Which Jersey Shore Beach is Best For You?
New Jersey features many amazing downtown areas and places to get out and about, but many people from out of state flock to us for a summer beach getaway. While the Jersey Shore features over 130 miles of coastline, each shore town offers a different experience. If you’re new to the Garden State, it can sometimes be tough to identify which one is best for your tastes. Here are some picks to help you select the best destination, along with other things to do.
Best Beach For Families: Point Pleasant Beach
Those in Central and even Northern New Jersey can easily make a day trip down to Point Pleasant. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is what the town is most known for, offering rides, games, and an aquarium that’s open year-round. On the north end of town, you’ll find the Manasquan Inlet, a popular spot for both locals and vacationers to fish year-round, and offers plenty of parking for those simply looking to gaze over the water.
Fun fact: The Manasquan Inlet is also the northernmost point of the Intracoastal Waterway, which runs along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico down to Corpus Christi, Texas.
Best Beach For Couples: Cape May
Looking for the best spot in the area for a weekend couples getaway? Make Cape May your destination. In addition to offering both bayside and Oceanside beaches, Cape May has various boutiques to shop from and luncheonettes to dine at. For an elegant dinner, head to the Peter Shields Inn on Beach Ave., where you’ll get five-star cuisine accompanied by ocean views. After dinner, drive down Beach Ave. and make a right onto Perry St. Take this all the way to the other side of the peninsula to Sunset Beach, and enjoy watching the sunset over Lewis, Delaware.
Fun Fact: Cape May was a popular destination for Pirates to stop at on their way up the coast, according to Weird NJ.
Best Beach for the Arts: Asbury Park
Located in Central Monmouth County, Asbury Park was recently named named the coolest small town in America by Budget Travel. In addition to boasting two-and-a-half miles of beaches and boardwalks, Cookman Ave. in downtown Asbury Park features various art galleries. Art629 showcases the work of local art students and also offers receptions that are open to the public on weekends. If you’re interested in contemporary art, head towards the ocean and cross the street to visit Exhibit No. 9. If you’re interested in purchasing art for your apartment, check out the Parlor Gallery to find that perfect piece for your living room or common area.
For music lovers, summer offers plenty of opportunities to listen to live music outdoors. In addition to the Stone Pony’s Summer Stage, you can catch free music at most of the bars and restaurants along the boardwalk. If you’re lucky enough, you may even catch an organist performing in the old carousel building bordering Ocean Grove. Even during the off-season, you can still catch a show at Convention Hall or the House of Independents.
Fun Fact: Asbury Park’s Convention Hall was built by architects Warren and Wetmore, who also built Grand Central in New York City.
Best Beach for Activities: Belmar
For those looking to do more than just lie on the beach on their summer vacation, Belmar offers various activities and adventures. The Endless SUP Company offers stand-up paddleboard lessons on the Shark River for both kids and adults. If you already know how to paddle, you can participate in a sunset paddle session, participate in morning yoga, rent a stand-up paddleboard, or train for a race.
Belmar also features various surf schools throughout the town. Coastline Adventures and Surfline Surf are two popular providers of surfing lessons and rentals. Belmar and neighboring Avon are both also popular spots for surf fishing during the offseason, and can be done by obtaining a saltwater license. If you’re interested in deep-sea fishing, there are also various boats that leave from Belmar.
Fun Fact: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band would practice at the home of his keyboardist David Sancious, which was located on E-Street in Belmar, according to nj.com.