Best time to visit New Jersey

Beach Season in New Jersey

The best beaches of New Jersey are definitely worth your attention during hot summer days

Best time: May–September

Beach Season
Beach Season
Beach Season
Beach Season

New Jersey might not be famous for its nature but wait till the arrival of summer! The state's Atlantic shoreline, known as the Jersey Shore, stretches for 141 mi (226 km) and promises blissful relief from the concrete and traffic. Breathe in fresh ocean wind and stroll through wide sandy beaches. There are plenty of spots from Sandy Hook in the north to Cape May in the south. What more could you ask for in a summer weekend? Jersey Shore also provides all kinds of entertainment: from casinos and nightclubs of Atlantic City to amusement parks and carnival midways of Ocean City. The official beach season in the state runs from Memorial Day weekend in late May to Labor Day weekend in early September. However, most beach facilities remain open from May until late September.

Sandy Hook is the northernmost beach in New Jersey, and it's also the closest beach to New York City that can be easily reached by a ferry from Manhattan or by car in just over an hour's drive. Despite its proximity to the city, Sandy Hook boasts beautiful and pristine nature, which belongs to the Gateway National Recreation Area. The beach is best suited for surfing, kitesurfing, and is beloved by cyclists. Kayaks, paddleboards, and other equipment are available for rent.

Further south, discover Monmouth Beach, Long Branch, and Long Beach Island. The latter is perhaps the most beautiful beach space in the state. An 18-mi (29-km) stretch of beautiful white sand from Barnegat Lighthouse State Park to Viking Village is a real beach paradise with cozy towns such as North Beach, Surf City, and Harvey Cedar.

Passing bustling Atlantic City with its huge hotels, casinos, and adrenaline-pumping Wildwood with its rides and lights, you will arrive at Cape May, the southernmost tip of Jersey Shore. This Victorian beach town has a unique charm and historic atmosphere that makes it stand out. Some of the best beaches in the state stretch for about 3 mi (5 km) parallel to Beach Avenue in Cape May.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit the beaches in New Jersey?

The official beach season in New Jersey is between May and September, but many beaches stay open after that period until late September. The peak season offers warm and sunny weather, and is perfect for those Summer getaways. Show more

Where can I find the closest beach to New York City?

Sandy Hook, which is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, is only an hour’s drive from New York City. Visitors can also take the ferry from Manhattan to the beach. The beach's rustic beauty plays host to recreational activities, such as surfing, cycling, and kayaking. Show more

What are some unique nature activities to do at Sandy Hook beach?

At Sandy Hook beach, visitors can enjoy unique outdoor activities amidst magnificent natural beauty, lush sand dunes, and diverse wildlife. You can take advantage of the cycling tracks, or relish in the opportunity to kayak and paddle-board. Visitors also have the option of touring historic structures such as the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and Fort Hancock. Show more

Which beach town in New Jersey has a Victorian charm and historic atmosphere?

Cape May is a beach town that exudes a Victorian charm with its impressive architecture and historic atmosphere. In addition to the beach, visitors can enjoy an assortment of antique theaters, museums, and lighthouses. Horse-drawn carriage tours offer a glimpse into the town's rich past. As a bonus, visitors can go fishing and crabbing while enjoying the Delaware Bay view. Show more

Are beach facilities open beyond the official beach season in New Jersey?

Most beaches in New Jersey stay open beyond the official beach season (which runs from Memorial Day weekend in late May to Labor Day weekend in early September) until late September. Beach-goers can still enjoy the sunny weather, however, visitors should be aware that the facilities may not operate fully outside the official beach season. Show more

Ask a question
Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen