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Jersey Shore Summer 2012: Beach Guide

Planning a vacation or just a day trip? Patch has all the information on the Shore's best beaches

Wondering how much it will cost to buy badges to your favorite beach? Curious on where to park, if your dog is allowed on the boards, if you have to head back to the car for food and drink? All the answers are right here.

Just click on the beach names below or on the right for full information on the Jersey Shore's beaches.

MONMOUTH COUNTY

Asbury Park

Asbury Park offers something for everyone, from the beautiful beach to live music to great restaurants.

Seasonal beach badges cost $70 for adults and $20 for seniors and teens. Weekday passes are $5 with the cost for weekends and holidays going up to $6.

A tiny seaside hamlet on the north side of the Shark River Inlet, Avon-By-The-Sea boasts a total land area of just 4/10 of a square mile.

Beach badges for the season cost $90 for adults and $45 for seniors and young adults (12-18). Children under the age of 12 are free, and daily passes can be purchased for $9.

For more information call 732-502-4510.

The ever-popular Belmar offers beaches that stretch for more than a mile, attracting locals and tourists alike.

Beach badges are $50 for a seasonal pass; $15 for seniors; $7 daily; free for children 15 and younger and active duty military and their families. Badges are on sale at Borough Hall, 601 Main St., until Memorial Day weekend and at boardwalk ticket booths thereafter.

For more information, call 732-681-3700.

A popular location on the shore, Bradley Beach can trace its roots back to the 1600s. 

Seasonal beach badges are $65 adults; $25 seniors (62 and older); $25 juniors (ages 14-15); free for children 13 and younger. Daily passes are $7; $8 weekends and holidays. 

Badges are required on weekends beginning Memorial Day weekend; daily starting June 20, through Labor Day. Badges are on sale at town hall, located at 701 Main St. They can only be purchased with cash or check, and there are no mail transactions. Checks should be made payable to the Borough of Bradley Beach. 

Deal

Deal, a small Shore town, offers a public beach and private access at the Deal Casino Bathing Club.

The main, public beach at Conover Pavilion costs $6 on weekdays and $7 on weekdays and holidays. Children under 12 are free. Call 732-531-0404 for more information.

Loch Arbour

Loch Arbour's beautiful beaches are open.

Seasonal beach badge prices: cost $90 for adults, $50 for seniors and children 12 and younger are free. Daily beach badge prices are $5 on weekdays, $6 on weekends and holidays. Visit www.locharbournj.us or call 732-531-4740 for more information.

Long Branch

Visitors to Long Branch can enjoy several beaches while shopping and enjoying restaurants at Pier Village as well as Long Branch's West End.

Seasonal badge badges are free for kids 13 and younger; $30 for kids 14-17; $45 for adults; and free for seniors. Daily badges are free for those 13 and younger; $3 for children 14-17; $5 for adults on weekdays, $7 on weekends; and free for seniors. For more information, contact the Long Branch Recreation Department at 732-571-6545.

Seven Presidents Beach: Anyone can host their next family our group outing at the brand new picnic tent, just steps from the beach and Tony's Place playground. Reserve a date for exclusive use of the tent.

Season badges are $45 for ages 13 through 17, $65 for adults 18 through 64 and $25 for adults 65 and older. Season parking passes are $65.

Weekday beach fees are $7 for individuals 18-plus; 17 and under are free. On weekends and holidays, the fee is $7 for individuals age 13 and over; 12 and under are free. The cost of a daily parking pass is $7.

The southernmost beach in Monmouth County, Manasquan is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. With several miles of beachfront, Manasquan is a great destination for surfers, fishermen or anyone looking for fun in the sun.

Beach badges are $70 for a seasonal pass; $8 daily. Senior citizen badges for ages 65 and older are $25. Children from 12 to 16 are $35, and children younger than 12 are free (birth certificates required). Required on weekends beginning Memorial Day weekend and daily after June 16. They can be purchased, cash only, at the Beach Office.

For more information, call the Beach Office at 732-223-2514.

Monmouth Beach

Referred to by locals as "Little Monmouth," Monmouth Beach's public beach has forever been nestled in a spot right on Ocean Avenue between the historic, prestigious and private Monmouth Beach Bath and Tennis Club and Long Branch's North End Beach, which is known as a surfer haven.

Season beach passes can be purchased for $60.00, daily admission is $7.00 and children, 12 and under, are admitted free. Seasonal passes are available at Borough Hall; and, daily passes can be purchased at the South End Bathing Pavilion. Lifeguards are stationed at the beach from 9:30 a.m to 5:10 p.m.

Ocean Grove has a boardwalk for people to enjoy but also boasts a quiet peacefulness that sets it apart from the rest. If you are looking for something to do or somewhere to eat, the downtown area is just a few blocks from the boards. 

Daily beach badges are $7. There also is a weekly pass that can be purchased for $35 while a seasonal badge will cost $70. A youth season badge for ages 12 to 17 is $35 while the senior citizen season badge for those 65 and older are $40. Children younger than 12 are free with an adult.

Badges can be purchased at the beach office on the boardwalk across from the fishing pier. More information can be found by going to www.oceangrove.org or calling 732-988-5533. 

Sandy Hook

Part of the National Park System's Gateway National Recreation Area, Sandy Hook is home to miles of beach and much more. "The Hook," as it is referred to by locals, also houses vast nature trails and wildlife observatories as well as the historic Fort Hancock and the Sandy Hook Theater at its tip.

On the Hook in parking area D is also the popular Sea Gulls' Nest, a privately-owned bar and grill perched on a 25-foot-high deck with a spectacular view of the NY skyline and shore. Patriotic sunset celebrations are a signature attraction.

Run by National Park Service rangers, when the Hook is filled to capacity with visitors, it is closed off. Leashed dogs are permitted on the inlet side of the park only, not the ocean side. Arriving very early on weekends is a good idea.

While actual admission to the beach at Sandy Hook is free, parking fees are charged per car/carload. Admission fees for the entire season are $75 per car. Daily admission is $15 per car ($25 for oversized vehicles). Seniors are charged 50 perent of the regular seasonal rate of $75. Daily and/or seasonal passes may be purchased at the park's manned entrance plaza.

Sea Bright

Sea Bright Public Beach has been a mainstay in the Monmouth County shore area for a long time. Tucked behind the police station in the downtown section of Sea Bright, it is the primary public access point for beachgoers in the area who do not belong to one of the myriad private membership beach clubs for which the area is known.

The public beach is a short walk away from several downtown restaurants, ranging from from casual to elegant, as well as Donovan's Reef, a popular beach-goer's summer hang-out, replete with a beach tiki bar.

Beach fees for the season are $95, $35 for seniors (65 and over). Children are admitted free. Daily entrance fees, including weekends, are $7. Tags may be purchased at the beach entrances or at the small beach badge house in the municipal parking lot on Ocean Avenue.

Nestled between Spring Lake and Manasquan, Sea Girt has a 1.75-mile stretch of beach featuring a beautiful boardwalk and a historic lighthouse.

Beach badges are $100 for a seasonal pass; $9 daily. Senior citizen badges for ages 65 and older are $55. Children 12 and younger and all active duty military and their immediate family are free. Required on weekends beginning Memorial Day weekend and daily after June 16 through Labor Day.

They can be purchased, cash only, at the Main Pavilion and other designated areas along the beachfront from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 732-449-9335.

For a quiet day at the beach, consider Spring Lake, which features the longest stretch of non-commercial boardwalk in the state.

Beach badges are $100 for a seasonal pass; $60 for 1/2 season — Memorial Day Weekend through July 31 and Aug. 1 through Labor Day; $8 daily. Children aged 11 and younger are free.

Call 732-449-0800 ext. 631 for more information.


OCEAN COUNTY

Barnegat Light offers a touch of history with the beach experience, as it's home to 'Old Barney' — a lighthouse dating to 1859 at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park.

Seasonal beach badges are currently available for $35. Senior citizens, ages 65 and older, can purchase a seasonal pass for $8. Weekly badges also are available at a rate of $20 — with a week being defined as running from Saturday to Friday. The daily rate is $5 per person. Children under 12 are admitted for free.

Badges are currently on sale at Borough Hall, located at 10 East 7th Street. Beach badges also can be purchased at a booth on West 11th Street. For more information about beach badges call Borough Hall at 609-494-9196.

The "country village by the sea" offers active and passive recreation, swimming, watersports and shopping.

Seasonal beach badges are $70, with a half-season priced at $45. Beach-goers 12 and older are charged $7 for daily passes while those 12 and younger are free.

Badges can be purchased by contacting Bay Head Improvement Associates, Mount Street (next to Scow Ditch), P.O. Box 42, Bay Head, NJ 08742.

For more information, call 732-892-4179.

Beach Haven is one of the most popular locations on Long Beach Island, with the Fantasy Island arcade and Thundering Surf Water Park in addition to beach and restaurants.

Seasonal badges are $30 until June 22 and $40 starting June 23. Weekly badges are $20; daily badges are $5. Children 12 and under, adults 65 and over and active duty military personnel can use the beach for free. Those 65 and older must get a special permanent badge by visiting the Beach Badge Office; military personnel must show ID. 

The order form is available online.

Brick boasts three family-friendly beaches on the Barnegat Peninsula, with one set aside for fishing.

Seasonal badges are $25 before June 15 and $30 after June 15 and are good for Brick Township’s three ocean beaches along Route 35 and the bathing area at Windward Beach Park on Princeton Avenue. A daily wristband is $5. There are no weekly badges sold. Children under 12 are admitted free.

Badges and parking stickers can be purchased at the township recreation office at Civic Plaza, 270 Chambers Bridge Road.

Tucked away on the northern end of Long Beach Island, the small town of Harvey Cedars can provide a relaxing and quiet beach experience with both bay and ocean beaches to choose from.

Seasonal passes are $30 in the preseason and $40 after June 15. Senior citizens, ages 65 and older, may get a seasonal pass for $9. Weekly badges also are offered at a rate of $20. There is a day rate of $6. Badges are currently on sale at Borough Hall, which is located at 7606 Long Beach Blvd. 

More information about beach badges can be obtained by calling Borough Hall at 609-361-6000, or the Sunset Park booth at 609-361-9733.

The 3,003-acre Island Beach State Park two ocean beaches, surfishing, hiking, kayaking on Barnegat Bay and the nearby Sedge Islands and much more.

Island Beach State Park charges a per vehicle daily fee rather than beach badges. New Jersey residents pay $6 on weekdays and $10 on weekends for park access from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Visitors from out of state pay $10 on weekdays and $20 on weekends.

Call 732-793-0506 for more information.

While not oceanfront, Lacey boasts four beaches that will open Saturday, June 18: Cedar Creek Beach on Forrest Avenue in Lanoka Harbor, Bamber Lake Beach in Bamber Lake, Deerhead Lake Beach on Deerhead Lake Drive in Forked River and Lake Barnegat Beach on Lakeside Drive in Forked River.

Beach badges are $5 and are required for those older than 7. Badges will be available starting June 1 in the Recreation Office. Proof of residency is required. Badges will be required starting Saturday, June 25. Call 609-693-1100, ext. 2203 for more information.

Lavallette has both an active ocean beach and bay scene. Activities on the beach include swimming, surfing and ocean kayaking.

Seasonal passes are $45 per person, $7 daily. Visitors 65 and older, disabled and military personnel are offered passes at $14 per season. Badges are free for children younger than 12.

For more information, call 732-793-2566.

Long Beach Township's 12 miles of oceanfront makes up much of LBI. Whether you are visiting Brant Beach's St. Francis Center, the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts in Loveladies, frequenting the township's many boutiques, mini-golf courses and restaurants, there is always something to do here.

