The 10 best beaches in New Jersey according to USA Today

🏖 What is your favorite beach in New Jersey?

🏖 USA Today has published a list of the top 10

🏖 Beach activities, amenities, boardwalks and cities helped with the ranking

What is the most beautiful beach in New Jersey?

USA Today has released a list of New Jersey's top ten beaches in its 2024 Readers' Choice Awards.

The beach in Asbury Park

The beach in Asbury Park next to the Convention Hall (Townsquare Media NJ)

#10 Asbury Park Beach

According to the publication, Asbury Park offers beachgoers a dynamic coastal experience.

“It's fun to soak up the sun on the expansive sandy beaches, surf and swim in the refreshing ocean waves. Everything is close by here – you can easily rent beach chairs and umbrellas, browse shops and grab a snack at beachfront restaurants. Afterward, you can enjoy live music just steps from the ocean,” wrote USA Today.

#9 Brigantine Beach

“Primarily a residential community, Brigantine's natural beauty draws repeat visitors. It offers miles of quiet beaches framed by dunes and stunning wildlife habitats. Whether you're fishing along the shore, kayaking through the coves or splashing in the waves, Brigantine Beach is a fun destination for all ages. Plus, you're only allowed to drive in certain areas of the beach – permit required,” according to USA Today.

#8 Island Beach State Park

At Island Beach State Park, the coastal dunes are largely untouched and the beach is one of the least developed on the Atlantic coast, the publication wrote.

Avalon Beach (Visit Avalon NJ)

Avalon Beach (Visit Avalon NJ)

#7 Avalon Beach

The upscale coastal town boasts soft sand, shimmering waters and a laid-back vibe that earned it the No. 7 spot on the list. “You can simply lounge on the beach and admire the waves, or surf, kayak and fish from the shore. Most of the island is residential, so you'll find parking, some amenities and restaurants near the busier, central beach entrances,” USA Today reported.

Long Beach Island

Long Beach Island

# 6 Long Beach Island

It's probably no surprise that LBI, with its beaches, charming coastal towns and abundance of recreational opportunities, makes the USA Today list. Whether fishing, splashing, surfing or just napping on a beach blanket, “Long Beach Island offers a beach experience like no other,” it says.

Cape May Beach

Getty Images/iStockphoto

#5 Cape Town

Right in the middle of the top 10 is family-friendly Cape May, with its Victorian historic charm and architecture and quaint boutiques. USA Today called Cape May's beaches charming and conveniently located for restaurants and other amenities. As a bonus, it's a tradition for visitors and locals to gather in the evenings and watch the sun set behind the Cape May Lighthouse.

Americans begin celebrating the Fourth of July holiday weekend at the Jersey Shore

Beach in Atlantic City (Getty Images)

#4 Atlantic City Beach

Home to the world's longest boardwalk, Atlantic City's wide beaches are ideal for bodysurfing, playing in the waves or simply strolling along the water, wrote USA Today. The backdrop of the giant Ferris wheel and amusement park are also plus points, and chairs and umbrellas are also available for rent on the beach.

City of Sea Isle

City of Sea Isle

#3 Sea Isle City

Sea Isle City has a family-friendly beach scene that attracts beachgoers of all ages. “From swimming in the ocean waves and sunbathing on the wide, soft sand beaches to fishing from the pier, these beaches are a delightful place for ocean fun. Restaurants and other amenities are located near the city's main beach accesses.”

Chris Coleman, Townsquare Media NJ

Chris Coleman, Townsquare Media NJ

#2 Oceania

Second on USA Today’s top 10 list is Ocean City Beach in Ocean City, New Jersey.

“Ocean City is a popular, family-friendly seaside town that draws visitors of all generations year after year. In addition to the legendary boardwalk with rides and entertainment, the beaches stretch for miles. Visitors love swimming, wading in the waves and lying on the sandy shores of the lifeguard-monitored beaches. It's fun to build sandcastles, play paddleball and grab an ice cream or snack on the boardwalk,” USA Today reported.


Wildwood sign (Dennis Malloy/Townsquare Media)

Dennis Malloy/Townsquare Media

#1 The Wild Forests

“The Wildwoods is thrilled to win this prestigious USA Today 10 Best Reader's Choice Award and would like to thank everyone who voted the Wildwoods among New Jersey's best beaches. Our five miles of pristine white sand beaches are the ideal place to relax, unwind, bond and make lifelong family memories. And best of all, our beaches are free to use and no beach passes are required,” said Louis Belasco, Executive Director of the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority.

USA Today voted Wildwoods the best beach in New Jersey because it has the longest stretch of sand on the New Jersey shore and gives beachgoers plenty of room to spread out. There is also a unique beach taxi service that takes visitors from the boardwalk to a location closer to the ocean. Guests can play volleyball on the beach and surf, swim and boogie board in the waves. The legendary Wildwood Boardwalk is also a major entertainment center.

Wildwoods Promenade

Wildwoods Promenade (Bud McCormick)

If convenience is your priority, the Wildwoods are an easy drive from Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore and New York.

The Wildwoods have been a popular family vacation destination for over a century, with plenty to do on the five-mile-long island.

In addition to beautiful, clean and free beaches, the Wildwoods also features three exciting amusement piers with over 100 rides and attractions, three beachfront water parks, retail stores, arcades, carnival games and over 200 restaurants, according to the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority.

Tram on the Wildwood Promenade

Tram on the Wildwood Promenade (Bud McCormick)

After enjoying the beaches, you can take part in one of the many festivals and events, many of which are free. These include the Wildwoods International Kite Festival, the National Marbles Tournament, beach concerts such as the Barefoot Country Music Fest, monster truck racing on the beach, vintage car and motorcycle beach drag racing, and more.

For more information about the Wildwoods, click here.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

It's here! The complete 2024 NJ County Fair summer schedule

A list of fairs taking place across the Garden State in 2024. From rides, food, animals to hot air balloons, each fair has something unique to offer.

(Fairs are listed in geographic order from Southern New Jersey to Northern New Jersey)

Gallery credit: Mike Brant

Anna Harden

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *