectic home goods store; Spring Lake Irish Festival (June 9); ‘Art in The Park’ at Spring Lake Divine Park, (Saturday, June 9); Spring Lake Garden Tour (Wednesday, June 27); Spring Lake Summer Art Walk (Saturday, July 7);
Beach Fee: Daily, $10. Season, $105. Under 12, free. Half Season (August 1- Labor Day), $65.00
Parking: Free on Ocean Avenue.

Sea Girt
Exit 98
Vibe: Quiet, elegant hamlet that shuts down at midnight.
What’s New: Farmly Restaurant serving home-style food; and Frozen Custard at Surfside.
Don’t Miss: Sea Girt Lighthouse; Rod’s Olde Irish Tavern; the Parker House for food and drink; Joe Leone’s for Italian specialties.
Beach Fee: Daily, $10. Season, $105; seniors (65+), $60; 12 & under, free. Active military and their families, free. Add $5 to beach badge prices if paying with credit card.
Parking: Free on street.

Manasquan
Exit N-90 | S-98
Vibe: Quaint town with a bustling business district and quiet boardwalk.
Don’t Miss: Squan Tavern; Max Devros; Maria’s; Remington’s; Leggett’s; Carlson’s Corner; burgers at the Reef & Barrel; the beachfront nightclub Osprey; Big Sea Day (August 11); Thursday concerts on the beach.
Beach Fee: Daily, $9 (12+). Weekly (Sat-Fri), $40. Season, $80 (17+); juniors (12-16), $35; seniors (65+), $25.
Parking: Free on street. Daily weekday, $7; daily weekend, $12. Season parking, $85.

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