Beach badges are $30 for the season when purchased before June 15; $40 when purchased June 15 and later. Weekly badge is $20 and daily badge $5. Children younger than 12 are free. Senior citizen badge is $5. Badges can be purchased at the Beach Badge Office on 68th Street in Brant Beach, next to town hall.

For more information, call the town hall at 609-361-1000.

Mantoloking offers one public beach and two private beaches, with public access from Mathis Place through Herbert Street, accessible by four walkways on East Avenue, one on Lyman Street, and one on Ocean Avenue, which are all on the Bay Head side of town.

Beach badges are available for $12 for the season, and are free for all active military members as well as children 12 and younger. For more information, call the municipal building at 732-899-6600 ext. 100 or visit Mantoloking's municipal website.

Toms River has its own oceanfront, in the Ortley Beach section of town. The municipal beach is centered around 2nd and 4th streets.

Seasonal passes to Ortley Beach are $35 in the pre-season. The price increases to $50 on May 29. Daily badges cost $7 and $8 on the weekends, and are available at beach entrances. Children under 12 are free. Toms River residents age 62 and older are entitled to a lifetime senior beach pass for free.

Seasonal and senior passes can be purchased now at the Toms River Recreation Administration Building, 1810 Warren Point Road. During the summer, season passes may also be purchased at 4th Avenue Lifeguard Headquarters in Ortley Beach. For more information, call 732-341-1000 Ext. 8415.

The ever-popular Point Pleasant Beach offers five bathing beaches, with boardwalk, shops and restaurants to be found throughout the Beach and Point Borough.

For specific beach badge prices at the five beaches — Jenkinson's, Risden's, Martell's, Bradshaw's and the Maryland Avenue beach — click the link above.

Seaside Heights, one of the busiest locations on the Shore, boasts two amusement piers, food, boardwalk and beach.

Seasonal beach passes are $45. Daily passes cost $5, and children younger than 12 are always free. 

Lifetime beach badges for seniors 65 and older are available for $10 and must be purchased at Borough Hall.  Borough Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  It’s located at 901 Boulevard.

For additional questions, contact Borough Hall at (732) 793-9100.

Heights' more laid-back neighbor, Seaside Park, offers quiet surroundings with nightlife and amusements only a short jaunt away.

Seasonal beach badges are $50. Seasonal badges for seniors 65 and older cost $20. Badges can be purchased at the Bathhouse on the corner of ‘N Street’ and Ocean Avenue Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Daily badges are $10.

For more information, call 732-793-3700.

Island Beach packed? Seaside Heights just a bit too much for you? Head over to White Sands Beach in South Seaside Park.

Daily badges are $5. Weekend and holiday badges are $6. Weekly badges are $20. Season badges are for sale from May 29 through June 16 at a reduced price of $30. Season badges from June 16 on are $35. Admission for children under 12 is free. New Jersey residents who are 62 and over receive free badges after proof of age and residency are provided.

Ship Bottom is known as the “Gateway to Long Beach Island” because of the bridge linking the borough to the mainland. In addition to its beaches, Ship Bottom has a Waterfront Park, several recreational parks, fishing and crabbing pier, a gazebo and more.

Beach badges cost $30 for a seasonal pass until May 31; $40 for a seasonal pass starting June 1; $20 for weekly pass; and $5 for a daily pass. Senior badges are $10 and are sold at Borough Hall. 

Badges are required starting June 18. Submit a Beach Badge Order Form or buy them at Borough Hall, 1621 Long Beach Boulevard, Ship Bottom, 609-494-2171, ext. 102.

Ship Bottom's immediate neighbor to the north, Surf City, is billed as one of the Jersey Shore's most family-friendly destinations. The 25-block-long town on Long Beach Island boasts ocean and bay beaches, noted eateries and (as of summer 2012) two miniature golf courses.

Beach badges are $25 for the season when purchased before May 31; after that it's $35 for a seasonal badge. Weekly badge is $17 and daily badge $6. Children younger than 12 and seniors 65 and older are free. Badges can be purchased at the town hall, 813 Long Beach Boulevard.

For more information, call 609-494-3064.

 

ATLANTIC COUNTY

Atlantic City not only boasts casinos and entertainment, it features the exceedingly rare free beach experience.

Surfing, kayaking and windsurfing are allowed on certain beaches in the resort, while there are numerous areas to fish. Click above for more.

Atlantic City visitors looking to escape the city for a nearby beach experience can head to Brigantine, which boasts beautiful beaches and sport activities.

Seasonal beach badges are currently available for $15. The price increases to $18 on June 1. Badges for senior citizens ages 60 to 64 are $8, and senior citizens ages 65 and older are free. Active military personnel also can get beach badges for free. Weekly passes are available for $14, and the daily rate is $8 per person.

Badges are currently on sale at the Brigantine Beach Community Center, 265 42nd St., Brigantine. For more information about beach badges, call Beach Patrol Headquarters at 609-266-5233 or the Beach Fee Office at 609-264-7350.

Ventnor

Natural coastline and bedroom community to Atlantic City.

The City of Ventnor requires Beach Badges for the Beach from memorial Day through Labor day. Badges can be purchased at Ventnor City Hall, Beach Patrol Headquarters, the Ventnor Fishing Pier, or on the Beach by any Beach Badge Inspector. Badges can be purchased prior to June 1 for $7.00 for the season, and $3.50 for Seasonal Senior Citizens badges. After May 31st, badges are available at a rate of $15.00 for the Season. Weekly badges are available for $10.00.

Margate

Natural coastline in the Atlantic City "Downbeach" area.

Beach Badges are required for everyone 12 and older when on the beaches during the season, which runs from the third week in June through Labor Day. The badges should be conspicuous and available upon request by a Beach Badge Inspector. The Badge requirement is hereby suspended on Thursdays throughout the summer as part of the "Thrilling Thursdays" event sponsored by the Margate Business Association.

 

OCEAN CITY AND CAPE MAY COUNTY

"America's Greatest Family Resort" features eight miles of beaches and a boardwalk packed with shops and amusements.

Discounted seasonal beach tags are on sale now and cost $20 if purchased by May 31. On June 1, the price goes up to $25. Weekly beach tags are $10, and daily beach tags cost $5.

Beach tags are required for visitors ages 12 and older and will be required June 9 to Sept. 3 this year. 

Avalon

Beautiful, natural coastline has handicap access, tennis courts and boat ramps. Beach fees for pre-season (beginning May 31) are  $21; and a season tag is $26. Weekly beach fees: (Saturday-Saturday) $12; daily $6.

Cape May

The southern end of the Jersey Shore is known for its Victorian architecture, and it's a favorite spot for bird watchers.

Beach are: pre-season (thru 3/30) $15; seasonal $25; weekly (Saturday-Saturday) $15; three-day $10; daily $5; children under 12 are free.

Cape May Point

Home of the Cape May Lighthouse. Beach fees: pre-season $22 (May 1 thru May 31); seasonal $27 (starting June 1), weekly $17, daily $7.

North Wildwood

Known for its natural coastline and free beach.

Sea Isle City

A favorite place for night-life activities and its natural beach. Beach Fees: pre-Season (thru 5/15) $20; seasonal $25, weekly $10, daily $5, children under 12 free.

Wednesday is free beach day, with no tags required on Wednesdays.

Stone Harbor

A place with a natural, peaceful coastline. Beach fees: seasonal before May 31st - $21; after May 31st - $26; weekly $12; daily, $6.

Wildwood

The southern New Jersey beach known for its long, wide boardwalk and many amusements, including Morey's Piers.

It has a free beach and the lifeguard hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Wildwood Crest

The bedroom community to Wildwood with a free beach.

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