Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
Ocean County is home to Six Flags Great Adventure Theme Park, Wild Safari Drive-thru Animal Park and Hurricane Harbor Water Park, the A-Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, dubbed the Lakewood BlueClaws, the Tuckerton Seaport, a 40-acre maritime village and the resort town of Seaside Heights.
Because of the barrier beaches, Ocean County also hosts 40 miles of Barnegat Bay and is the start of the inland waterway which terminates in Florida. There are plenty of watersports, from sailing, windsurfing, and parasailing, not to mention crabbing and fishing. Charter boat rentals with a captain for up to six people are widely available
Pt. Pleasant Beach is a resort community with a boardwalk, amusements, aquarium, games of chance, miniature golf, aquarium and beach bars and nightlife. It's downtown features antique dealers, more than 100 independents under one roof, and boutique shops. It is the home of the New Jersey Offshore Grand Prix Powerboat races. A fisherman's cooperative functions in the area and a deep sea fishing fleet takes anglers out for the day and half-day. There are motels at the beach and adjacent is the seashore village of Bay Head with its art galleries, gourmet restaurants and B&B's. There is free family entertainment every night ranging from fireworks to light classical beach concerts to kiddie shows.
|Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing Association||Mantoloking Yacht Club|
|Bay Head Yacht Club||Normandy Beach Yacht Club|
|Island Heights Yacht Club||Pine Beach Yacht Club|
|Lavallette Yacht Club||Toms River Yacht Club|
|Manasquan River Yacht Club|
Fishing, Diving, Boating, Watersports and Marinas
Places to Stay
Arts and Leisure
|Algonquin Arts... Manasquan||Count Basie Theatre... Red Bank|
|Anchor & Palette Gallery, Bay Head||PNC Bank Arts Center|
|Rod's Olde Irish Tavern, Sea Girt||Villa Vittoria, Brick|
|Whispers, Spring Lake|
|Brook 35 Plaza||Ocean County Mall, Toms River - Regional Shopping Center|
|Jackson Outlet Village, Jackson - Retail Outlets||Monmouth Mall... Eatontown|
|Jersey Paddler, Brick - Canoe/Kayak||Freehold Raceway mall... Freehold|
Parks and Museums
|Ocean County Department of Packs and Recreation||New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail, Countywide|
|Island Beach State Park, South Seaside Park||New Jersey Museum of Boating|
|Monmouth Battlefield State Park|
|Blackbeard Cave - Mini Golf, Driving Range, Go Karts||Monmouth Battlefield State Park|
|Cream Ridge Winery||PNC Bank Arts Center|
|Island Beach State Park, South Seaside Park||Tuckerton Seaport|
|Freehold Raceway||Liberty Science Center|
|New Jersey Festival of Ballooning||New Jersey State Aquarium|
|Monmouth Park - Thoroughbred Horse Racing||Liberty State Park - Jersey City|
|Getaway Nation Recreation Area||Ocean County - Calendar of Events|
Chamber of Commerce Websites
|Bay Head, New Jersey, A Country Village by the Sea||Manasquan Chamber of Commerce|
|Brick Chamber of Commerce, Brick Twp.||Spring Lake Chamber of Commerce|
|Brielle Chamber of Commerce|
SOUTH BOULEVARD TO BROWN AVENUE
Costs: $7 daily; $85 season badges; $50 half-season badges; free for children ages 11 and under.
Lifeguards are on duty from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends beginning Memorial Day weekend and daily from June 19 to Labor Day. Free parking is available along Ocean Avenue and the side streets.
Concessions, restrooms and shower facilities are available at Ludlow and Atlantic avenues. The wide and beautiful boardwalk is a stroller's heaven.
Second-floor porches atop the north and south pavilions offer ocean views. Pools and lockers at the south pavilion are for borough residents and guests only.
The downtown district, centered along Third Avenue, is a few blocks from the beach and offers a variety of restaurants and delightful small shops.
Beachgoers consist mostly of families, residents and patrons of borough inns and bed-and-breakfasts.
For more information, call (732) 449-0800.
BEACON BOULEVARD TO SEASIDE PLACE
Costs: $6 daily; $60 season badges, $50 for senior citizens 65 and older; free for children ages 11 and under.
Bathhouse fees are $600 for the season and include five season badges. Daily bathhouse fees are $12 for weekdays and $15 for weekends and holidays. On-street parking is free. Lifeguards are on duty from 9:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. weekends beginning Memorial Day weekend and daily from June 16 to Labor Day.
Both restrooms and bath-houses can be found at the Beacon Boulevard Pavilion. Surfing is permitted at Philadelphia Boulevard Beach only. Kayaking is allowed at Trenton Beach during the weekends and North Beach on the weekdays. Catamarans are permitted north of the Beacon Boulevard jetty, as posted.
