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If you’ve ever talked to someone from New Jersey, you know that the Jersey shore is the place to be. Whether you are looking for warm sandy beaches and cool ocean waves, or some weekend fun down at the casinos and bars, New Jersey Beaches have just the thing for you. There are so many great beach locations to choose from…how do you know which one is best for you?

Let’s break it down by looking at a few of the most famous New Jersey shore vacation destinations.

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Ocean City

If family fun and boardwalk treats are on the menu, head on over to Ocean City, New Jersey. This 8-mile coastline boasts a beautifully renovated boardwalk with treats to delight visitors of all ages. Whether you are hungry for a slice at Manco and Manco’s or some famous fudge and saltwater taffy at Shriver's, there are treats galore to please your taste buds. Since this is “America’s Greatest Family Resort,” Ocean City is known for family fun and is a dry town, so no bars or specialty beverages are available here.

If it’s rides and family games you are looking for, stop off at the Gillian’s Wonderland Pier or Playland’s Castaway Cove one of Ocean City’s famous mini golf locations on the boards. Want beach-style shopping? Choose any of the small beach-style stores along the coast or walk a few minutes downtown to Stainton’s Shopping Mall for all your shopping needs.

When you are ready to hit the sand, be sure to snag your deep-fried Oreo or fried dough, and bring your cooler and beach towel (or chair if you prefer), to get a spot early. These warm sandy beaches are great for running along the waves, collecting beautiful seashells, and even a game of Ultimate Frisbee or Volleyball. If the ocean is more your style, there is plenty of room for swimming and horseplay in these temperate waters too.

Beach Pricing

  • $25 per yearly beach tag ($20 if purchased before May 31st)
  • Daily Beach Tags available for $5
  • No Tags are required from Sept 6 – June 3

Cape May

If you are looking for all the family fun and history (with adult beverage options) look no further than Cape May, New Jersey. This beautiful shoreline includes over 600 Victorian-era houses in the downtown and beach area alone. Along with historical and educational options such as New Jerseys Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May and Harbor Safari, America’s original seaside resort includes 2.5 miles of beaches and is a prime bird-watching location where enthusiasts can spot over 450 different species. Cape May is “North America’s premier birding destination” due to its location near migratory paths and a plethora of marshes, swampland, grassy areas, and forests. The beautiful beaches boast a paved promenade (no boards here) running along its beachy 2.5-mile stretch and is open to the public year-round. There are also boating options at Shellinger’s Landing where you can rent kayaks, fishing boats, and even go on whaling tours. Take a trolley to Historic Cold Spring Village to see how people used to live and purchase handmade authentic keepsakes to remember your visit here. If beach life is for you, stop by the Cape May Point State Park and take in the rocky shoreline of this beautiful locale.

If you are looking for the best view in town, check out the historic Cape May Lighthouse. Climb the 199-step spiral staircase to the top, you can see all the best panoramic views of the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Looking for some last-minute shopping ideas? Stop by the Washington Street Mall for all your shopping needs.

Beach Pricing

  • $30 per yearly beach tag
  • $20 per week beach tag
  • Daily Beach Tags available for $8
  • No Tags are required from Sept 6 – June 3

Related: These Jersey Shore Boardwalk Foods Are A Rite Of Passage

Atlantic City

If casinos and pageantry are your thing, head on over to Atlantic City, New Jersey. This original shore town is home to New Jersey’s first Resorts Casino opened in 1968 and boasts an original slot machine still in operation in the front lobby. These stunning casinos with bars, spas, nightclubs, and theaters are open 24-7 for all your entertainment needs. Too tired to drive? There are hotels on premises that include full room service and in-house restaurants as well. While in Atlantic City, enjoy your day on the white sand beaches or take the tramcar or rolling chairs to grab a bite of gelato at Café Tazza on the famous 5-mile-long boardwalk. While here, choose from the number of piers overlooking the ocean including the Central Pier Arcade, Steel Pier Amusement Park, and many other options to wow and entertain. If you are looking for some educational fun to add to your trip, look no further than the Atlantic City Aquarium located on the beachfront or the New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse Absecon Lighthouse just a few blocks away.

If boxing contents or beauty pageants are more your speed, check out boardwalk boxing events and pageant schedules including the Mrs. New Jersey America and Miss New Jersey America Strong Pageants. Water sports are also always available on the beaches so be sure to enjoy surfing swimming or sailing options too.

Beach Pricing

**Atlantic City beaches are always free** no beach tag required.

Related: You Can See (& Play) Atlantic City's Very First Slot Machine At This Casino

Wildwood

Finally, if nightlife is your scene, head on over to Wildwood, New Jersey. This Jersey Shore famous location is the spot to be for rides, clubbing, and beachside pools. There are private clubs, full-size roller coasters, and water slides as well as some great food and shopping options on this 2.5-mile boardwalk. During the day, enjoy monster truck rides on the beach and ride the tram car over to fresh-made donuts at Fractured Prune or famous lobster rolls over at Quincy’s. If pizza is more your speed, check out Kono Pizza for their famous pizza and dessert cones or world-famous gyros at Olympic Flame Restaurant.

End your night with any of the indoor event options and activities located beachside at this famous boardwalk. Whether you are interested in a round of black light mini-golf, or aquarium nightlife events, there is something here for everyone. Be sure to check out Morey’s Pier for all your amusement park needs.

Beach Pricing

**Wildwood beaches are always free** no beach tag required.