Everyone loves to head down the shore during the summer, but back-to-back beach days can really add up. Here’s where you can stick your toes in the sand without spending a dime.
Boardwalk, Atlantic City
Atlantic City is known for many things, but it’s sparkling, no-cost beaches are definitely a highlight. Head to Jackson Avenue to kayak or windsurf on the waves (or watch the jet-skis!). Amenities include restrooms, shower, and changing rooms. Have lunch on the beach.
Cape May Point State Park
Light House Ave., Cape May Point
If you’re looking for a less crowded beach to lounge on, this is the place to be. This state park has nature trails, walking, hiking and even an exhibit gallery. While there aren’t any lifeguards on duty, it’s home to the infamous Cape May Lighthouse.
Ideal Beach, Bayside Pkwy., Middletown
Leonardo Beach, Beach Ave., Middletown
Middletown has a lot to offer, especially the 25-acre Ideal Beach and Leonardo Beach. Both have super-clean restrooms that are open during beach season. Ideal Beach has a playground and basketball court – but it also has metered parking.
Jennifer Ln., Manahawkin
Check out Jennifer Lane Beach, which is lifeguarded and allows food on the beach, perfect for an afternoon picnic in the sand. Though it’s a bay beach and not the ocean, it’s free and easy to access. It’s also close to Long Beach Island if you want to make a weekend out of it.
Beachway Ave., Keansburg
Lay on the beach and enjoy a view of the New York City Skyline. If you’re not interested in the fishing piers, check out the nearby water park (perfect for little kids) for some smaller rides and games. Instead of sandcastles, kids can try building the Empire State Building out of sand with the real-life model across the water. Parking is metered here.
Ocean County Park
Ocean Ave., Lakewood
This beach spot might only be on a lake, but it’s amenities make up for its lack of coastline. This beach complex offers complimentary access to tennis courts, sports fields, beach volleyball and even a driving range—along with plenty of hiking trails and picnic areas. In addition, there’s restrooms, showers and a pavilion for a shaded lunch.
Sea Isle City
JFK Blvd., Sea Isle City
Sea Isle City may not always be free, but on Wednesdays, admittance to the beach will cost you nothing (children under 12 are always free). In addition to this great deal, there are restrooms, showers, and food is permitted on the beach. Beach tags are required any other day of the week for $5-10.
New Jersey’s pride and joy is the five-mile stretch of beach known as Wildwood, North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. These sandy beaches are totally free, offer restrooms and allow food on the beach. Wildwood is home to an exciting boardwalk (we’re talking Morey’s Pier and Water Park!), and hosts more than 180 festivals and events throughout the year. These beaches are worth the trip and you don’t have to pay a dime.
William Morrow Beach
Bay Ave., Somers Point
William Morrow’s bay beach is clean and has the works: bathrooms, showers, lifeguards, free parking and lets you bring food. Even better? This beach offers a free concert series on Fridays.
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