Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Best Beaches for Families in NJ



Published:

Grab your beach chair, a few towels and your whole squad and head down the parkway to one of these family-friendly stretches of sand.

Asbury Park 

Ocean Ave., Asbury Park​
apboardwalk.com

If you haven’t visited in a while, now’s the time to hit this thriving city where kids can build sandcastles next to the legendary Stone Pony (of Bruce Springsteen fame) and stay late to hear summer stage tunes. There’s no shortage of top-notch restaurants and ice cream parlors the family will love. Make sure to visit the Silverball Museum, a fun arcade-filled option when thunderstorms roll in. The Details:  $5 Monday to Friday, $7 on weekends. Metered parking available.

Beach Haven

12th St. to Leonard Ave., Beach Haven​
beachhaven-nj.gov

This quaint beach community has tons of water sport options. Kids will love boogie boarding and skim boarding at one of the 11 guarded beaches. If you’re looking for fun outside the water, you can rent bikes and take a ride by the water with your crew. The Details: Daily badges $5. Parking is $7 per day.

Belmar

400 Ocean Ave., Belmar
visitbelmarnj.com

This busy beach is a family favorite for its bustling boardwalk (great for strollers and jogging). There are playgrounds every few blocks (parents of toddlers: try the one off the beach on 8th Ave.) and kid-friendly movies on the sand. A great daytime spot for the kids, Belmar is also known for its bars and night life. The Details: Daily badges $8, children 15 and under free.  

Bradley Beach

Ocean Ave., Bradley Beach​
bradleybeachnj.gov

This borough might be off your radar if you’re not a frequent visitor to the shore; it’s small but sweet. There’s a gated playground on the boardwalk and summer weekend concerts under a gazebo. The Details: Daily badges $8.50, children 12 and under free. Parking free on West side of Ocean Ave.

Brigantine

9th-17th St., Brigantine​
bb-nj.org

A quiet community, Brigantine is just a short drive from the rides and entertainment of the Atlantic City boardwalk. Kids love to boogie board, kayak and fly kites, while parents love the clean public bathrooms. The Details: Daily badges $8. Parking is $25 per day in municipal lots. 

Cape May

Beach Ave., Cape May​
capemay.com

The nation’s oldest seashore resort has National Historic Landmark status thanks to its gorgeous Victorian homes. Cape May’s charming atmosphere and beautiful beaches attract families from all over. A bustling downtown area with tons of restaurants, fudge and souvenir shops is within walking distance of the beach. The Details: Daily badges $6.

Island Beach State Park

Shore Rd., Lanoka Harbor​
islandbeachnj.org

This 10-mile stretch is pristine. It feels remote without being so and has basic amenities like bathrooms and showers. No boardwalk or rides here, but there are marked walking and horse trails, guarded beaches, picnic areas and fishing. The Details: NJ residents $10 on weekends, $6 per car during the week.

Lavallette 

1306 Grand Central Ave., Lavallette
lavallette.org

Nestled between the beach and Barnegat Bay, kids get to swim, surf, boogie board, snorkel, build sandcastles and fly kites. On the bay side, there are spots for fishing, crabbing, kayaking and swimming, plus four different playgrounds (yes, four!). The Details: Daily badges $10, children under 12 free. Metered parking available. 

Manasquan

1st Ave., Manasquan
manasquan-nj.com

Manasquan’s Inlet Beach is one of the most popular surfing beaches on the East Coast. Get badges on Main Street and be sure to stop at the awesome jungle gym across the street. The Details: Daily wristband $9, children under 12 free.

Sandy Hook

South Hartshorne Dr., Highlands​
nps.gov

Just over the Driscoll Bridge, Sandy Hook is a popular choice for North Jerseyans who want to spend a day at the shore without all the traffic. The seven-mile swath of this National Recreation Area crosses over into NY and has the Manhattan skyline in view. There’s also plenty of room to set up an umbrella and picnic. The Details: Free admission, parking $15 per car. 

Sea Girt

Ocean Ave., Sea Girt​
njseagirt.com

Just a 10-minute drive from the crowds at Point Pleasant Beach, this borough is a breath of fresh air right off exit 98. The shoreline isn’t as packed as nearby beaches, so it’s easier to keep an eye on the kiddos. The Details: Daily badges $10, children under 12 free. Metered parking available. 

Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park

221 Ocean Ave., North Long Branch​
monmouthcountyparks.com

Located off exit 105, this quiet stretch is perfect for a day trip. Besides swimming and surfing, there’s tons more to do at the 38-acre oceanfront park. You and the kids will love the beach games, boat launch, fishing (for registered fishers 16 and up), a playground, beach volleyball and snack bar. The Details: $8 on weekend ages 13 and up; kids 12 and under free. Parking passes $8.

Stone Harbor 

95th St., Stone Harbor​
stoneharbor.com

This seven-mile stretch of sand is as quiet and calm as they come. But if you want a night on the town without the kids, Wildwood’s bustling boardwalk is just 15 minutes away. There’s lots to do beyond sticking toes in the sand, like waterskiing and paddleboarding. The Details: Tags $6 daily, $12 weekly, $28 for the season. Metered parking available. 

Sunset Beach

502 Sunset Blvd., Cape May Point​
sunsetbeachnj.com

Play a round of mini golf on the boardwalk or scour the beach for “Cape May diamonds” (beautiful quartz rocks) after soaking up some sun. Surrounded by wild dunes and plant life, it’s a serene spot to bring the dog or walk on the beach at sunset. The Details: Daily passes $10, three-day tags $12, weekly passes $18. Free parking. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Free Things to Do in NJ in August with Kids

Have fun with the family without taking out your wallet. Check out these free activities around the state.

Best NJ Places to Take Preschoolers in August

Can you believe it’s almost August? But summer fun isn’t over—not by a long shot. We’ve found some perfect things for you to do in NJ this month with your 2-to-5 crew. Don't miss these great picks for places to take your preschoolers.

Time Out: Things to Do Without the Kids in August

Looking for a night out without the kids? Call a babysitter and enjoy these NJ activities this August.

Take the Kids! Can’t-Miss Exhibits in August

Want to keep the kids’ brains working over the summer? Don’t miss these educational (and fun!) exhibitions in and around NJ.

Get to Know the History Behind Shark Week

Our national fear of sharks began 101 years ago, right here in New Jersey.