interpretive programs (at scheduled times)
lifeguards on duty 10am - 5pm
This is an amazing beach, especially considering you're in Jersey ;) It's a state park and there's a fee per car to enter but it's very reasonable. Be sure to get there early because they only allow so many people in, which is one of the reasons it's so great here. The parking lots were full but you wouldn't have known it by the look of the beach, we had plenty of room around us for lots of sand play with the kiddos. The beach is so clean and the water is the cleanest I've seen in Jersey. There's a snack bar and restrooms which is convenient. Totally recommend this to any family!
We love Island Beach State Park, no boardwalks or games or rides, just a great beach. Two bathing beaches with lifeguards get pretty crowded on a sunny day, but it's still worth the trip. Get there early because they only allow so many cars into the park at a time. My husband and son love to fish further down the island too. They have caught bluefish and bass from the shore.
Island Beach State Park is worth a trip to enjoy the natural beauty of an unspoiled seashore. While it can get quite crowded with beachgoers during high season (weekends in July and August), going during less crowded times is a terrific way to reconnect with nature and enjoy a day in the sun, sand and surf - or just hiking in the park.
Island Beach State Park contains close to 10 miles of sandy beaches, which is great for anyone looking to swim or walk along the water. You are also able to boogie board and play in the sand. Many species of birds and wildlife live on this preserved barrier island, so you might be able to catch sight of an osprey or blue heron. Families like ours love to come here to relax and get away from things, and it really offers a chance for you to do that.
Conveniences such as showers and bathrooms close-by offer options for families with young children, and there are also food options available as well. You are free to picnic here as well as hike, bike, scuba dive and surf fish. Dogs on leashes are permitted in the park itself but not on the swimming beach.
The park opens at 8am (7am on weekends and holidays) and does charge an admission price. You'll want to get there early if you're going during the busy summer season, as they do close the park when the parking lot is full, so as to keep the crowds manageable and therefore your experience there better.
All in all I would recommend coming here, but on an off-day if possible. It's a great day trip from either New York or Philadelphia, and many points in New Jersey. If you're looking for great natural beauty and a relaxing day outdoors for the family, this is the place to go!
I loved going to this beach as a kid, and I love taking my kids there now. Get there early to snag a good spot on the beach!! It is always quite an excursion to spend a day at the beach. We all have our "beach bags" with games, books, sand toys, etc. that we want to have with us while we enjoy the sun. Then, we bring two blankets, chairs, and an umbrella. We also bring lunch in a cooler although we get ice cream from the food stand. There is a very large shower room as well as a toilet-only bathroom to accommodate the crowds. It is also a great beach to walk down and find shells. We have always felt safe leaving our belongings in our spot and taking a walk along the surf shell-collecting.
Experience the beach and surrounding area of the barrier island as it should be. This beach and park are unspoiled by the surrounding populated areas and is truely a gem. If you are looking for me and the kids this summer, try checking the beaches here.
The main attraction of this park is the beaches. There are designated swimming areas that are guarded by life guards. (You frequently will get to watch the lifeguards running training drills which is fun) These designated areas also have bathhouses with bathrooms and changing areas. Concession areas are located in the pavillion if you don't feel like packing a lunch or want to treat the kids to an ice cream.
Many other beaches in the area don't allow you to bring coolers on the beach but here you can pack your cooler with your lunch, drinks and snacks and bring it along. You can also use boogie boards on most of the beach areas. If you go when it isn't too crowded, you can hang out at the back of the beach and fly a kite, toss a frisbee, kick a ball around, etc.
On the way out there are outdoor shower spickets to help you rinse off the sand before climbing back into the car.
There is a whole lot more to explore here besides the beaches though. There are interpretive programs offered throughout the year. There are trails throughout the park which allow you to explore the unique ecosystem of the barrier island. All of the trails are under a mile and if you keep your eyes open you will spot various birds, fox and other wild life.
Fisherman love these beaches for surf fishing. If you go to the end of the park you are allowed to drive your 4 wheel drive vehicle onto the beach with a permit.
Take note that on weekends and holidays the park becomes quite crowded. Once all of the parking spots are full they deem the park full and close it to admission.