The New Jersey Beaches - Monmouth & Ocean Counties

(website established 1995... 25th anniversary May 22, 2020!!!)

Remember, despite what other (non-natives) may tell you, it is called the BEACH and NOT the shore!

This page has information about the beaches of Monmouth and Ocean counties - 35 beaches covering over 60 miles (out of 127 miles of coastline in New Jersey)! "The Beachpage" lists what is available there, driving directions, phone numbers (often the Chamber of Commerce and/or Tourism Commission), and other stuff I thought of or you may suggest. Fees are usually in effect from around Memorial Day to Labor Day. Also note that often-times in late afternoon (4pm or 5pm) there is no one collecting fees; this doesn't really occur until evening at some of the larger beaches where you have to drive into. Keep in mind, though, that at these times of the day and of the year that fees are not collected, there may be no lifeguards on duty.

New Jersey is the only state in the nation that tests it's ocean waters (weekly, in season) and makes that information available to the public (800-648-SAND). Daily water-quality testing is done at 188 ocean and 137 bay beaches (note: this is subject to change). New Jersey also has smoking regulations on the beach. If there are any personal stories or information you wish to add, please email me and let me know! The Beach Page has been recognized by Barbara Steele, the director of Ocean County Public Affairs and Tourism. If you have reason to call her for information (phone given under "additional phone numbers"), please tell her that you found her number on The Beach Page!

Ocean / Monmouth counties collectively has been rated as one of the best places in the country (3rd best place to live in 1997 Money Magazine, 23rd best place to raise a family in Reader's Digest, one of the top five choices for retirement (Ocean County) in Fortune Magazine). Being between New York City and Philadelphia makes either city easy to access, but also has the beautiful beaches nearby. In addition to the beaches are many other exciting places for entertainment, history, camping, and anything else you can think up.

Want to keep our beaches in excellent shape? Clean Beaches Council, a nonprofit that promotes beach sustainability, recommends these steps:
1. Leave no trace (if you carry it in, carry it out)
2. Use public restrooms (help keep beach water clean)
3. Dont tread the dunes (prevent beach erosion/use walkovers)
4. Know your limits (swim, surf and boat safely)
5. Respect native habitats (wildlife and plants)
6. Mind your pet (help keep beaches sanitary)
7. Get involved!

Topical Outline (not to be confused with topical sunscreen)
-----> A . Monmouth County
-----> B . Ocean County
-----> A . Volleyball
-----> B . Surfing
-----> C . Beach Wheelchairs and People With Disabilities
-----> D . Boating
-----> E . Boardwalks
-----> F . Lighthouses
-----> G . SCUBA Diving
-----> H . Running Races
-----> A . Sunscreen
-----> B . Skin Cancer
-----> C . Beach Closings
-----> D . Littering
-----> E . Sand Dunes
-----> F . Barrier Islands
-----> G . Heat Stroke & Heat Exhaustion (coming soon)

MONMOUTH COUNTY beaches from north to south:

A map is at the bottom of this chart.
TownContact FeesDescription
Union Beach 732-264-2277 free; parking: free but limited * This info was provided to me: it is a very nice beach situated on the bay with a nice view of Keansburg. Since this is a bay beach, waves are smaller and terrain is rockier.
* Fishing is allowed toward the end of the beach.
* Weekends can get crowded, but not weekdays.
Keansburg 732-495-1400, 732-495-4667 free; parking: metered & lots & side-streets * Has Keansburg Amusement Park and Runaway Rapids Waterpark and a nice view of New York City
* Can rent some water sports equipment.
* Since this is a bay beach, waves are smaller and terrain is rockier.
Sandy Hook (Gateway National Recreation Area) 732-872-5970 $ per car but free to bicycle in * A very popular area with a clothing optional beach which, if you are comfortable with your body, I strongly suggest you go to take advantage of the OPTION to go nude. About half to a little over half of the people there do not wear clothes. If you don't feel comfortable going naked, you don't have to. If you want the exact location, please email me, but when you go do NOT go to stare.
* Entire beach area here (with several beaches) is supposed to be beautiful (I wouldn't know- whenever I am in the area to go here, I only go to the CO beach).
* Has a Visitor's Center / Historical Center (Fort Hancock) past the beaches with a museum and many other attractions where you can tour barracks and the recently restored Sandy Hook Lighthouse, the oldest operating lighthouse in the country (it is a nice 30 minutes tour); there is a lot to do & see besides going in the water such as hiking trails
* Beach fire permits are available and SCUBA diving is allowed in some areas
* The paved bike trails throughout here are amazing
Highlands 732-872-1959 free & free parking * Has the first electrically operated lighthouse in the US (Navesink Light Station) at Twin Lights Historic Site
* I think they have volleyball, basketball, and tennis
* Also available are ferry rides along the Hudson River
Middletown Township 732-615-2660 free & free parking * Uncrowded area
Sea Bright 732-842-0215/0099 parking fee or look for some metered & some free spaces; under 13 years are free * Note the palm trees!
* Has volleyball (including tournaments) and basketball
* Good night activities such as bars and music for us party-folk & shopping & restaurants along Ocean Ave; though I've not been there yet, Tradewinds Night Club is the place to go for music I'm told
* SCUBA diving is allowed in some areas
Monmouth Beach 732-229-5296 under 12 years are free; parking fee * Can visit the pool ($) or beach/pool combination pass ($)
Long Branch 732-229-0924, 732-571-6545 free under 12 years; parking fee * Many beaches here, including Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park which has some of EVERYTHING including volleyball, surfing, jetties which are not very slippery (but be careful) though they don't go too far out; the seven presidents, in case you were wondering, were Arthur, Garfield, Grant, Harrison, Hayes, McKinley, and Wilson
* Go to Max's famous hot-dogs a block or two inland- they are HUGE and are spectacular (The Daily Meal ranked them as one of the top hot dogs in the country in 2017 and 2018!)
* SCUBA diving is allowed in some areas
Deal 732-531-1454 free under 12 years; parking: free * Can rent bathhouses, use volleyball courts, let the kids use the playground, and explore the mansions in the area
Allenhurst free for under age 13; parking: free * Home to the Metro Lyric Opera which gives educational programs for all ages
* Has some surfing
Corlies Ave is handicapped accessible
Loch Arbour 732-531-4740 free for under age 13; parking: free on nearby streets * Perhaps the tiniest stretch of beach (190 feet long) of any of the little municipalities in the two counties
Has volleyball and surfing
Asbury Park 732-775-0900 children under 13 are free when accompanied by an adult; parking: metered * Used to be a huge enterprise but was run-down for many years; efforts were made for seveal years to get it back on track (for example, trying to attract more people with free beach access during parts of the 1993 season, and reopening the Paramount Theatre, the Convention Hall, and the Baronet Theatre, with a lot of events) but failed (in my opinion) until about 2004 when it finally all came together with a new pristine boardwalk and plenty of vendors including a place to rent bikes (though not real beach pizza... oh well!)
* Probably was the biggest and most happening place in Monmouth & Ocean counties, with Bruce Springsteen's loyalty here (and you can find the famous Madam Marie's fortune telling stand here) at the Stone Pony club on Ocean Ave. & 2nd Ave.
* The author Stephen Crane House is at 508 4th Ave.
* Listed as one of the top 10 best NJ beach towns in a survey released on May 22, 2008!
Ocean Grove 732-531-9283 under 13 are free * Is designated a "national historic landmark" with its Victorian charm but also visit the shops inland a bit in addition to going in the water, has a 'SOHO' or 'Village' feel (a little) in some parts; there is a cool seashell store here (is it still there?)
* Has surfing and kayaking (you might still be able to rent kayaks)
Bradley Beach 732-776-2998 under 14 are free; parking: free * Home of a cool Memorial Day Parade where a group of participants march from the parade right up to the beach, complete with beach chairs and bathing suits
* Nice area with surfing
* Saw an AWESOME lightning show here a few years ago at a friends house (don't worry, we didn't go in the water)
* Miniature golf, playground on the mile-long boardwalk where you'll see plenty of people running
Plenty of evening concerts during the summer season here
* Has beach wheelchairs I'm told
Avon 732-502-4508 under 12 years are free; parking: free * May have been the first in the area to have beach wheelchairs, the kind with big balloon-wheels that you can go on the sand and even a few inches of water with, available to beachgoers
* Several bed & breakfasts here;
* Some surfing available
Belmar 732-681-1176 parking: metered along Ocean Ave, but park on the side streets (they're free and not hard to find a spot); under 15 years are free * THE place for beach volleyball in Monmouth county (see also Seaside in Ocean county) including major tournaments
* Many bars and clubs and very commercial- known for college student party town (Bar A on 16th Ave is a good one, as is D'Jais along Ocean Ave, and I heard Jason's on Main Street is good also)
* Has an unofficial gay beach around 2nd Ave (though not only gay people go there)
* Many bed & breakfasts
* Marinas
* Why is there a barn-shaped structure along the southern side? Well, it's because years ago it used to be Peters Ice Cream Barn, which, although pricey, was amazing ice-cream. The two Peters brothers owned them in Jackson (Marc) and Belmar (Bob); I helped Bob get set up before the summer started one year
* Has some surfing and you can rent kayaks
* Beach whelchairs
Spring Lake 732-449-8005 parking: free; under 12 years are free * In contrast to Belmar, a great place to take a romantic walk with your partner, or a nice quiet time with your family in a non commercial area (though there are nice shops by 3rd Ave)
* Nice place for picnics (though I don't know their policy on them) (though there are nice shops by 3rd Ave)
* Nice hotels and bed & breakfasts overlooking the water, such as The Breakers, The Sandpiper Inn, Grand Victorian, The Victoria House, and the Warren Hotel. One of the nicest, the Essex and Sussex Hotel (right along the Ocean Avenue) was converted into condominiums around the mid-late 90's (though there are nice shops by 3rd Ave)
* Has some surfing and volleyball and SCUBA diving is allowed in some areas
Sea Girt 732-449-7079 under 12 are free; parking: free * Used to be my place to go as a teenager since I could not get to the water until the afternoon (I work nights at Six Flags Great Adventure and McDonald's), and by that time they didn't have anyone collecting fees
* Had one of the highest tides I have even seen one day in June 1996 when I almost drowned
* Has some good surfing- try near Philadelphia Blvd
* I'm told they also have beach wheelchairs (see Avon)
* I heard "The Parker House" is a good place to stay
* Don't forget to check out the c. 1896 Victorian-style lighthouse on Beacon Blvd & Ocean Ave (with free tours 1-4pm on Sundays)
Manasquan 732-223-1221 people with physical disabilities get a 50% discount; parking fee * Very beach-town feel with the sand on the ground all the way to the street and a smooth, paved boardwalk
* Has volleyball
* Has very good surfing at southern end
* Used to be my place in the early 80's when I was very young, going with neighbors- we used to walk on the jetties (among other things); they had a jellyfish problem back then, but I don't think so anymore
Nice houses along the sand
* Many antique and arts shops including the Carriage House Antique Center
* Has stuff going on at night as well which includes the Algonquin Arts Theatre, and the Red Oak Music Theatre is here (I used to know a musician in the Red Oak Music Company- don't know if he still plays bass there)
* Elks Beach is dedicated to people with physical disabilities with ramps and vehicle access and beach wheelchairs
* SCUBA diving is allowed in some areas;
* A very informative book on collecting shells, The Art Of Shelling, was published here (ask me if you want the publisher's address)

The map below displays the beaches of Monmouth County with a green diamond marking each beach. Click each green diamond to reveal the name of the beach. You may zoom in and out or may click the brackets in the upper right to display the listing of all beaches in a new large window with the names of all the beaches on the left. You can then click the beach you desire and it will be highlighted on the map. You may also click the options menu in the upper left to display the names of all the beaches on the left that you can click on to highlight on the map

OCEAN COUNTY beaches from north to south:

A map is at the bottom of this chart.
TownContact FeesDescription
Point Pleasant 732-892-5813 free for under 3 or 65+; parking: free * Has the Point Pleasant Antique Emporium
Point Pleasant Beach 732-892-1000, 732-892-5200, 732-899-2424, 732-892-1118 reduced prices for children; parking: depends on where but expect to pay * Very popular and commercial area with many rides on the boardwalk and shops and stuff; good for families with kids, and there are a _lot_ of kids there
* Be careful of the ride resembling a ferris wheel -- though much smaller -- that has cars that flip over and over (nothing's dangerous about it, it just had quite an impact on me!)
* Jenkinson's may be the most well-known beach in the area with lots of attractions including a big aquarium ($), a lot of amusements, and surfing
* SCUBA diving is allowed in some areas
* Listed as one of the top 10 best NJ beach towns in a survey released on May 22, 2008!
Bay Head 732-892-4179 under 12 are free but should be accompanied by an adult; parking: free but limited * Many shops & antique places- check out Shopper's Wharf on Bridge Ave
* Surfing available
* SCUBA diving is allowed in some areas
Mantoloking 732-899-6600 free for under 12 years old; parking: free but only for 2 hours * A surfing permit costs $ but make sure you are far away from the bathers
Normandy Beach 732-341-1000 children 12 and under are free; seniors who are residents are free; parking: free * This beach is part of Dover Township, but I know little about it besides that; go & tell me what you think!
Brick Township 732-262-1075/1006 under 12 are free but should be accompanied by an adult; parking fee; some places are free to get in & some to park as well * I'm told this is one of the nicer beaches in the area
* Has a gazebo nearby you can reserve (for a few hundred $ plus insurance)
* Also has beach wheelchairs and surfing
Dover Township (Toms River) 732-341-1000 parking: free; pool: $ * Has volleyball, but I think it might cost you something
* Might still have swimming lessons at the pool for a fee
* If you ever get a chance, take a "mini-cruise" on the River Lady- an 85-foot paddle-wheeler which leaves from downtown Toms River and goes through the Barnegat Bay all the way past the route 37 bridge in Seaside (depending on the trip you want)
* A small boardwalk is here as well
Island Heights 732-270-6415 * I have no idea about this area (sorry); please email me in you have any info
Berkeley Township 732-269-4456 under 12 are free, seniors who are residents are free but must get a badge; parking: metered * It's a small beach here
Lavallette 732-793-2100 under 12 are free; parking: free on street * Has a nice boardwalk with a small-town feel though I haven't been there in over a decade
* Surfing
* Might still have swim lessons
Seaside Heights 800-SEASHOR parking: metered or cheapest you can find in a lot, but keep reading for free parking) * THE place for volleyball, along with neighboring Seaside Park, in Ocean County (see also Belmar in Monmouth County) including major tournaments
* Very popular and commercial area with excellent boardwalk amusements (I sometimes went to Casino Pier- check out The Magical Carousel Shoppe) and nightclubs & general nightlife overall; party-town like Belmar (with more attractions) but the crowd is somewhat younger- more high school and late teens (there is a not too flattering name for this beach because of all the people "making new friends" here, but I heard on good authority that Seaside area IS doing something about their image problem and we should expect the beach area to be nicer)
* Water Works, a cool water park with water-slides & stuff is a few blocks from the water on Ocean & Grant (near Casino Pier, which has surfing)
* Check out Smuggler's Quay miniature golf (Central & Grant)
* There IS free parking on the island, though you have to walk a bit to get to the beach, but don't do what I did a few years back during 100+ degree weather and try to walk on the pavement with BARE FEET, resulting in 2nd degree burns & big blisters on the soles of my feet
* Heard from a reliable source that they also have beach wheelchairs - call 732-793-4343 to reserve one for free
* Many families or groups of friends often rent a house for a week or so but if you don't want to stay that long, they have many hotels & motels
* Surfing is at the north side
Seaside Park 732-793-0234, 732-830-2100 under 12 are free; parking: metered in some places or cheapest you can find in a lot * THE place for volleyball, along with neighboring Seaside Heights, in Ocean County (see also Belmar in Monmouth County) including major tournaments
* VERY similar to Seaside Heights (with amusements) and in fact you might not be able to tell where one ends and the other begins, especially since the boardwalk runs uninterrupted through both and the northern part of Seaside Park is festive, while the southern part is quieter
* I almost took a bungee jump here years ago until I saw the price
* Seaside (Heights and Park) attractions on the boardwalk don't close until 2:00 or 3:00 am
* I heard that the Windjammer Motor Inn is a nice place to stay
Island Beach State Park (South Seaside Park) 732-793-1689 for the nature center (tours), 732-793-0506 for canoe & kayak tour reservations $ per car; Tuesdays might still be free * A non-commercial 2,000+ acre protected area open all year round; three areas here- the Northern Natural Area is mainly for tours of the beautiful nature and I think the a governor's house is here; Center (Recreation Area) is for bathing and has two areas and parking lots and is nice to take a walk at, and they have "surf chairs" for the handicapped; Southern Natural Area has no lifeguards but you can fish and have open fires and barbecues (like I did several summers ago), just be sure the fires are 50 feet east of the dune line (they can be pretty protective of this area), you can have your beach buggy or 4-wheel drive vehicle on the sand here, and you have a nice view of Barnegat Lighthouse if you go to the end and walk on the sand- I suggest you do this at least once
* Can get PACKED on weekends when it is hot (may want to call because they will only let in a certain amount of cars)
* Please stay off the dunes
* There is surfing... somewhere
* Talk to someone at the welcome booth- there are a LOT of non-commercialized activities to do here and you should take advantage of them
* Go for a canoe & kayak tour free (if they still do this) on Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday
Barnegat Light 609-494-9196 children under 11 are free; parking: on side streets * Has "Old Barney," the 172-foot tall lighthouse standing since 1858
* Don't remember how much it costs to get in, but it is very cheap, and you have a breathtaking view of the surrounding area
* Has beach wheelchairs (see Avon)
* Has marinas and many places for boating
* Has basketball, tennis, & volleyball
* Has antique and crafts shops mostly along Bay Avenue
Manahawkin / Waretown / Stafford 609-597-2303 * Many marinas
Long Beach Township 609-361-1200 under 12 years and over 65 years are free * LBI (Long Beach Island) has been recognized by "Dr. Beach" as one of the top 20 beaches in the nation
* Has 12 miles of beaches including the towns of Loveladies, Brighton Beach, Holgate, and many others
* Has beach wheelchairs, southern area is more commercialized than the northern area
* This is the area those "LBI" shirts are referring to that you see many people wearing
Harvey Cedars 609-494-6905 under 12 area free; parking: on side streets * Has surfing here, nice waves
* Has beach wheelchairs (reserve in advance)
* Has volleyball, baseball, playground for kids, and a paved fitness track
Surf City 609-494-3064 under 12 years and over 65 years are free; parking: on street * Yes our very own Surf City with excellent sand and waves and of course surfing, basketball, and fishing.
* In spring 2007, hundreds of World War I era military munitions were found buried in the sand, and a great effort to remove them was made successfully. These were not "unexploded ordinances" that were fired and waiting to explode, but instead were discarded ones, and the beaches is safe. More were found in May 2008, but the beaches were not scheduled to be closed due to inspections being conducted nearly every day. If you are concerned, I'd speak with a town official; I personally wouldn't have a problem going there.
Ship Bottom 609-494-1614 under 12 years are free; 65 and over get a free badge but must pay for replacements (that's what I'm told; if you confirm this please let me know); parking: on streets and in the area] * Many surfing rental places, marinas, sailing, jet ski rentals
* SCUBA diving is allowed in some areas
* Has beach wheelchairs (see Avon)
* Has the Original Ron Jon Surf Shop, the other of which is in Cocoa Beach, Florida (which I was at in May 1996 and is also great)
* see also Surf City above for information on the military munitions
Beach Haven 609-492-0111 under 12 years and over 65 years are free; parking is limited * They have great funnel cakes, says a friend
* Also has great surfing, I'm told, as well as tennis, softball, and basketball
* Has beach wheelchairs
* Many bed & breakfasts & Victorian charm
* Has miniature golf & other amusements including Fantasy Island Amusement Park & Casino Arcade
* Marinas as well
* Beach fire permits are available
* Listed as one of the top 10 best NJ beach towns in a survey released on May 22, 2008!

The map below displays the beaches of Ocean County with a blue diamond marking each beach. Click each blue diamond to reveal the name of the beach. You may zoom in and out or may click the brackets in the upper right to display the listing of all beaches in a new large window with the names of all the beaches on the left. You can then click the beach you desire and it will be highlighted on the map. You may also click the options menu in the upper left to display the names of all the beaches on the left that you can click on to highlight on the map.



The New Jersey Beaches host some of the biggest volleyball tournaments in the world. Belmar and Seaside often attract people such as Sinjin Smith, Randy Stoklos, Karch Kiraly, and Kent Steffes (and just where has Smith been hiding out?). Other professional tournaments are sometimes in Point Pleasant Beach and Sandy Hook. When going to play volleyball, make sure you bring your ball, and depending on where you go, also bring your boundary lines and a net. The beaches where volleyball is bigger (for example, Seaside and Belmar) have the nets up already and have many courts. In addition to the above, the following beaches have volleyball: Avon, Long Beach Township, Brick, Bradley Beach, Manasquan, Middletown Township, and Seven Presidents in Long Branch.


I am not a surfer, so I really don't know too much about it, but here are some places where you can go: Sea Girt (New York Ave), Manasquan, Beach Haven, Seaside Heights (Casino Pier), Seaside Park, Lavallette, Harvey Cedars, Long Branch (Seven Presidents). Here are some other places you can check out: Spring Lake, Belmar, Ship Bottom, Ocean Grove, Avon, Bradley Beach, Sandy Hook, Point Pleasant Beach (Jenkinson's), Barnegat Light, Bay Head, Brick Township, Island Beach State Park, Surf City.

Beach Wheelchairs and People With Physical Disabilities

Beach wheelchairs are wheelchairs that have big balloon-like wheels that enable the passanger to wheel right onto the beach. Some of them can even get you into a few inches of water, though any more than that and you will probably float. Most major beaches in Ocean & Monmouth county now have these wheelchairs, with a varying amount of them. Some have both adult and juveniles sizes. You would want to call ahead to make sure they are available. The beaches that have at least one of them (to my knowledge) are the following: Avon, Barnegat Light, Beach Haven, Beach Haven Crest, Beach Haven Gardens, Beach Haven Park, Beach Haven Terrace, Bradley Beach, Brant Beach, Brick Township, The Dunes, Harvey Cedars, Holgate, Long Beach Township, Loveladies, Manasquan, North Beach Haven, Peahala Park, Seaside Heights, Ship Bottom, Surf City. Long Branch offers free admission and Manasquan offers a 50% discount to people with physical disabilities. In addition, Elks Beach in Manasquan is dedicated to people with physical disabilities by offering ramps and vehicle access. Call the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce for a flyer for people with disabilities listing motels, restaurants, and beaches that are accessible & where to get beach wheelchairs.


