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Great Jersey Shore Day Trips

Fun is just a packed car and a short drive away.

In desperate need of a getaway, but don’t have the time for a full-blown vacation? Take to the Jersey Shore for the day to enjoy some fun in the sun! You can pack the car early, splash, shop, and explore all day, then let the kiddos sleep on the drive home. No commitment, no hassle. Start planning your daycation now at one of the family-friendly beaches below.

Jenkinsons Beach, Pleasant Beach, New Jersey

This vast beach isn’t one you hear of often, but it’s a perfect choice. Jenkinson’s Beach is relaxed and family-friendly, with lifeguards on duty from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent right on the beach so you don’t have to worry about lugging those things down in the car. Stop by the boardwalk for some rides and treats, and there’s even a ropes course for the extra adventurous. End the night at the aquarium and enjoy a quiet ride home with your sleepy kids dreaming of the day’s adventures!

Cape May, New Jersey

It’s really a no-brainer to head on down to Exit 0 at least once over the summer. Cape May’s quaint charm never gets old. Children will enjoy some time on their clean and relaxing beaches, and you’ll love browsing in all the unique shops. There are comfortable public bathrooms and changing rooms right in town, so you won’t be stuck in your swimsuit all day. The Cape May County Zoo is another fun option for the kids, and there are plenty of delicious restaurants to choose from before heading home.

North Wildwood, New Jersey 

This no-hassle beach always offers an excellent time! Wildwood also has some of the last beaches in New Jersey that let families enjoy a day of fun on the sand for FREE! Once you’re there, you’ll find Morey’s Pier, where there are rides for the whole family and those sweet boardwalk treats all along the strip. If you’re an expert in the water, surf boards, jet skis, and speedboats are available for renting at a few places along the shore. There are plenty of parking lots in town, and free parking along most streets as well as a free parking lot at Morey’s Pier (this one fills up fast).

Long Beach Island, New Jersey

The 18-mile long island has 17 towns that offer a ton of great beaches and unique experiences. Barnegat Lighthouse is a 150-year-old lighthouse that offers the family some history and a gorgeous panoramic views of the island. Head on over to Beach Haven, and you’ll get a small town feel as you explore some adorable shops and try out some of the many fabulous restaurants. Beach Haven is also home to the island’s amusement park, Fantasy Island. Of course we can’t forget about the white sand beaches that will make you forget all your worries! Most places in Long Beach Island have plenty of parking lots, and if you get there early enough, you may even be able to find a street spot for free.

Margate, New Jersey

If your kids think the elephants at the zoo are big, take them to see Lucy, the 6-story-high elephant that claims to be the only one that you “walk through and come out alive.” This unique structure is tons of fun for the whole family. Afterwards, head on over to one of the many beaches and relax the afternoon away. Restaurants for dining and bakeries and ice cream shops for a quick bite are scattered about the town. Get there early to get parking on the street and you’ll be set for the day! Margate is also just a short 20-minute drive from Atlantic City if you’re up for a multiple-beach day trip!

Ocean City, New Jersey

With eight miles of beaches and two fun-filled miles of boardwalk, Ocean City is the perfect all-American summer getaway — even if it’s just for a day! There are jet ski rentals available and even fishing lessons offered at parts of the beach. Don’t forget to stay for dinner and dine at one of many restaurants — from seafood to pizza, they have it all. There are plenty of parking options here, from free street and municipal parking, to metered parking you can pay for with an app so you’re never worried about running out of time.

 

Photograph by Sarah Bond.

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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