Summer Fun for Free at 13 Beaches in New Jersey

Wildwood Beach, Courtesy of Wildwood

Beach season is finally here and New Jersey’s 130 miles of gorgeous shoreline beckon. While sun and surf are good for the soul, they can be rough on the wallet. Fortunately, NJ Next has found 13 free beaches, so check the forecast, pack your beach bag, and load everyone into the car for an affordable day of fun.

Atlantic City

Save your money for the slots! Can you believe there’s no beach fee in Atlantic City?! You can swim, walk, sunbathe, surf, fish, kayak, and windsurf. The Atlantic City beach is walking distance to shops, restaurants, casinos, and shows.

Cape May County

Located on the bay in Lower Township between the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay, Jennifer Lane Beach’s unique location boasts breathtaking sunset views. The beach is also popular for fishing. Lifeguards are on duty form 10 a.m to 5 p.m.

William Morrow Beach at Somers Point is a small stretch of shoreline on Great Egg Harbor Bay, 10 miles southwest of Atlantic City, that offers a free concert lineup on Friday nights during the summer. Spend the day sunning yourself and swimming, then enjoy an evening of music.

Cape May County

Besides swimming and sunbathing, visitors who frequent Manahawkin Bay can play volleyball or walk along bike paths in nearby parks. There are also a fishing pier and a roller hockey pit.

Strathmere beaches rest between Ocean City and Sea Isle City and offers a quiet ocean beach experience as well as fishing, rafting, and surfing.


Keansburg Beach offers The Bay Walk along the beach and the fishing pier as well as their secluded beach area. It boasts a dramatic skyline view of Manhattan but no lifeguards, so swim from dawn ’til dusk at your own risk. Keansburg Amusement Park & Rapids Water Park is also on the boardwalk, so save your money for the rides.


Ideal Beach is a pet-friendly beach on the bay. Visitors can swim, fish, and boat.

Leonardo Beach offers a great way to spend the day enjoying sunning, swimming, and fishing without a beach fee. Located adjacent to Leonardo State Marina, you can do some boat watching.

Sandy Hook

The Highlands Beach is more quiet than some of the uber popular shore destinations. Choose between the bay beach and the river beach and don’t forget to explore nearby seafood restaurants and shops. It can be reached by ferry from Manhattan.

Union Beach

Union Beach is a quiet bay beach in Monmouth County on the edge of salt marshes. It’s ideal for bird-watching in addition to sunning and swimming.

The Wildwoods

City of Wildwood, North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest beaches.

The Wildwoods beaches are known for boogie-boarding and body surfing. Playing Frisbee and sand castle-building are also popular activities in addition to swimming and sun-worshipping. These beaches also host fun events during the summer.

Check out our events calendar to see a range of beach-related activities. 

Have we missed a free beach? Please let us know by emailing