WILDWOOD, NJ – New Jersey residents are some of the most overtaxed, overcharged and overstressed people in the United States, that’s why when it’s time to head down to the Jersey Shore each summer, many people ask the very popular question, “Are there any free beaches in New Jersey?”
The answer is yes and there are some fantastic ones.
Are Atlantic City beaches free? You bet they are! See what we did there? One of the benefits of Atlantic City being a casino and resort town has been its free beaches. All beach entry points are free in Atlantic City. Surfing is allowed on Downtown Beach, Crystal Beach, and Delaware Avenue Beach. Kayakers, windsurfers and boogie boarders can use the Jackson Avenue Beach.
Barnegat Beach, Barnegat
In Barnegat Township, there’s a public bay beach located on Bayshore Drive. The unguarded beach has no lifeguards, but it’s a great little beach for the younger families, it’s clean has a small boardwalk and pavilion. If you just want a quiet little getaway beach, this is the beach for you. It’s one of the few free beaches in Ocean County.
Bay Front Beach, Lower Township
In Lower Township, Cape May County, the beachfront in Lower Township is a great place to take in a sunset and best of all, the beach is free. The beach runs along Beach Drive. There are several access points along the way, but a larger parking lot is located at the south end. Animals are allowed on this beach, just not during the summer season.
Beesley’s Point, Marmora
Beesley’s Point is a small beach situated on the Greg Egg Harbor Bay across from Ocean City. The beach doesn’t offer much of anything, not a great view, no amenities, just a beach…and only a beach. Nearby, you can find a great seafood restaurant called Tuckahoe Inn & Tavern. It’s not the best beach on the list, but it’s a beach…and it’s free.
Ideal Beach, Middletown
Overlooking the Raritan Bay, Ideal beach is right around the corner from the Keansburg Amusement Park. It offers a natural bay beach setting in a nice and quiet area, away from the hustle and bustle of the Jersey Shore. Ideal beach is a great place to sit on the beach, get a tan and watch the ships and boats pass by. Nearby Leonardo Beach is also free.
Jennifer Lane Beach, Manahawkin
If going to the beach smack in the middle of somebody else’s neighborhood sounds like your plan for the day, then Jennifer Lane Beach is for you. Nestled between bayfront homes Beach Haven West, this small beach offers a nice view of the Manahawkin Bay, the Route 72 Causeway Bay Bridge and Long Beach Island to the east. Nearby you can find Mill Creek Park, a quaint little public municipal park.
Keansburg Beach, Keansburg
Next door to Ideal Beach, you’ll find Keansburg Beach. Keansburg Beach is a little busier than Ideal Beach, but has nearby amenities including the Keansburg Amusement Park, some restaurants and arcades. The beach is on the Raritan Bay.
Strathmere Beach, Upper Township
In Cape May County, Strathmere Beach is a little perfect slice of free beach access along a mile of ocean beach. Parking is free, beach access is free and lifeguards are on duty daily. Strathmere is your prototypical Jersey Shore experience. A small and quiet beach town with some corner eateries, Italian and seafood restaurants and more. One of the unique offerings of Strathmere is a camping resort.
Union Beach, Union
Nestled along the Raritan Bay in the northeast section of Union Township, you can find a nice little beach for rest and relaxation. Down the street there’s a roadside sprinkler park called Fireman’s Park.
We saved the best for last. The Wildwoods are the best bet for free beaches in all of New Jersey. Not only are Wildwoods’ free beaches the best free beaches, they beat all other pay beaches in New Jersey year after year in surveys and polls. Wildwood is New Jersey Americana and you can spend an entire summer here and not do everything there is to do. If you have never been to Wildwood, you are really missing out on the classic, old-fashioned Jersey Shore experience. The beaches in Wildwood are free from the north end of North Wildwood to the south end of Wildwood Crest.
There you have it, our list of the best free beaches in New Jersey.
Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash