Whether you want to stroll for seashells, ride waves, or build sand castles, our list of amazing beaches will guide you to your new favorite coastal playground.
It has all the ingredients for a rousing good time: eight miles of wide, lifeguard-staffed beach, a boardwalk lined with souvenir shops and snack bars, an amusement park, and a water park. It’s also free of any rowdiness because it’s free of alcohol.
Stay: The unpretentious Forum Motor Inn (609/399-8700 or theforuminocnj.com) offers large, clean, well-stocked rooms for much less than you’d pay a block away on the boardwalk. Rates range from $72 to $194 for double occupancy. To see available vacation rentals, visit oceancitynj.com.
Eat: Serving everything from scallops to grilled cheese, the Café Beach Club (609/398-7700 or beachclubhotel.com/restaurant.asp) is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with tables on the boardwalk. Everybody loves the saltwater taffy at Shriver’s (877/668-2339 or shrivers.com).
Shop: Leave the boys in the arcade while the girls visit Hello Dollies (609/399-2800 or hellodolliesdolls.com), a doll shop across from the Music Pier.
Local secret: Breakfast on homemade doughnuts at the open-air Oves restaurant (609/398-3712 or ovesrestaurant.com)—which also rents bikes for working off the calories.