The Jersey Shore is one of the hottest spots for a beach retreat on the Atlantic Coast, boasting many charming seaside towns and pristine beaches for sunbathing, swimming, and watersports.

    Whether you’re travelling with family on a shore holiday, enjoying a romantic retreat by the sea, or spending a beach trip on your own, you can find the ideal beach spot for swimming, watersports, and sightseeing. Take a look at this selection of the best beaches on the Jersey Shore to plan your trip to this popular seaside escape in New Jersey.

    1

    Avalon

    Catch some waves at this popular beach

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    Avalon is one of the most popular beach destinations on the Jersey Shore. Located on the 7 Mile Beach, Avalon boasts miles of white-sand beaches on the Atlantic Ocean that are great for swimming, boating, kayaking, and surfing. 

    The area surrounding the beaches has all the seaside amusements you could possibly want from a beach destination, such as miniature golf, high-end boutiques, surf shops, ice cream stands, and beachfront bars and clubs for a night out. In the city centre area, you’ll find retail destinations for fashion, beach gear, books, and other gifts.

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    2

    Ocean City

    Hit the boardwalk and beach on the Jersey Shore

    • Families
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    • Food
    • Nightlife
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    Ocean City is a famous coastal area on the Jersey Shore that's home to several beaches and a popular boardwalk. Along with sunbathing and swimming at the white-sand beaches, you can spend time exploring the shops and eateries on the boardwalk.

    Families enjoy Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, an amusement park on the boardwalk that has nostalgic rides and miniature golf. Another popular attraction is Corson’s Inlet State Park, which has nature trails through dunes and wetlands teeming with shorebirds and other wildlife.

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    3

    North Wildwood Beach

    Find family-friendly fun by the beach

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    North Wildwood Beach is a family-friendly beach area with wide stretches of white-sand that are completely free to visit. The beaches have soft sand and gentle waters, perfect for young children to wade and play, and there’s a boardwalk with shops, eateries, and amusements on the beachfront. 

    North Wildwood Beach is also popular for fishing and biking. For a little historic sightseeing, you can visit the restored Victorian Hereford Inlet Lighthouse to see coastal views and take photos to remember your trip.

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    4

    Cape May City Beaches

    Explore 2 miles of pristine coastline

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    Cape May City boasts 2 miles of pristine beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. The beaches have gentle surf as well as seasonal lifeguards, making them a great choice for families with children. Several amenities are found near the beaches, such as bathrooms, parking, beach gear rentals, and concessions. 

    The promenade near the beach has eateries, sweets shops, arcades, surf shops, and amusements for the whole family. You’ll also find restaurants and shops off the promenade on the beachfront for more sightseeing.

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    5

    Sandy Hook

    Have fun with all sorts of watersports at this beach

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    Sandy Hook is home to both ocean and bay beaches and a diverse destination for a beach retreat. The beaches provide opportunities for swimming with the whole family, fishing, diving, surfing, windsurfing, and other watersports.

    The Gateway National Recreation Area parkland is also close to the beaches in Sandy Hook, which offers a holly forest and salt marshes with hiking trails and shorebirds for outdoor recreation. Another highlight is the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, a historic lighthouse that’s one of the oldest operating in the country.

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    6

    Belmar Beach and Boardwalk

    Explore more than a mile of boardwalk and beachfront

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    The Belmar Beach and boardwalk on Ocean Avenue spans over a mile and is a go-to for panoramic seascapes. The white-sand beaches are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, fishing, boogie boarding, and kayaking, and you’ll find some excellent surf breaks off the shore.

    On the boardwalk, you can stop in charming surf shops and try delicious eateries serving ice cream, funnel cake, and local seafood. You can also find other amusements near the beach, such as shopping and dining, arcades, and mini-golf, so you’ll always have something fun to do.

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    7

    Ship Bottom Beach

    Visit the gateway to Long Beach Island

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    Ship Bottom Beach is known as the gateway to Long Beach Island and is located at the only bridge onto the island. Ship Bottom Beach has many attractions, such as bay beaches, waterfront parks for fishing and crabbing, and historic parks.

    The boat launch in Ship Bottom Beach is great for watersports like boating, kayaking, and riding jet ski. The beach destination also serves as an ideal base camp for exploring the wonders of Long Beach Island, such as the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park and Island Beach State Park.

    Location: 1419 E Bay Terrace, Beach Haven, NJ 08008, USA

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    8

    Long Beach Island

    Enjoy beaches, theme parks, and more

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    Long Beach Island is a beautiful barrier island and summer destination on the Atlantic coast. The 18-mile island is filled with gorgeous beaches and delightful shore towns with attractions and activities. You can explore the numerous beaches in the area and shorefront parklands for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and birdwatching.

    If you have the kids with you, one of the most popular attractions in Long Beach Island is Thundering Surf Water Park & Adventure Golf, an amusement park with giant waterslides, water guns, and other fun rides and activities.

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    9

    Seaside Park Beach

    Explore the borough's top spot for watersports

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    Seaside Park is a borough on the Barnegat Peninsula that boasts beautiful bay and ocean beaches. Seaside Park Beach is the borough’s jewel and is popular for watersports, sunbathing, and swimming.

    The boardwalk on the beachfront has many activities and amusements as well, such as surf shops, souvenir shops, seafood eateries, arcades, and stands serving delicious fairground-style food. It’s also home to Casino Pier & Breakwater Beach, a set of pier-side amusement parks for thrill rides and water rides on the beachfront.

    Location: 1701 N Ocean Ave, Seaside Park, NJ 08752, USA

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    10

    Gunnison Beach

    Check out the only legal nude beach on the Jersey Shore

    • Couples
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    • Unusual

    Gunnison Beach is an Atlantic coast beach that claims to be the only legal nude beach at the Jersey Shore. Located in the Sandy Hook Proving Ground Historic District of the Gateway National Recreation Area, the beach also has amenities like beach gear rentals, showers, bathrooms, and shops for watersports equipment.

    If you prefer swimming costumes, the beach has clothed areas for families and more modest sunbathers to swim and enjoy the sun. The nude area is far from the parking area as well, so the beach offers privacy.

    Location: Atlantic Dr, Highlands, NJ 07732, USA

    Open: Monday–Sunday from 5 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 732-872-5900

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    photo by Richard Arthur Norton (CC BY 2.5) modified

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