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Top New Jersey Beach Towns: Your Guide to the Ultimate Family-Friendly Day Trip this Summer!

by: Sue Adler
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With summer officially in full swing, it’s the perfect time to plan your first of the season family-friendly day trip to one of New Jersey’s charming beach towns! With their sandy shores, delightful boardwalks, and an array of activities, these nearby towns offer the ideal backdrop for creating cherished memories with your loved ones. Join us as we explore some of the best destination towns along the New Jersey Coast, sure to delight both kids and adults alike:

Day Trip this Summer

  • Point Pleasant Beach: Start your adventure in Point Pleasant Beach, a vibrant beach town offering a myriad of family-friendly attractions. Take a stroll down Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, home to an exciting aquarium filled with fascinating marine life, thrilling amusement rides, arcades, and mini-golf. Enjoy a classic boardwalk experience complete with delicious treats like funnel cake and saltwater taffy. Spend the day building sandcastles on the pristine beach or splashing in the refreshing ocean waves. For a more mellow experience, have a picnic at the waterfront park.
  • Ocean City: Head to Ocean City, known as “America’s Greatest Family Resort,” for a day of fun-filled activities. Travel along the iconic Ocean City Boardwalk lined with amusement parks, water parks, mini-golf courses, shops, and eateries. Ride the thrilling roller coasters at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier or cool off at the water slides of OC Waterpark. Take a break from the excitement and relax on the seven-mile stretch of sandy beaches, where you can swim, sunbathe, and play beach games. Don’t forget to catch the nightly entertainment and fireworks during the summer season.
  • Cape May: A picturesque beach town known for its Victorian charm, Cape May offers a family-friendly atmosphere with its calm waters and gentle surf, as well as its amazing zoo. Visit the Cape May County Park and Zoom, home to a wide variety of animals, including giraffes, lions, and monkeys. Take a guided historic trolley tour to admire the stunning Victorian architecture, take in breathtaking views at the Cape May Lighthouse, or embark on a dolphin-watching cruise for a unique marine adventure that the kids will be sure to love!
  • Asbury Park: Home to one of the Stone Pony, one world’s best known music venues, Asbury Park has so much to offer! Known for its artistic flair, and lively atmosphere, here you’ll find the iconic Asbury Park Boardwalk, lined with unique shops, vibrant eateries, and live music venues. Hop in a swan pedal boat at Asbury Park Pedal Boats on Wesley Lake, challenge your family to a game of pinball at the Silverball Museum Arcade, or enjoy a day of water activities at Asbury Splash Park.
  • Wildwood: Enjoy a day-trip to this vibrant beach town with a lively boardwalk and exciting attractions. Endure an adrenaline rush at Morey’s Piers and beachfront water parks such as Raging Waters, Splash Zone, or Ocean Oasis, all boasting thrilling rides, water slides, and family-friendly attractions. Explore the classic amusement parks, play arcade games, and indulge in delicious boardwalk treats like fudge and salt water taffy. Rent a bike, stroll along the spacious Wildwood beaches, or settle down in the sand and enjoy the ocean breeze. End your day with dinner, music, and a stunning view at Seaport Pier.
  • Seaside Heights: Embark on a trip to this beloved beach town, offering a classic Jersey Shore experience. Walk along the bustling boardwalk and enjoy amusement rides, arcades, and tasty treats. Soak up the sun on the sandy beach, swim in the ocean, or play beach volleyball. Take a ride on the Sky Ride for breathtaking views of the coastline, and don’t forget to savor some iconic boardwalk pizza or fried Oreos.
  • Beach Haven & Barnegat Light: Venture out to Long Beach Island (LBI), a picturesque barrier island that stretches the NJ coast. With pristine beaches and charming towns, it’s a haven (literally) for families seeking a relaxed beach getaway, and kids looking for loads of fun. Explore the various towns on the island, each offering its own unique attractions, such as Beach Haven’s Fantasy Island amusement park or the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park in Barnegat Light. Shop and snack at Bay Village, experience fudge being made from scratch at Country Kettle, and so much more!
  • Sandy Hook: Located in Middletown, Sandy Hook Beach is a unique blend of natural beauty and family-friendly amenities. This expansive beach boasts soft sand, rolling dunes, and stunning views of the New York City skyline. Families can enjoy swimming, picnicking, and exploring the historic Fort Hancock buildings. Head over to the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, which is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States! Don’t miss the opportunity to spot seals during the winter months on the nearby Gunnison Beach.

New Jersey’s coastline is a treasure trove of family-friendly beaches that provide the perfect backdrop for a memorable summer getaway, even if just for the day. From the excitement of Point Pleasant Beach to the tranquility of Sandy Hook, there’s a beach to suit every family’s preferences. So, grab your beach gear, pack a picnic, and prepare for endless fun and relaxation at these remarkable coastal destinations.

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