Don't know too much about this subject, but I heard that boating is available in Barnegat, Belmar, Berkeley Township, Long Beach Township, Manasquan, Manatoloking, Point Pleasant, and Ship Bottom. As for renting boats, you may try any of the places above, but the places I am told that do have boats for rent are Belmar, Highlands, and Point Pleasant Beach. The boat you see here, the Capt. Bennett, was named after my friend's Dad, a former captain of the beach patrol in Brigantine. Although Brigantine is not in Ocean or Monmouth country (it's just south in Atlantic County) and thus it normally would not be included in The Beach Page, I'll make an exception for my friend!


Since BOARDWALKS were invented in New Jersey and there are several beaches where you can enjoy them, this section simply lists the towns that have them on the ocean. Note that there are some adjacent to rivers (Island Heights for example), but this information is about the OCEAN! While Toms River (Dover Township) has a smaller stretch of boardwalk, the longer and more well-known ones are in Lavallette, Seaside Heights/Seaside Park, and Point Pleasant Beach. Call the Ocean County Public Affairs at 732-929-2000 for a brochure listing boardwalks of Ocean County and what they offer


There has been quite a resurgence in the interest in lighthouses recently. New Jersey has at least nine of the beacons, with four of them in the Ocean-Monmouth area. The Sandy Hook lighthouse dates back to a fort from colonial times as well as a prior military base. It is the oldest operating lighthouse in the U.S. (circa 1764) and is the ONLY lighthouse to appear on MORE THAN one U.S. postage stamp (just a little bit of trivia for you- and I know of a reliable stamp shop in Toms River than can get them for you). The Twin Lights of Navesink is the first electronically operated lighthouse in the U.S., dating back to 1828. The Sea Girt lighthouse is an all-brick Victorian style house, dating back to 1896. Finally is "Old Barney," the 172-foot tall lighthouse of Barnegat Light, dating back to 1858. In June 2003, the United States Postal Service issued five new stamps of the southeast U.S. lighthouses, including the one I visited in Savannah in November 2001, Tybee Island lighthouse! If you want information on purchasing them, let me know.

SCUBA Diving

Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (in case you were wondering what SCUBA stood for). I am a certified Open Water (SCUBA) diver, through PADI, one of the certifying agencies. You must be certified to SCUBA dive, even if you think you are an excellent swimmer. Because training and certification is necessary, SCUBA is actually a very safe activity. Some resorts offer SCUBA diving certification (which is actually a junior level Open Water certification). I was certified through Blue Horizons Dive Center in Philadelphia. Contact me if you want more information. For your information, the following beaches allow SCUBA diving: Sandy Hook, Sea Bright, Long Branch, Spring Lake, Manasquan, Point Pleasant Beach, Bay Head, Ship Bottom

Running Races

I love running and have been doing it consistently since around January 2001, competing in a few races a year, starting a running club, a 1 mile race, and helping start a 5K race. There are plenty of races to choose from at the beach (and don't worry, they generally are not run on the sand!). Even if you are a slow runner, you are welcome to compete (just don't start at the front of the line and block the fast racers!). I have a list of local races below in chronological order. Please note that the dates are approximate, as the exact date changes from year to year (the ones listed are for 2006). This is not a comprehensive list, and please check with the race director/organizers in advance.

* February 18 - Manasquan - Mid Winter Beach Run 2 miler to benefit Manasquan First Aid Squad - start on 1st Avenue by Leggert's Bar.
* April 15 - Long Branch (Seven Presidents Park) - Sergeant Pat's Day 5K + walk + kid's race - this is a championship race, so the competition will be tough.
* April 22 - Seaside Heights to Asbury Park - Jersey Shore Relay of up to 5-person teams (legs are 4-7 miles for a total of 25 miles) to benefit Special Olympics. Run through Ortley Beach, Lavallette, Mantoloking, Brick Beach, Bay Head, Pt. Pleasant Beach, Brielle, Manasquan, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Belmar, Avon, Bradley Beach, and Ocean Grove - start at Aztec Ocean Resort.
* April 30 - Long Branch - New Jersey Marathon & Half-Marathon & 2-person Marathon Relay.
* May 14 - Highlands / Sandy Hook - Bahrs 5 Miler.
* May 20 - Bay Head 5K Memory Run to fight Leukemia - start at Bay Head Firehouse.
* May 27 - Spring Lake 5 miler + kids race to benefit Spring Lake's recreation program, schools, and volunteer organizations - start at Ocean & Sussex Avenues - registration closes months early as the race fills up quickly with nearly 10,000 racers (I'm told it is the largest 5 miler in the country!).
* July 8 - Belmar Five miler + kids races + 2 mile fitness walk - start at Ocean & 5th Avenues.
* August 6 - Sea Girt 5K + kid's fun run + fitness walk - start at Sea Girt Plaza.
* September 4 - Long Branch (Pier Village) 5K to benefit Habitat For Humanity of Long Branch.
* October 15 - Seaside Heights - Seaside Half Marathon & 5K.
* October 22 - Long Branch (Seven Presidents Park) - Trick Or Trot 4 miler to benefit Monmouth County Foodbank.
* December 3 - Pt. Pleasant - Reindeer Romp 5K.
* December 31 - Asbury Park 5 mile run + 10 mile racewalk + 5 mile healthwalk - start at Convention Hall/Howard Johnson's Restaurant on Ocean Avenue.
* December 31 - Belmar (Bar Anticipation / Lake Como) - about 3 mile walk/run.
* December 31/January 1 - Long Branch Happy New Year Midnight Run fun run/walk up to 4 miles - start at Ocean Promenade.


A few words about... Sunscreen:

USE IT OR YOU WILL BURN!!! Regulations in 2012 made it easier for us to choose the best sunscreen. Get one that says Broad Spectrum, as this will protect you from both UV-A and UV-B. I suggest SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 25 - 50. Much above 50 is likely not to give any clinically greater protection. There is no such things as waterproof or sweatproof or all-day protection sunscreen, but they can be labelled as water resistant for either 40 or 80 minutes. Apply it 20-30 minutes BEFORE you get out in the sun - give it time to seep in and don't forget ears, balding heads, lips, backs of hands, and the tops of feet. And use a FULL OUNCE! Using less will NOT give you as much protection. It is also suggested to re-apply every 2 hours. If you find an old bottle of sunscreen, throw it away (even if it still has that sunscreen smell!) if it doesn't have an expiration date. Children under 2 should not use regular sunscreen- consult a doctor about this, and keep the kids out of direct sunlight. Also note that if you are African and you think you can get away with not using sunscreen, you are wrong. You may not burn as easily, but you will still get the UV rays from the sun. Personally, I feel that a plain sunburn is the lesser of the two evils when compared to skin cancer. My favorite ingredients, for safety and efficacy, are the "old school" ones: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. ALSO, do not forget your sunglasses! No need to spend a lot of money on them, just make sure they block 99-100% of ultraviolet (UV) rays.

A few words about... Skin Cancer:

One out of every three cases of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. is skin cancer. Most can be cured, especially with early detection. If you notice any skin blemishes, especially one that lasts over 3 weeks, or a mole that changes appearance in size, color, texture, shape, or sensation, consult your physician immediately. These are just SOME of the warning signs. If you spend much time outdoors or trying to tan, have light skin or eyes or hair, have a family history of skin cancer or childhood history of severe sunburns, freckle or sunburn easily, you are at a higher risk than normal. Some medications as well put one at risk. For protection, besides sunscreen, make sure to wear sunglasses with UVA & UVB protection & a hat with a wide brim, and try to avoid outdoor exposure between 10am & 2pm.

A few words about... Beach Closings:

Thousands of beaches were closed last summer throughout the country & the world. Fortunately, though, there were very few in the state of New Jersey. Beaches are closed when fecal coliform bacteria, the bacteria found in sewage, reaches a high level. New Jersey state standards prohibit swimming when bacteria levels are above 200 coliform colonies per 100 milliliters of test water. Heavy rains may flush pollutants into the waters and may increase this level, but the level may return to normal after a day or two. To find information on water quality, see the annual survey of the Natural Resources Defense Council

A few words about... Littering:

Rather than tell you to PLEASE clean up after yourself, I thought I would post how long it takes some common objects, which people often "forget" to throw away on the beach, to decompose.
  • Orange peel: 2 to 20 weeks
  • plastic coated paper: 1-2 years
  • plastic bags: 10-20 years
  • plastic film: 20-30 years
  • nylon fabric: 30-40 years
  • aluminum cans: 80-100 years
  • Cigarette filters also create health problems when rain pushes them into storm drains to poison fish and other wildlife.

    A few words about... Sand Dunes:

    Please be careful and DO NOT walk on sand dunes. They help provide protection from the air and the water-- the winds and the waves. When waves carry sand onto to shoreline, the wind blows it inland and it begins to form a dune. Plants help to keep the dune secure with their long roots. The natural storm protection of these dunes are hampered when people walk or drive over them.

