It’s well known that in New Jersey a lot of our beaches charge a fee or require what’s known as beach badges or beach tags. We have so many beaches in New Jersey that require tags that we have a whole guide dedicated to New Jersey Beaches and Beach Tag Information. However, not all New Jersey beaches require tags. If you’re new to New Jersey, visiting New Jersey for the summer, or just otherwise searching for free beaches in New Jersey, you’ve come to the right place.
There are free beaches in New Jersey. Beaches that are free all summer long and beaches that are free at designated days and times. In addition to the free beaches in New Jersey, we have some beaches whose admission fee or badge fee is so low, that you’ll feel like it’s free. Below we give you the details you need to know.
The BEST Free Beaches in New Jersey
The Most Popular Free Beaches in New Jersey
When it comes to free beaches in New Jersey, Wildwood’s beaches are the most well known. With a 5 mile stretch of beach, a designated dog beach, and a 30 block boardwalk with loads of activities it’s no wonder why many New Jersey area families flock to Wildwood for their annual summer vacation.
Not only are the Wildwood beaches long but they are also wide, 500 yards wide at some points making the Wildwood beaches the largest beaches in New Jersey.
The Wildwood beaches include Wildwood Proper, North Wildwood, and Wildwood Crest. As you visit the different free beaches of the Wildwoods you’ll find that each has its own charm and personality.
Combined with the beauty of the beach and the activities of the boardwalk, the Wildwoods hosts a ton of events that families love: sporting events, tournaments, the National Marbles Championships, Monster Truck Races, Motocross Races, sand sculpting festivals, concerts on the beach, movies on the beach, free fireworks, the Wildwoods International Kite Festival, and more. Learn about all the things to do in Wildwood with kids.
Wildwoods Beaches officially open weekends Memorial Day weekend when lifeguards will be on duty from 10:30 am to 5 pm weekends and daily hours begin in mid-June.
Parking at Wildwood Beaches
There are some areas in Wildwood where you will find free street parking. There is regular street parking available with meters as well as parking lots.
Atlantic City Beaches
While Wildwood is a bit of a drive for us, Atlantic City is fairly close. The close proximity and the no beach badge required make Atlantic City one of our go-to free beaches in New Jersey. From open stretches of beach to beaches to beaches with a fishing pier from beaches near the boardwalk action to quieter beaches, you can’t go wrong with a day at the Atlantic City beaches.
Atlantic City Lifeguards
Atlantic City lifeguards are on duty from 10 am – 6 pm at various locations along Atlantic City beaches, from July 1 – Labor Day. Some Atlantic City, New Jersey beaches have lifeguards from Memorial Day to September 30.
Parking for Atlantic City Beaches
Parking is available in small parking lots along Pacific Avenue, casino garages, and in the Boardwalk Hall parking garage. We’ve usually found Boardwalk Hall to offer the cheapest parking. Parking rates at casino garages will vary and is higher during weekends, special events, and holidays. Additional parking is available at The Walk and in the AC Convention Center parking garage though those are further away from the beach.
Click over for more specific information about Atlantic City Beaches.
The Not-So-Well-Known Free Beaches in New Jersey
Somers Point Municipal Beach
Another South Jersey beach that is special to us is the Somers Point William Morrow Beach. It’s one of our go-to beaches because it’s NEVER crowded (unless there’s an event going on.) It tends to be beach only known to the locals, so it stays fairly quiet with lots of room to spread out. You can read our 8 Reasons to Visit Municipal Beach Park in Somers Point to learn more about why we love this beach so much and why we think you will too.
Not only is admission free to this New Jersey beach, but parking is almost free. You’ll find a small lot right off the beach and some street parking available. Parking is $1 per hour and visitors must use the ParkMobile app to pay.
In 2022, the Somers Point Municipal Beach was open to the public on weekends beginning Memorial Day Weekend from 10 am – 5 pm. It opened seven days a week beginning on June 16, 2022. 2023 hours are not yet available. For more information about the Somers Point beaches, call (609) 927-2053 or visit the Somers Point website.
