Your Guide to South Jersey Beaches
Your guide to getting on the southern Jersey shore beaches, from Cape May to Brigantine.
Springfield and Philadelphia area residents know that southern New Jersey shore towns are some of the top beaches in the country.
You're definitely headed to Brigantine, Wildwood or Cape May this summer, so if you haven't bought your beach tags already, you can buy them when you arrive, for the day, a few days, a week or the entire season.
Heads up: some Jersey shore beaches have designated areas for rafting, bathing, surfing, kayaking, surf fishing and volleyball. Head to a guarded south Jersey beach and enjoy this summer of 2011!
CAPE MAY COUNTY
Avalon is a tiny shore town known for its million dollar mansions along high dunes. Avalon beach tags are required for everyone age 12 or older, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Sept. 5. Seasonal beach tags are $21 before May 31 and $26 afterward. Weekly tags, from Saturday to Saturday, are $12 and daily tags are $6.
You can purchase beach tags at the Beach Tag Booth at Community Hall, at Avalon Avenue and 30th Street, West, or from beach tag inspectors on the beaches. Also, visitors can use Avalon's beach tags on Stone Harbor's beaches and vice versa.
Stone Harbor has a main street with high-end shops, but the beach is the big draw to this upscale shore town. All persons on the beach must display a beach tag from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through the Monday of Labor Day weekend, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Through May 31, seasonal tags are $21, and beginning June 1 they are $26. Weekly tags are $12 and daily tags are $6. You can purchase tags from beach tag inspectors on the beaches or from the Stone Harbor Beach Patrol and Beach Tag office at 95th Street and the Beach, which is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You can purchase seasonal tags ahead by mailing a check including your name and address, phone number and the number of tags you want to: Stone Harbor Beach Patrol Building, 95th Street and the Beach, Stone Harbor, NJ 08247. You can pick them up at the office when you arrive.
Beach tags must be worn by beach goers age 12 and older from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can purchase your seasonal tags by mail order for $15.75 before March 31 and for $25.75 after. To order mail a check, made out to the City of Cape May, to the following address: Beach Tags Tax Office, 643 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ 08204.
You can also purchase beach tags in person. Prior to March 31, seasonal tags are $15 and after, seasonal tags are $25, weekly tags from Saturday to Saturday are $15, three-day tags are $10 and daily tags are $5. Buy them at beach entrances of the city tax office. Cape May limits the number of seasonal tags one individual can purchase to five.
Cape May Point is a small, self-contained residential community with only a few hundred residents, surrounding the Cape May Point State Park. Beach tags are $27 for the season, $17 for the week and $7 for the day.
The Wildwoods, consist of North Wildwood, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and West Wildwood, do not require beach tags. This family-friendly town is known for its boardwalk, with plenty of stores and places to stop and have a treat. Morey's Piers and Beachfront Waterparks offers rides, water slides and pools. The Wildwood Convention Center showcases some big-name acts, conventions and the like.
Ocean City, a dry town, is known as America’s Greatest Family Resort and has amusement parks, a famous boardwalk and a vibrant downtown. Beach tags are required on Ocean City beaches for persons age 12 and up from June 11 through September 5.
Seasonal tags are $25, weekly tags are $10 and daily tags cost $5.
You can purchase seasonal beach tags ahead of time online, through the Ocean City online store. You can also purchase beach tags in person at the Music Pier on the Boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace and from beach inspectors at beach entrances.
There are several locations where beach tags may be purchased.
Sea Isle City has many family attractions and events along with a lively nightlife. Beach tags are required for beachgoers age 12 and over from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Through May 14, seasonal beach tags are $15. After May 15, they cost $20. Weekend beach tags (Saturday 10 a.m. to Saturday at 5 p.m.) are $10 and daily tags are $5. Daily tags are available after Memorial Day. You can purchase your beach tags from beach tag inspectors on the beach or at the Beach Tag Office: 125 John F. Kennedy Blvd. The office is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Wednesdays in July and August. Wednesdays are free except on a July 4 holiday.
The Southernmost town on Absecon Island, Longport is a small community that juts into the Great Egg Harbor Inlet and connects with Ocean City via the Longport Bridge. Sections of the beach begin to open June 18 and guarded beaches are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Beach badges are required for all beachgoers over the age of 12. You can purchase beach tags at Longport Borough Hall, 2305 Atlantic Avenue, until Friday June 24. Beginning June 25, you can purchase them at the Beach Patrol Building at 33rd and Atlantic Avenue. Seasonal tags are $5 for senior citizens and $15 through June 19. Starting June 20, all seasonal tags are $30. Weekly tags, from Friday to Friday, are $10. Longport does not have a daily beach tag.
Ventnor provides guarded beaches during the season at various locations but hours are erratic at the beginning and end of the summer. Beach badges are required from Memorial Day through Labor Day and can be purchased at Ventnor City Hall, 6201 Atlantic Avenue, at Beach Patrol Headquarters, Suffolk Avenue and the Beach, or on the beach from any beach tag inspector.
Through May 31, seasonal tags are $7 and seniors pay $3.50. Beginning June 1, badges are $15 for the season and weekly badges are $10. Ventnor does not have daily tags.
Margate is well known for its iconic landmark, Lucy the Elephant.
Lucy the Elephant, a National Historic building, is located at 9200 Atlantic Avenue. Visitors can climb the spiral staircase for a view of the Atlantic ocean.
Beach badges are required for those 12 and over on Margate beaches from the third week in June through Labor Day. You can purchase them pre-season from April to May for $7 and seniors age 65 and over pay $3.50 through May 31. Beginning June 1, all badges cost $15. You can purchase beach badges at the Martin Bloom Community Pavilion at Huntington and the Beach from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day, and at City Hall, 1 South Washington Avenue, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Margate sells beach badge gift certificates all year. You can buy these at pre-season rates the day after Labor Day through May 31.
Atlantic City is famous for its world-renowned casinos and its historic boardwalk, as well as its beaches.
Atlantic City lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 50 locations from Caspian Avenue to Jackson Avenue, from July 1 to Labor Day. A limited number of beaches are protected from Memorial Day to July 1 and from Labor Day to September 30. Atlantic City has outdoor public showers at the Lifeguard District Stations and casino beach bars have showers available for public access.
Just north of Atlantic City, Brigantine has a striking view of the Borgata Casino and the rest of the Atlantic City skyline from across Absecon Inlet. Brigantine beach tags are $8 daily and $14 weekly. You can purchase seasonal tags before May 31 for $15. After June 1, they are $18. Seniors aged 60-64 pay $8 prior to May 31 and $18 beginning June 1. Seniors over 65 and children under 12 are free. Seasonal parking permits for municipal parking lots are available for $25. The beach fee office is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at the corner of 15th Street and Brigantine Avenue.
Also see Your Guide to North Jersey Beaches