    A few words about... Barrier Islands:

    A large majority of the Ocean County beaches have two barrier islands protecting the mainland on the east side: Long Beach Island on the southern part, and Barnegat Peninsula (also called Island Beach Peninsula or Barnegat Bay Island) on the north. Between these islands and the mainland is the Barnegat Bay. These islands were shaped by the winds and the waves and provide protection for the mainland from storms around the coastal area.


    The best bet is to take the Garden State Parkway (GSP), especially if you have to travel a long way. You could take route 9, but I don't recommend it, especially in the southern areas. Please note that you will hit the most traffic to the beach on weekends between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, and will hit the most traffic returning from the beach on late Sunday and early Monday morning. Be safe when driving and know that in New Jersey, if your windshield wipers are on, your headlights must be on as well.
    If you are going to... Use the following directions
    Union Beach, Keansburg, Sandy Hook, Highlands exit 117 to route 36
    Middletown Township exit 117 or 114 to route 35-S
    Sea Bright exit 117 to route 36 or exit 109 to route 520-E
    Monmouth Beach, Long Branch exit 105 to route 36
    Deal, Allenhurst, Loch Arbour exit 105 to route 36 to route 71-S
    Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, Bradley Beach, Avon, Belmar exit 102 to route 71-S or exit 98 to route 138-E (it will become route 138 when you see traffic lights) and follow signs or take route 195-E (watch your speed) to route 138-E and follow signs or take route 18-S to route 138-E and follow signs
    Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Manasquan exit 98 to route 138-E (it will become route 138 when you see traffic lights) to route 71-S or take route 195-E (watch your speed) to route 138-E and follow signs or take route 18-S to route 138-E and follow signs
    Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach, Bay Head, Mantoloking, Normandy Beach exit 90 to route 88-E to route 35-S or take route 34-S
    Brick Township exit 90 to route 88-E or exit 82 to route 37-E (watch your speed) or take route 9-S to route 166-S to route 37-E (watch your speed)
    Dover Township (Toms River), Island Heights exit 82 to route 37-E (watch your speed) or take route 9-S to route 166-S to route 37-E (watch your speed)
    Berkeley Township exit 83 to route 9-S (or route 166)
    Lavallette, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Island Beach State Park (South Seaside Park) exit 82 to route 37-E (watch your speed) over the bridge to route 35 or take route 9-S to route 166-S to route 37-E (watch your speed) over the bridge to route 35
    Barnegat Light, Manahawkin / Waretown, Long Beach Township, Harvey Cedars, Surf City exit 63 to route 72 over the bridge (do it once at night to see the awesome lights) to Long Beach Blvd-N or take route 9-S to eoute 166-S (which becomes route 9-S again) to route 72 over the bridge to Long Beach Blvd-N
    Ship Bottom, Beach Haven exit 63 to route 72 over the bridge (do it once at night to see the awesome lights) to Long Beach Blvd-S or take route 9-S to route 166-S (which becomes route 9-S again) to route 72 over the bridge to Long Beach Blvd-S


    ---Eastern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce: 732-741-0055
    ---Jersey Shore Vacation magazine (Northern Ocean & Monmouth Counties): 732-892-1276
    ---Monmouth County Department of Public Information / Tourism: 800-523-2587 (requests for tourism guide), 732-431-7476 (info & questions- contact: Pat Padula)
    ---Monmouth County Parks System: 732-842-4000
    ---Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce: 732-747-9630
    ---New Jersey Beach Guide: 800-VISIT-NJ
    ---Ocean County Public Affairs and Tourism: 800-ENJOY33 (requests for tourism guide), 732-506-5050 (info & questions- contact: Barbara W. Steele); NOTE- Barbara Steele actually commended me for my work on The Beach Page- if you reach her, please thank her & tell her that I directed you to her through The Beach Page!
    ---Shore Region Tourism Council: 732-BIG-WAVE (contact: Cheryl Swaney)
    ---Southern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce: 732-974-1151
    ---Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce: 609-494-7211 (contact: Jeanne DiPaola), 800-292-6372; NOTE: Ask about their flyer for people with disabilities listing motels, restaurants, and beaches that are accessible & where to get beach wheelchairs
    ---Toms River-Ocean County Chamber of Commerce: 732-349-0220 (contact: Lucy Greene)
    ---Western Monmouth Chamber of Commerce: 732-462-3030

    Send corrections, comments, suggestions, revised info, etc. to me, Kevin Gruenfeld, by going
    Back to Kevin's Homepage, scrolling down to the bottom, and sending an email from there.

    Created on 22.MAY.1995 with yearly updates, last update 17.MAY.2020