Headed to the Jersey Shore this summer? Here are some ideas to make it the best summer ever. No matter if you are headed to Wildwood for the nightlife or out to Ocean City for some family fun, there are a few things you will want to bring with you, and some things you won’t want to miss.

Beach Time In Jersey Shore

Whether you are spending the whole day in the sand or just a few hours, there are some essentials to pack to ensure a fun day in the sun. First, be sure to snag those beach tags early either online or at the pop-up center at the local beach. Beach tags allow visitors entry for the time period of their choosing and offer daily, weekly, or seasonal options. Not all New Jersey Beaches require admission, however. Be sure to visit Atlantic City or Wildwood if you want to avoid the beach tags.

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Next, be sure to take a sand-free bag full of necessities. Things like sunscreen, wipes, and towels will make sunburn a thing of the past and clean-ups a breeze. Lastly, remember to bring lots of water and yummy snacks – but watch out for those hungry seagulls! Just a few minutes of preparation before you head out will make your time at the beach one for the books (and you won’t have to leave the sand until you’re ready). Also, think about adding a cork or floating keyring to your keys to keep them from accidentally taking a trip below the ocean’s surface.

Related: Family Beach Vacation Packing List: 8 Essentials You Didn't Think Of

If you are out with the whole family, you may also want to add a few items to make your day a breeze. Start with a bag or two to collect trash or sandy items, packed lunches or snacks, and a spray mister (just for fun)! With smaller children, you can also freeze and bring a sponge lei to keep kids cool, sand toys to create a masterpiece, a pop-up kiddie pool for smaller humans, and an umbrella for shade on those super sunny days. For a creative option, you can also bring string along to make your own seashell necklaces while you are there, too!

Beach Tags and Pricing

Ocean City

  • $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

  • $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

Atlantic City

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

Wildwood

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

On the Boards In Jersey Shore

When you are ready to leave the cozy warm sandy beaches, head on up to the beautiful boardwalks to explore the shops and unique restaurants. Whether visiting for the first time or returning for a yearly trip, Jersey Shore has lots of great food options to fit any palette.

In Ocean City, check out Shriver’s Fudge and Salt Water Taffy, fresh donuts from Brown’s, Manco and Manco’s Pizza, or have dinner at the OC Surf Café. If you are in Cape May, be sure to visit The Original Fudge Kitchen for some traditional fudge and saltwater taffy, Mario’s Pizza and Italian Eatery, and the Washington Inn Eatery for some first-class food and great service.

Related: Destination Atlantic City: Tour The Boardwalk Like A Local This Summer

If you are enjoying your time in Wildwood, stop at Morey’s Piers Funnel Cakes for some delicious dough, Khor’s Frozen Custard for a swirl cone, or Mack’s Pizza on the Boards. If you have stopped for the day at Atlantic City, be sure to check out the gelato at Café Tazza, Polish Water Ice, or enjoy dinner at the famous Guy Fieri’s Chophouse.

Once full of delicious food and goodies, head on over to one of the beautiful boardwalk rides for the day. Each Jersey shore destination has its own style of fun but always includes, dancing and music, mini-golf, arcades, and amusement rides in each area.

Overnight and Weekend Stays In Jersey Shore

When it’s time to retire, check out the amazing hotels and beachfront housing available in these great NJ shore locations. In Ocean City, the beach houses are like no other, dripping in seaside charm, these small beachfront locations are great for a family or weekend away. If hotels are more your style check out these boardwalk and street-side options.

Ocean City Beach House Rentals

Beach-side Hotels

In Cape May, the Victorian houses await. This small-town life charm comes with lots of options when it's time to rest your weary head. Whether you choose a rental for the weekend or a night, there are many options available in this historic area.

Cape May Beach-side Rentals

Beach-side Hotels

In Atlantic City, stay seaside or bunk in one of these famous casinos where food and nightlife are available 24/7. If glitz and glamour are your cups of tea, be sure to book a room at one of Atlantic City's famous Casinos and Hotels right off the boardwalk. If you want a quiet night to refresh and rejuvenate, on the other hand, check out the beachfront housing rental options – and don’t forget about the spa services available in many of the casinos here as well.

Atlantic City Beach-side Rentals

Beach-side Hotels

If you are looking for a place to stay after a long day of Wildwood fun, look no further than one of the amazing hotels nearby for an amazing stay. Looking for something a little more secluded? Check out these private house rentals off the boards as well.

Wildwood Beach-side Rentals

Beach-side Hotels