Free beaches in NJ can seem like a myth – but they do exist! Summer can be an expensive season with trying to soak everything in in a short time before winter strikes. Hanging out at the boardwalks in NJ can be pricey – Help out your budget and hit these free beaches with your family!
It’s no secret that New Jersey is one of the few states that charges for access to the beaches. If you’re heading to an NJ beach this summer, you can typically expect to spend anywhere from a couple of bucks for a day pass to close to $100 for a season pass.
It’s due to Bradley Beach, who started charging for beach passes in 1929, a concept that quickly caught on. Now, most popular beaches charge for access. But not to worry! There are still a few free beaches in NJ.
Free Beaches in New Jersey for Affordable Family Fun
If you’re looking for affordable family time this summer, look no further than these free NJ beaches. Let’s dig into the beaches that have free access year round.
This beach is well known not only for its 5 piers including 2 waterparks and boardwalk. Wildwood Beach, which boasts 5 miles of sandy, sun, and surf is a free beach in Jersey. You’ll get the added benefit of being able to wander the Wildwood boardwalk as well.
Head a little further from the Wildwoods beach and you’ll hit Cape May beach. It’s a bit more low key with the lack of a boardwalk, but perfect for a relaxed day at the beach. Make sure you keep an eye out for Cape May Diamonds, which look like the crystal they’re names after once polished.
Known best for the lighthouse “Old Barney”, this LBI beach is free to access. There’s also a public dock you can use for boat launching, crabbing, and fishing to complete your summer day.
This lesser-known option doesn’t get as packed as the other well-known beaches, but it’s worth heading out to! Not only is the beach free, but it has a boardwalk-style amusement park and the Runaway Rapids waterpark. You will want to note that there are no lifeguards on duty at this beach.
William Morrow Beach – Somers Point
Not only is this beach free, but there’s also free parking, plentiful bathrooms, and lifeguards on duty. They also host a free music festival on Friday nights in summer.
You probably know that AC offers casinos and amusements, but did you know it’s also a free beach? Head down to the beach year-round and have a blast with the whole family.
Enjoy a city skyline while you’re relaxing on the beach! After your day in the sun, head into town for some amazing restaurants. Bonus: the SeaStreak ferry is a 45 minute from Manhattan to Highlands.
Beesly’s Point – Upper Highlands
This bay beach not far from Wildwood offers free access, restrooms and lifeguards during the summer season. Enjoy a day here and then head down to the boardwalk for a night out.
Ideal Beach – Middletown
Not only is this NJ beach free, but it’s also pet-friendly which can be rare! Enjoy sun, sand, surfing and fishing without the cost of a beach badge.