Free beaches in NJ: You don’t need a beach tag for all them this summer
New Jersey boasts more than 130 miles of Atlantic coastline from Sandy Hook to Cape May, and about another 150 from the western end of the southern tip up along the Delaware Bay and Delaware River.
But it is the eastern portion, the geographical Jersey Shore, around which much of the Garden State's annual tourism is built. In parts of 12 Shore towns, locals and visitors (yes, bennies or shoobies) can get on the beach for free year-round.
The state Division of Travel and Tourism's official website, VisitNJ.org, keeps a list of these beaches, some of which are well-known to New Jerseyans and others that may not be.
With summer fast approaching, New Jersey 101.5 is also maintaining a sampling of 2022 beach fees at some of the state's most popular Shore destinations.
But first, the free beaches and the towns they're in. Keep in mind this does not include any potential parking fees — just where it costs nothing to get from the street or the boardwalk onto the sand.
Free beaches in Atlantic City
A visitor to AC might spend a lot elsewhere, but not to get on the beach.
Free beaches in Highlands
The state's tourism website says Highlands' beaches are tucked in between "bustling marinas," and in close proximity to shops and restaurants.
Free beaches in Keansburg
The shores of Keansburg have been listed among the "Best Restored Beaches" in the U.S. by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Society, according to VisitNJ.org.
Bay Front (Free beach in Lower Township)
Technically on the Delaware Bay side, this stretch northwest of Cape May covers about 5 miles, from West Miami Avenue down to Lincoln Boulevard.
Ideal Beach & Leonardo Beach (Free beaches in Middletown)
VisitNJ.org says beachgoers will find places to eat and mini golf near Leonardo, while Ideal Beach is encased in a 25-acre park.
William Morrow Beach (Free beach in Somers Point)
A map might also identify this area as "Municipal Beach Park," between Higbee and New Jersey avenues.
Jennifer Lane Bay Beach (Free beach in Stafford)
According to VisitNJ.org, lifeguards are on duty during summer months if swimmers desire to take a dip into the Manahawkin Bay.
Free beaches in Union Beach
Union Beach is a prime spot for birdwatching at its northeastern end, according to the state, where the sand meets the salt marshes.
Beesley's Point & Strathmere (Free beaches in Upper Township)
Pictured above is Strathmere, where there is no boardwalk, but plenty of sand for a quiet time. Beesley's Point, meanwhile, is good for kayaking, VisitNJ.org says, in the Great Egg Harbor Bay.
The Wildwoods (Free beaches in Wildwood City, North Wildwood, and Wildwood Crest)
This 5-mile span of sand in far South Jersey is one of the Jersey Shore's most famous and enduring destinations, stretched across parts of three adjacent municipalities.
And now, some of the more familiar places where a fee is required for beach access.