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Here’s all the awesome things you can (and can’t) do at your favorite Shore spot, and what you’ll need to get onto South Jersey’s sunny, sandy beaches.

Atlantic City

Atlantic City is well-known for its casinos, events, dining and shopping. Plus, the city’s historic boardwalk is home to one of America’s oldest theme parks, Steel Pier, along with classic boardwalk fare, arcades and more.

Beach Tags: Not required. Atlantic City’s beaches are free for everyone to enjoy from 10 am to 6 pm.
What you can’t do: Litter, loiter or sleep on the beach. No ball or frisbee playing, except volleyball in certain areas.  No sitting on railings or steps, and balloon releases are also banned.

 

Avalon

This 7-mile beach shares an island with Stone Harbor and offers a downtown shopping district, nighttime hot spots, kayaking, boating, fishing, surfing and much more.

Beach Tags: Beach tags are required for those over the age of 12. Tags are $28 for the season, $12 weekly and $6 daily. Veterans and active military are welcome to the beach for free.
What you can’t do: Rafts and inflatable devices are only permitted on select beaches. Surfing is only permitted on 30th Street or either side of the 12th Street lifeguard stands.

 

Brigantine

Just minutes from Atlantic City, Brigantine’s beaches have plenty to offer, from swimming and sailing to kayaking and horseback riding. Plus, Brigantine is home to Absecon Light House and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.

Beach Tags: Required. Passes are $20 for the season, $15 for the week and $10 for the day. Seniors are free, and discounts are available for military, veteran or disabled persons.
What you can’t do:  Swimming is only permitted while guards are on duty from 10 am to 5:30 pm. Boats, sailboards, jet skis or other types of powered or unpowered boat are only permitted in certain areas. No surf fishing in bathing areas, alcohol, being loud, climbing or standing on lifeguard equipment.

 

Cape May

At the southernmost tip of the state, Cape May’s historic charm is unparalleled. One of the oldest seaside resorts, Cape May offers beaches, shopping, fine dining, nightlife, a plethora of historical tours and a thriving arts scene.

Beach Tags: Required. Seasonal tags are $28 a piece, weekly passes are $18, three-day passes are $12 and a daily tag is $6.
What you can’t do: Bring your dog (except for service animals) on the beach, unless it’s along the Delaware Bay or on Higbee Beach. Fishing is permitted along certain beaches and jetties. Don’t bring your camping gear, as camping and fires are not permitted.

Long Beach Island

Long Beach includes the towns of Barnegat Light, Beach Haven, Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom and Surf City. Bay beaches are available for those looking for calmer waters at Bayview Park, 68th Street in Brant Beach and another located at Beach Haven Terrace on New Jersey Ave. and 131st street. There’s no boardwalk, but there is an amusement park, Fantasy Island, located in Beach Haven.

Beach Tags: Required. Badges are sold at the Beach Badge Office on 68th in Brant Beach. Seasonal badges are $40 for the season for those 12 years old and older. Weekly passes are $20 and daily passes are $5. Seasonal tags for those over 65 are $5 with proof of age.
What you can’t do: No rafts, innertubes, swimmies, water wings or any inflatable device unless they’re used in an area that has yellow flags and is guarded. No glass bottles or sharp objects, sleeping on the beach, horses, taking a jog in bathing areas, alcohol, windsurfing, walking on the dunes, tents or monopole umbrellas larger than 8 feet, fires, walking or fishing off the jetty, picnics or food delivery to the beach.

 

Longport

Quiet Longport is situated on Absecon Island, just a stone’s throw from Ventnor and Margate and near Ocean City.  Locals love the Longport beaches and its proximity to other Shore towns – and their pooches love the dog beach, too.

Beach Tags: Required for anyone 12 years old and up. Tags are $30 for the season and $10 for the week. Tags are now available at the Community Building/Lifeguard Headquarters located at 33rd and Atlantic Avenues.
What you can’t do: Swimming, surfboarding, boating, sailing, kayaking and rafting are permitted in some locations. Swimming is only permitted in guarded areas; surfing boats, sailboats, kayaks, rafts and other devices are only permitted in designated areas. Surf fishing is not permitted during bathing hours. No dogs, fires, obscene behavior, or riding bikes or skateboards along the concrete seawall. Balloons are also banned.

 

Margate

Home of the beloved Lucy the Elephant, Margate shares Absecon Island with neighboring Longport, Ventnor and Atlantic City. Margate is perfect for those who want to enjoy a small beach town lifestyle with access to big city nightlife. Plus, there’s plenty of shops, cafes and boutiques to enjoy.

Beach tags: Required. Badges are $15 and can be reserved or purchased via mail for in-person pickup. All visitors heading to the beach over the age of 12 must have badges except on Thursdays, as part of the Thrilling Thursdays event sponsored by the Margate Business Association.
What you can’t do: Kayaking and surfing are allowed only at specific beaches, and Hobie Cat sailing is not allowed without a permit. No animals.