Summer and year-round residents enjoy the beaches of this quiet community. The town center features shops, restaurants and a bank. Free tours of the circa-1896 Sea Girt Lighthouse, Beacon Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, are available from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
For more information, call (732) 449-9433.
Costs: $5 daily, $6 weekends; $25 weekly (Saturdays through Fridays); $50 season badges ($25 for ages 12 to 16 and $20 for seniors age 65 and older); free for children 11 and under. Proof of age is required. Season passes for people with disabilities are $25 ($12.50 for juniors and $10 for seniors).
Parking is $50 for the season; $10 daily Fridays through Sundays; and $3 weekdays. Municipal lots are at Second, Third, Fourth and Pompano avenues.
Comfort stations with public restrooms and water fountains are at the entrances to beaches at Ocean Avenue, Brielle Road and the Inlet.
Lifeguards are on duty from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekends beginning Memorial Day weekend and daily from June 16 through Labor Day.
Elks Beach at Ocean Avenue is handicapped-accessible and beach wheelchairs are available for folks who use them.
Showers are on the sand near most beach entrances.
Swings are set up at Recreation Beach, between Riddle Way and Main. Gazebos with benches are at the boardwalk entrances to Riddle Way and Inlet beaches. Park benches are located along the macadam walkway from the Inlet to the Elks Beach at Ocean Avenue.
Food is available at Sea Watch Restaurant just north of Elks Beach, Ocean Avenue, and at Gee Gee's Pizza, Main Beach, where seating is available at tables and booths inside and picnic tables outside. There are a variety of eateries just off the beach on First Avenue, including Pharo's at Ocean Avenue and Carlson's Corner and the Riverside Cafe by the Inlet.
There is an indoor arcade at Gee Gee's.
Patrons can bring coolers, food and beverages onto beaches, but glass containers, alcohol or cooking are not permitted. Smoking is banned, except in designated areas.
A large man-made jetty protecting the Manasquan River Inlet is a prime fishing location, as is the railing along the Inlet on Riverside Avenue. The Inlet beach just north of the jetty provides some of the best surfing in southern Monmouth County and attracts hundreds of surfers when conditions are right. Surfing is not allowed on other beaches during hours when lifeguards are on duty.
A large under-30 crowd inhabits borough bungalows during the summer, with up to 20,000 on weekends.
Surfside Estates is a new beachfront condominium complex, replacing an arcade and eateries between Main Street and Brielle Road.
Manasquan beaches attract a mix of patrons -- from families to singles to seniors. Large crowds often make parking a problem on the borough's narrow streets.
For more information, call (732) 223-1221.
POINT PLEASANT BEACH
JENKINSON'S, MARTELL'S, RISDEN'S, POINT PLEASANT BEACH AND SURF CLUB, BRADSHAW, MARYLAND AVENUE
Costs: All but one of the borough's beaches are privately owned and operated, and each has a different rate structure.
Jenkinson's owns a milelong stretch of beach from the Manasquan Inlet south to Trenton Avenue. It charges $70 for seasonal passes and $50 for a half-season; $50 for senior citizens and $45 for children ages 5 to 11 and $35 for a half-season pass. Daily rates are $5.50 weekdays; $6.50 weekends and holidays for children age 12 and up. Children 5 to 11 pay $1.50 for a daily badge. Children under 5 are free. Group rates are available.
Rentals include beach chairs for $6 and umbrellas for $7.
Jenkinson's opens on Memorial Day weekend. It will operate on a daily basis from June 22 through Sept. 2. Lifeguards are on duty 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
Martell's beach is located off Central Avenue. Cost: $4 weekdays; $5 weekends; children under 12 are free. Bathrooms are located inside the complex.
Risden's beach is situated between Trenton and New Jersey avenues.
Costs: Fees for 2003 were not available at press time.
Rates for 2002 seasonal badges were $70 for adults; $35 for children ages 4 to 12. Daily rates were $5 for adults and $1 for children. The adult price was $6 on the weekends. Risden's operates two luncheonettes and restroom facilities inside pavilions near the boundaries of its beach. Changing lockers with hot showers were available for $3.
Point Pleasant Beach and Surf Club stretches from New York to Philadelphia avenues. This heavily used beach offers only seasonal badges. Costs: $55 for those 18 and over; $35 for those between 13 and 17; $25 for those between 9 and 12. Children under 8 are free.
Bradshaw Beach, at the foot of Washington Avenue, is run by AquaServe, a contractor that supplies guards to several private beaches in Ocean County. Costs: $85 for adults and $75 for senior citizens 62 and over. Daily rates are $6 weekdays; $7 weekends for adults. Seniors will receive a $1 discount and children under 12 are admitted free if accompanied by an adult.
Maryland Avenue Beach is the only municipal beach, but it also is operated by AquaServe. Costs: Fees for 2003 were not available at press time. Rates for 2002 season were $70 for those 12 and over for the season. Daily rates were $5 weekdays and $6 weekends. Children under 12 were free, accompanied by an adult.
