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The Best Beaches for Families in NJ


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

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. 

Beach Haven

12th St. to Leonard Ave., Beach Haven

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. 


400 Ocean Ave., Belmar

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, 

Bradley Beach

Ocean Ave., Bradley Beach

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.


9th-17th St., Brigantine

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. 

Cape May

Beach Ave., Cape May

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. 

Island Beach State Park

Shore Rd., Lanoka Harbor

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. 


1306 Grand Central Ave., Lavallette

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!). 


1st Ave., Manasquan

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. 

Sandy Hook

South Hartshorne Dr., Highlands

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. 

Sea Girt

Ocean Ave., Sea Girt

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. 

Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park

221 Ocean Ave., North Long Branch

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. 

Stone Harbor 

95th St., Stone Harbor

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. 

Sunset Beach

502 Sunset Blvd., Cape May Point

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. 

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