 

Ocean City

Dubbed American’s “Greatest Family Resort,” this family-friendly town offers white sandy beaches and a long boardwalk dotted with stores, boardwalk fare, two amusement parks, mini golf and a water park. For those who like to hike or are avid birders, Corson’s Inlet State Park to the south offers spectacular views.

Beach Tags: Required for those 12 and older. Beach tags are $25 for the season, $10 weekly and $5 for daily tags. Lifeguards are present until 5:30 pm weekends and holidays, and 5 pm weekdays.
What you can’t do: Swim on a beach that isn’t guarded. Surfing is permitted at Waverly Boulevard, 7th Street and 16th Street. No dogs, fires, ball playing, loud music, walking on the jetties or trampling on the dunes is allowed. Ocean City is also a dry town, which means you can’t buy alcohol on the island or drink it on the beach. Smoking was also recently banned.

 

Sea Isle City

Sea Isle City boasts all the great stuff of Shore towns — clean beaches, a boardwalk and family fun — but its vibrant nightlife and clubs make this seaside city stand out.

Beach Tags: Required. Seasonal tags are $25 and can be grabbed from the Beach Tag Office in the Welcome Center. Daily tags are $5 and weekly tags are $10 apiece.
What you can’t do: There is a beach curfew from 10 pm to 6 am. Alcohol, fires, glass bottles and picnics are not allowed. Dogs are also a no. Launching motorized boats or watercraft from the beach is also not permitted.  Surfing is permitted on some beaches, as is surf fishing and kayaking. Floatation devices with a fin are now allowed to be used on a raft-designated beach. Floating devices with a fin, such as a belly or body boards, may be used on surfing beaches with a leash and flippers.

 

Strathmere

Drive from Ocean City to Sea Isle, and you’ll likely pass through the unincorporated community of Strathmere. The community (which falls under the Upper Township jurisdiction) is one of the few spots along the Shore that offers free beaches.

Beach Tags: Not required.
What you can’t do: No ball playing, rafts, inner tubes or other inflatables, alcohol, fires, pets, vehicles, or horses.

 

Stone Harbor

This quaint, small community draws families and those who want to wind down on the beach. In addition to the island’s shopping district and restaurants, there are plenty of opportunities for fishing, water sports and other ocean-going excursions.

Beach Tags: Required. All visitors 12 years old and older must have beach tags. Beach tags are sold at the 95th Street Beach Tag office seven days a week from 10 am to 4 pm and are $28 apiece. Weekly tags are $12, and daily tags are $6.
What you can’t do: No alcohol, fire, picnics, glass bottles, dogs or pets or any kind. Dogs are only permitted from 7 pm to sunset, with the exception of Stone Harbor Point, and must be leashed at all times. Swimming, rafts and surfboards are permitted at designated beaches only. Sail crafts may be licensed and are only allowed in certain areas. Surfing beaches are located at 81st and 110th streets, while kayaking is allowed at 122nd and 126th streets.

 

Ventnor

Squeezed between Margate and Atlantic City, Ventnor has a charm that sets it apart from the rest. Don’t miss this town’s beautiful beaches and strolls on the long fishing pier.

Beach Tags: Required for those 12 and up. Badges are $15 for the season and $10 for the week. Badges can be purchased at City Hall from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm with cash or check only. You can also purchase beach tags online with the VIPLY mobile app. Ventnor City badges can also be used on Margate City beaches.
What you can’t do: No alcohol, dogs, fires, balloons, ball playing, picnics or littering on the beach or boardwalk. Swimming, surfing or rafting is permitted in guarded areas only. Surf fishing is allowed outside of bathing hours.

 

The Wildwoods

Wildwood, North Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and West Wildwood might share one island, but anyone who visits there can tell you each town has its own flavor. Wildwood’s long, sandy beaches and famous boardwalk – including Morey’s Piers and Water Parks – offers plenty of ways to have fun in the sun.

Beach Tags: Not required. The Wildwoods 5-mile stretch of beaches is free to the public – just stay off the beach between 10 pm and 6 am.
What you can’t do: Leave skim boards, watercrafts and pets at home, but feel free to take Fido to the dog beach on Poplar Avenue. If heading to North Wildwood, stay in swimming spots designated by lifeguards, but don’t surf, canoe, boat, raft, wear life belts, water wings, inner tubes or other floatation in bathing areas. No littering, picnicking, watercraft, climbing on the rails, fences or benches. In Wildwood Crest, surfing is allowed at Rambler Road, but surf fishing, playing ball, using frisbees or kite flying in swimming areas that are not designated is not allowed. All three towns prohibit drinking alcohol on the beach, littering and fires.

 

For more rules and regulations, check out the municipality websites.

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