Photo by Instagrammer _laurenlevinsky
New Jersey is known for a lot of things, but there is one aspect of our amazing state that puts us on the map no matter where you’re from: the Jersey Shore. Not because of Snooki or GTL (although you can take the opportunity to visit the Jersey Shore house in Seaside Heights if you’re curious), but because we have a variety of beaches for any kind of summer fun you’re looking to have!
We put together our humble list of the five best Jersey Shore beaches as we see things. Use this list as an anchor point to come back to throughout the summer! Let us know if you end up ashore at one of our choice spots, and sign it with a hashtag #SEARCHtheBurbs
Photo by Instagrammer kellyasimmons
Avalon’s slogan is “Cooler by a Mile,” since it is one mile farther into the Atlantic than the other barrier islands, but it is also an apt nickname because it offers a more relaxed feel than some of the Jersey Shore’s other prime locations. Their pristine white sand beaches and dunes are what it is mainly known for, but you can also rent a bike and ride down the boardwalk or cruise down Dune Drive to find an array of one-of-a-kind stores and restaurants. They also have an accessible beach and surf chair program where you can rent a complimentary wheelchair designed specifically for sand.
For more information, you can visit Avalon’s section of the Cape May County page here.
ETA: a little over 2 hours from The Chathams.
Photo by Instagrammer epf325
The old vintage vibe of the Jersey Shore is synonymous with one location: Cape May. It is America’s original seaside resort after all. Along with supremely well kept beaches, you can take in the beautiful Victorian houses and many tourist attractions, such as The Cape May Lighthouse, The Cape May County Park and Zoo, or the Fireman's Museum. You can stay at one of the area’s many bed and breakfasts and relax at one of their many spas. There are also things for the more adventurous beach goer, such as parasailing or boating. End your day with a scoop of homemade, hand-dipped ice cream at Uncle Charley’s -- there is nothing sweeter than that!
For more information, you can visit the official Cape May website here.
ETA: a little under 2.5 hours from Summit.
Long Beach Island
Photo by Instagrammer mostlymirrorless
One of the Jersey Shore’s family favorite locations, Long Beach Island is known as a spot for many families to buy a shore home and migrate for the season. It encompasses an 18 mile stretch of land that has choice beach areas for different activities: you can head to Ship Bottom Beach for a more low key, relaxing atmosphere; Brant Beach for fun water activities such as fishing, surfing, and swimming; or Beach Haven to go to the Fantasy Island Amusement Park. A must-see site is Barnegat Light, a small seashore town that houses the lighthouse of the same name. And the Long Beach Island Museum is a great place to take kids on those inevitable rainy days.
For more information, you can visit the Long Beach Island Chamber of Commerce website here
ETA: 1.5 hours from New Providence.
Sea Girt Beach
Photo by Instagrammer tjvvin12
The most intimate feature on our listicle, Sea Girt Beach is only about one square mile, and it is mostly frequented by locals. For anyone reading this list that hates to feel like a tourist, this is the Jersey Shore site for you. There is a small boardwalk, and the beaches are quiet, so you can feel truly in relaxation mode. There are some great restaurants in the area, such as The Parker House, and there is a pet-friendly bed-and-breakfast called The Beacon House that provides every accommodation you’d want.
For more information, you can visit the Sea Girt Beach website here
ETA: 1 hour from Maplewood.
Photo by Instagrammer garrett_vargo_
There is no better place for high octane summer fun at the Jersey Shore than Wildwood. You have your pick of expansive beaches (which are all free to access), a fun-filled boardwalk, golf course, and amusement park -- all within one resort. It also has the largest collection of mid-20th century architecture, known as Doo Wop Architecture. There are always different events going on from concerts to monster truck rallies to Ultimate Frisbee competitions. There’s also a great nightlife scene if you are looking for a night on the town while the kids are asleep.
For more information, you can visit The Wildwoods website here.
ETA: 2.5 hours from Madison.
It is amazing how distinct and unique the different Jersey Shore beaches are. It's no wonder that so many people spend the whole summer exploring the different areas -- or coming back to the same spot they call home. We hope you have a blast wherever you and your family splash this summer! Keep in touch with us at #SEARCHtheBurbs !