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Updated by Thomas Hicks on Oct 10, 2017
Headline for Favorite Beaches in New Jersey after many years.
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Thomas Hicks Thomas Hicks
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Favorite Beaches in New Jersey after many years.

While there are a ton of fun places on the beach in New Jersey, these are some of my favorites. Having grown up on the Jersey Shore, I am partial to the following beaches. In particular, Sea Girt will always be my favorite. I lived there from 3rd grade through finishing college. The other locations are relatively close scenic beach spots I have visited over the years on return trips to see family and friends.

Source: https://beachspot.org/category/new-jersey/

1

Bay Head Beach

Bay Head Beach

Bay Head is one of the best beach towns on the Jersey Shore. Bay Head is a very small and affluent borough in Ocean County, New Jersey on the Atlantic coast. The relaxing beach town of Bay Head is a long, narrow barrier island. Bay Head is on a barrier island separates Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The population of this fancy beach town was less than a 1000. The Bay Head beach is small, but very nice and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. The main draw to this town is its exclusivity and the beautiful Victorian houses on the beach.

2

Belmar Beach

Belmar Beach

Belmar is the most fun town on the Jersey Shore for a quick weekend trip from New York. As recently as 2014, Belmar Beach was recognized as the #1 beach in Central New Jersey. This little patch of sand measuring almost a mile and a half north to south ranked as the #6 beach in the entire state. Those rankings are possibly suspect, but they do come from the Top Ten Beaches Competition. Over the years, Belmar has aged well and is an extremely welcoming town for a beach vacation. So no matter how you want to classify Belmar, it’s a fun place to visit and maybe even live.

Belmar Beach is a fun beach town for the whole family. If you want to party, this is one of the best places to do it. If you want your family beach vacation to be as slow as possible, you are also in the right spot.

3

Asbury Park Beach

Asbury Park Beach

The Asbury Beach and boardwalk is thriving again. In a contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium in 2008, the Asbury Park beach was ranked as the sixth best in the Garden State. This Top 10 beaches in New Jersey contest from 2008 is slightly dated and not terribly impressive, but this summer (2017) Asbury Park was rated as one of the top 13 beach destinations for tourists in the US. Asbury is a very good destination for the beach and surfing as well as hitting the theatre, walking the boardwalk, eating and shopping. In general, its a good beach spot for your summer vacation.

This beach town claims that its mile of sand has been “drawing surfers, swimmers, sunbathers, fishers, and people-watchers for centuries”. That might be overstating things slightly, but the there are currently events all year long, including even Jazz and Oyster Festivals.

4

Ocean Grove Beach

Ocean Grove Beach

God's square mile on the beach is a beautiful quiet town. Noted for the splendid examples of Victorian architecture, Ocean Grove is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
History, recreation and of course religion all prosper in “God’s square mile”, the unincorporated community on the New Jersey Shore also known as Ocean Grove. Wedged between Asbury Park and Bradley Beach, is this throwback to a forgotten era. It feels completely surprising and almost odd to find such a public display of religion. At the same time, while you might not be into the religious message, Ocean Grove is an incredibly charming beach spot along the Atlantic Ocean. I was blessed to grow up less than 10 miles from the Ocean Grove beach, but due to its otherness, I have only visited this truly unique coastal town a couple dozen times.

Use of the beach is restricted on Sundays until after noon. This is also a dry town. Alcohol has been banned from Ocean Grove. I suppose this is enforced via the honor system, but don’t expect to knock back a few drinks along the beach. Don’t expect to do much on the boardwalk, except enjoy the view since there are no commercial establishments or concession stands. The wooden boardwalk is beautiful and the people are exceptionally pleasant. The huge Victorian style wooden buildings along the beach are beautiful.

5

Mantoloking Beach

Mantoloking Beach

Mantoloking was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, but is still one of the nicest places around. Mantoloking is the classy little beach town, other beach spots aspire to be. This Ocean County, New Jersey borough boasted a population a bit less than 300 in the 2010 US Census. The town comes alive in the summer, with an estimated seasonal population of 5,000.

Generalizations are frequently stupid, but the residents of Mantoloking are a fairly successful lot. It is also an expensive place, with the median price of a home $1,403,349 in 2012, according to Forbes magazine. James Gandolfini, aka Tony Soprano, spent his summers here both as a famous actor and as a kid. Another great believer in law and order, Richard M. Nixon, spent his summers here during his time as the Vice President under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. More in tune with the local sensibilities was the Oscar winning actress, Katharine Hepburn who owned a summer house here.

6

Sea Girt Beach

Sea Girt Beach

Sea Girt is a great little beach spot on the Jersey Shore. The Sea Girt Beach is a quiet Jersey Shore mainstay. Only about a mile in length, this little town holds its own with the high quality of its beaches. Surprisingly, there are waves with some regularity. The regulations can be off-putting. Sea Girt Beach is a great little spot on the Jersey Shore, about an hour south of the city. I had the privilege of spending the majority of my youth there. Sea Girt is a small town of 1 square mile with about 1000 full time residents. It is as far away from the city as you can comfortably commute to every day.

From my experience, living in Sea Girt is a lot more fun than visiting. If you are looking for a party town on the beach, this is not it. But the Parker House is a block off the water at the northern end of town. A fun place for residents and visitors to the area alike (Benny’s). As expected, it is a very conservative crowd that parties pretty hard until the lights come on at midnight.