Little List: NJ Beach Trips

We all know NJ boasts great beaches for day trips and also for overnight getaways. But what else can do you when you head DTS (down the shore) with the family?

We rounded up some of our favorites for you!

Asbury Park (Exit 100A)

Beach playgrounds, boardwalk, splash park, shops, restaurants, nightlife/music, Yappy Hour- the dog friendly bar & restaurant, dog-friendly beaches (set hours daily), lake front biergarten, (see Bradley Beach below for more (they are only a beach apart!)

Atlantic City (Exit 38)

Casinos, boardwalk, shops, restaurants, designer outlets, Atlantic City Aquarium, walking tour of first boardwalk in the US, Lucy the Elephant in Margate, nearby Brigantine Beach, Atlantic City Convention Center, shows and concerts

Belmar (Exit 98)

Beach playgrounds, surf camp (kids and adults), beach volleyball (BYOBall), fishing charters, parasailing, shopping, restaurants, Farmer’s Market every Saturday, Lake Como nearby, Movies on 8th Avenue Beach every Saturday in August (8-10 PM)

Bradley Beach (Exit 102)

Family-friendly, kids parks, concert music series, close to Asbury Park, Avon By the Sea, and Ocean Grove, shops, restaurants, Silverball Pinball Museum, Paramount Theater, Ghost and Vampire Tours, Asbury Amusement Factory, Antique Emporium, arts and crafts shows, flea market at the Great Auditorium, free Opera by the Beach (Mondays at 7pm)

Brigantine (Exit 40)

Sport fishing, windsurfing, Shark Park playground, Marine Mammal Stranding Center (sea life rescue), Brigantine Lighthouse, Brigantine Beach Historical Museum

Cape May (Exit 0)

Cape May County Park and Zoo, Nature Center of Cape May, Naval Air Station, Wilwood Aviation Museum at Cape May Airport, winery, restaurants, shops, Historic Cold Spring Village, Family Fun Days (Wednesdays)

Lavallette (Exit 82)

Restaurants, shops, Barnegat Bay playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, rollerblade hockey rink, shuffleboard courts, fishing and crabbing docks, near Ortley Beach, Seaside Heights, and Toms River.

Long Beach Island (Exit 63)

18 miles long, kayaking, fishing, biking, boating, concerts, tours, mini golf, Surflight Theater Family shows, Tuckerton Seaport, Batsto Village, Fantasy Island Amusement Park, Barnegat Lighthouse, LBI Maritime School, Thundering Surf Waterpark, Schooner’s Wharf, shops, restaurants.

Long Branch (Exit 105)

Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park (33 acre county park with swimming, boating, splash park, and picnicking). Pier Village, shops, restaurants, skateplex, designer outlets, Bands By the Beach on Sundays (7PM, West End Park, Brighton and Ocean Aves), Tuesdays on Broadway (7PM, West End Park, West End Avenue)

Manasquan (Exit 98)

Elks Beach (only beach dedicated to handicapped in the shore area), Alogonquin Arts Theatre, Fisherman’s Cover Conservation Area, Edgar Felix Memorial Bikeway with nature, parks, and biking trails, Paddleboarding, Labor Day Celebration with concert and fireworks (September 2), Concerts on the Main Beach (Thursdays through August 24 at 7:30 PM)

Ocean City (Exit 30)

Gillian’s Wonderland Pier Amusement Park, Playland’s Castaway Cove, Boardwalk Adventures Water Park, Corson’s Inlet State Park, arade, boardwalk, mini golf, Ocean City Pops Orchestra Concerts, Funtastic Tuesdays (10AM-1PM: entertainiment, face painters, and balloons artists), Wacky Wednesdays at 10:30 AM, Thursday Family Night at 7:30 PM, Miss Ocean City Pageant (August 12), Little Miss Ocean City Pageant (August 18)

Point Pleasant (Exit 98)

Mile Long Boardwalk with rides, games, mini golf, restaurants, bars, Jenkinson’s Aquarium, Kiddie Beach Shows (Mondays), fishing excursions, Antique Emporium, Jenkinson’s Inlet Music Festival (Wednesdays at 7:30 PM, 3 Broadway), Fireworks (Thursdays), and Movies on the Beach (Fridays).

Sandy Hook (Exit 117)

7 miles of beaches on both the bay and ocean including a dog beach on the bay. Surf fishing, Gateway National Park, Fort Hancock Nike Missile Base, Fort Hancock Museum, Twin Lights, Maritime Museum, hiking, biking, bird watching tours, Keansburg Amusement Park, Runaway Rapids Water Park, free beach concerts on Wednesdays at 6PM at Beach E, End of Summer Party at North Beach Pavilion (September 8) *accessible via ferry from NYC E 34th Street terminal*

Sea Isle City (Exit 17)

Catamarans, sailboats, kayaking, rafting, fishing, volleyball, kite boarding, biking, inline skating, sailing lessons, family fun nights, family dance parties at Excursion Park (Saturdays through September 2, 8PM), museum, restaurants, shops, Thursdays are Family Fun Nights, Fridays are free Movies Under the Stars, and Saturdays are free Concerts Under the Stars

Seaside Heights (Exit 82)

Boardwalks with Casino Pier and Breakwater Beach Waterpark, arcades, amusement rides, games, shops, bars/restaurants, entertainment, movies on the beach, concerts, fireworks, many hotels and motels, Sunday Family Fun Nights through August 27

Spring Lake (Exit 98)

2 Miles of beach, longest non-commercial boardwalk, bed and breakfasts, downtown area with shops and boutiques, restaurants, Spring Lake

Stone Harbor (Exit 10A)

Seven mile island, Wetlands Institute (nature center), dune walks, kayaking, shops, restaurants, birding and wildlife cruise, Stone Harbor Family Nights on Mondays, Stone Harbor Movie Nights on the Lawn on Wednesdays, Arts and Crafts Festival (August 5 and 6)

Wildwood (Exit 4B)

Badge-free beaches, historical tours, zoo, dolphin tours, gardens, restaurants, shops, Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Water Parks, Splash Zone Water Park, Wildwood Convention Center, George Boyer Historical Museum, Seaport Aquarium, Doo Wop Preservation League Museum, Wildwood Insectarium, Fireworks on the Beach (Fridays), Wildwood Crest Summer Music Series (Saturdays at 7:30 PM through September 16, Fern Road and Ocean Avenue)


You may have noticed we commented on which towns include wineries. We found this amazing post on Fun New Jersey, which is one of our favorite resources when we are looking for things to do outside of our area. It's a go-to guide for everything you need to know about NJ wineries! This is also a great resource for planning a mini getaway! Read more here.

Did we forget one of your favorite beaches or attractions?

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