Part of Ocean Avenue is lined with meters ($1 per hour), yet there aren't enough spaces to accommodate crowds in this busy tourist town. Private lots that border the boardwalk can charge as much as $10. There are some free municipal lots, but the ones closest to the ocean also charge $1 per hour.
Free side-street parking is available, but it's very difficult to find a space near the beach on the weekends and on Friday and Saturday nights.
The bustling boardwalk is lined with food concessions, games, amusements and an aquarium.
There also are a few popular nightclubs that are mostly packed with 20-somethings.
Jenkinson's Aquarium is inhabited by sharks, seals, penguins and alligators. Tickets are $8 adults; $5 for seniors and children ages 3 to 12. Children under 3 are free.
RIVER AVENUE AND MAXSON AVENUE
Costs: Season passes are $15 for adults and $10 for those 60 and older. A daily pass is $1 for those 12 and over; children under 12 are admitted free.
Street parking is available.
Badges can be purchased from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays at Borough Hall, 2233 Bridge Ave. Daily badges can be purchased from the lifeguards.
Lifeguards are on duty from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The beaches run along the Manasquan River and attract mostly local families with small children.
Both beaches have playgrounds and showers. Maxson Avenue beach has a fishing pier and a badge is required to use the pier.
For more information, call (732) 892-5813.
Costs: $5 daily; $55 for full season badges, with a two-badge minimum. Free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult; $35 for each half-season badge, with a two-badge minimum. Half-season badges run from June 14 through July 31 or Aug. 1 through Labor Day.
Parking is available in the municipal lot on Bridge Avenue and on the streets, with some time restrictions in certain areas.
Lifeguards are on duty 10 a.m. to 5:25 p.m. from mid-June through Labor Day.
The beach is run by the Bay Head Improvement Association, which strictly enforces rules to keep the beaches clean and the dunes protected.
Food, beverages and dogs are not allowed on the beach. Water in clear plastic containers is permitted. There are no showers or restrooms available.
Nonresidents can send for beach-badge applications by mailing a self-addressed, stamped business envelope to the Bay Head Improvement Association, Box 42, Bay Head, NJ 08742-0042. Residents will receive an application in the mail.
For information, call (732) 892-4179 after June 1
Costs: $10 for seasonal badges only. No daily or half-season badges. Children under 12 are free.
Badges are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Borough Hall, 202 Downer Ave., beginning Memorial Day weekend.
The natural beach has no lifeguards, boardwalks, concessions or restrooms.
The beach is accessible by 10 wooden walkways over the dunes from Carrigan Place south to Princeton Avenue. Street parking is available, but limited to two hours. No food is allowed on the sand. Only nonalcoholic beverages in nondisposable containers are permitted on the beach.
Surfing is allowed, with priority given to bathers.
The quiet, relaxed atmosphere here offers views of elegant homes in the neighborhoods surrounding the beach, making it a popular destination for day-trippers. On any given day, however, the beach crowd is comprised mostly of local families.
Two beaches run by the Mantoloking and South Beach associations also offer badges to the public, but costs were not available at press time for either beach.
For more information, call (732) 899-6600.
BEACH I, II, III OFF ROUTE 35 SOUTH
Cost: $3 daily; $17 for season badges for residents and $25 for nonresidents; free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult.
Beaches I and III have parking lots. Those lots are a short distance away for those who want to walk to Beach II. Parking is $4 daily; $27 for the season for residents and $35 for nonresidents; free for those who have a Shore to Please license plate.
Badges and parking permits can be purchased at Beaches I and III or at the Recreation Department, 270 Chambers Bridge Road.
Lifeguards for these ocean beaches along Route 35 North, south of Mantoloking, are on duty 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
Food and drinks are allowed on the beach. There are restrooms, outdoor showers and food vendors at Beaches I and III. Beach III also has an open-air pavilion that allows beachgoers to eat their lunch in the shade.
There also are a few restaurants and shops along Route 35. Nearby playgrounds add to the activities a family can pack in during a day trip.
The beaches are handicapped-accessible; surf chairs are available by calling the Recreation Department at least one day in advance at (732) 262-1075.
Portions of Beach II are reserved for fishing and surfing.
Costs: Free for beach access and parking.
The Metedeconk River Beach, off Princeton Avenue, is a popular spot for locals and day-trippers. The attraction has a playground, restrooms, showers, a fishing pier, open fields, boccie courts and horseshoe pits. There also are picnic benches under the trees.
Groups of 40 or more may reserve the gazebo and picnic area. Fees for residents, nonresidents, township and nontownship-based companies are available by calling (732) 262-1075.
Windward Beach is home to the township's popular Summerfest concert series. Concerts are held Thursdays in July and August. The first concert will be held on July 3. For information, call (732) 262-1006.
A complete guide to the township's recreational programs is available at the municipal complex, 401 Chambers Bridge Road, or the Recreation Department.
For information, call (732) 262-1075.