A few more free beaches in New Jersey
Here are a few more beaches in New Jersey that we believe don’t require admission or beach tags. For more details visit their websites.
If you can’t get to these free beaches in New Jersey we do have options for other beaches that are either occasionally free or so cheap they feel like they are free.
The Sometimes Free New Jersey Beaches
Most New Jersey beaches are free in the off-season from the day after Labor Day till the days before Memorial Day. Keep in mind though that even though most New Jersey beaches are free in the off-season, it’s extremely rare that lifeguards will be on duty. So build sandcastles. Have a picnic. Collect shells. Or fish off a pier, but please don’t swim at unguarded beaches.
Free Beach Days in Margate
Margate beaches in New Jersey are one example of beaches in New Jersey that have days where admission is free and no beach tags are required. Margate’s free beach days, otherwise known as Thrilling Thursdays are the best days to visit the beach. The beach is free all day long and the nights are filled with fun activities for families. Learn more and get all the details in our Free Beach Days in Margate, NJ event listing.
Free Beach Days in Sea Isle City
The Sea Isle City beaches are another group of beaches that offer free beach days in New Jersey. Every Wednesday from May 31, 2023, till August 30, 2023 is a free beach day. No beach badges are required. Get the full schedule and more details in our Free Beach Days in Sea isle City event listing.
Incredibly Cheap Beaches in New Jersey
While not free, these New Jersey beaches charge $5 or less per person to hang out on the beach or go for a swim in the summer months.
Parvin State Park in Pennsville, NJ
During the summer months, when lifeguards are on duty, you can enjoy the beach at Parvin State Park for $2 per person. If you have a New Jersey State Park pass, then you’ll pay nothing. Just bring your state park pass receipt since the decal will be on your car. The Parvin State Park beach has picnic tables, volleyball nets, playground equipment, and a concession stand. There’s even an area where you can rent canoes and kayaks. Learn more in our guide to visiting Parvin State Park.
More New Jersey State Parks with Cheap Beaches
In New Jersey, we’re fortunate to have a few state parks with lakes staffed with lifeguards so visitors can swim. The especially cool thing about these New Jersey State Parks is that you pay admission by the car. So whether you’re a New Jersey resident or visiting from out of state, you should be able to get in to swim and explore the park for $20 or less per car. And again, if you have a NJ State Park pass you won’t pay anything.
Visit these New Jersey State Parks for their beaches. Lifeguard coverage can vary from day to day and the beaches can only be opened when they are staffed. So check their Facebook pages before heading out to make sure they are indeed open for swimming.
- Bass River State Forest
- Belleplain State Forest
- Cheesequake State Park
- High Point State Park
- Hopatcong State Park
- Island Beach State Park
- Round Valley Recreation Area
- Shepherd Lake Recreation Area
- Spruce Run Recreation Area
- Swartswood State Park
- Wawayanda State Park
- Wharton State Forest
More $5 Beaches in New Jersey
These New Jersey beaches charge a daily beach badge price of $5 for those guests that do not have a season beach badge. Badges are required for visitors 12 years old and older.
- Barnegat Light Beaches
- Lacey Township Beaches (residents only)
- Long Branch Beach (during non-holiday weekdays)
- Sandy Hook Beaches (There is no fee to use the beach, but there is a parking fee during the summer.)
- Sea Isle City Beaches
Egg Harbor City Lake Beaches – UPDATE
A season pass at Egg Harbor City Lake is $15, but if you’re just visiting for the day admission is $8 per person. It was previously $5 per person per day, but a price increase has been implemented for 2023.
Another one of our favorite New Jersey beaches, Egg Harbor City Lake has a fun playground, concession stand, picnic tables, and more. There’s even an anchored raft in the middle of the lake that kids can swim out to and jump off of. Learn more in our New Jersey Beaches Guide or by visiting the Egg Harbor City website.
Looking for information about the rest of the New Jersey beaches?
Read our complete guide to New Jersey Beaches and Beach Tag Information 2023.