New Jersey’s Bergen County is a highly family-friendly place with great local communities and tons of local activities. Whether it’s the zoo, the parks, or any of the great local restaurants you have it all covered. What if you want to catch some sun? Well, we have you covered. Join us to explore the best beaches near Bergen County, NJ.
When you are looking at the beaches near Bergen County, NJ, you can’t avoid driving. We’ve selected destinations ranging from one to two hours of driving. Usually, the closest beaches are on the other side of New York so the road distance might be small but the driving time can be a lot.
The beaches we’ve selected around Bergen County are all great options. We will give you some that are close but you have to dodge the heavy traffic areas of NY and we’ll also list others that are a bit further away but offer a much more relaxing drive.
Without further ado, get your flip-flops in the car, put your bathing suit on, and let’s dive in!
1. Orchard Beach, NY
The first beach on our list is only 25 miles away from Bergen County. It can be an awesome choice if the traffic light during the day. However, if you want to tackle rush hour traffic to enjoy this beach you can take as long as 1 hour to complete these 25 miles. Yuck!
Orchard Beach is actually part of The Bronx borough of New York. It’s pretty much what you would expect from a local beach in The Bronx.
The place is all right. It’s a nice sandy beach with a walkway and some playgrounds for the kids. Of course, the food and drink vendors sell everything at New York City prices so we recommend that you bring your own.
In recent years the cleanliness of this beach has improved a lot but there were a lot of complaints about litter. It doesn’t ruin the experience but it does take a bit away from a perfect beach day. Of course, today might not be a real issue but as mentioned, your mileage may vary.
2. Long Beach, NY
Long Beach is a beach and oceanfront town near Long Island. It has its own little island, the similarly named Long Beach Barrier Island. It’s a popular spot for oceanfront vacations due to its excellent views and superb beach experience.
Travelers love to relax on the golden sand in Long Beach. The ocean is ever so inviting for a swim, especially on hot summer days. It’s a pretty regular beachgoer’s experience so no surprises there.
Do note that there is a $15 admission price to enter the beach. This helps it keep clean and nice but you can expect to pay as it’s not a free beach.
As a beach near Bergen County, NJ, you will need to drive 45 miles to get here. Once again your travel times are heavily affected by traffic. We recommend that you only choose Long Beach in ‘odd’ hours when not a lot of cars are on the road.
Should you choose rush hour your travel time can be up to 2 hours for this small 45 miles trip. That’s a big no if you ask us. Make sure to plan ahead and drive when others are not driving.
3. Jones Beach, NY
The next island from Long Beach Barrier Island is actually Jones Beach Island. It has a similar travel time although the distance is closed to 50 miles than 45 miles. Regardless you’ll have to drive through NY which can take a long time depending on the time of day you decide to visit.
Jones Beach is a lovely spot if you are looking for a great beach experience. The whole beach is 6.5 miles long so there is plenty of space for everyone. If you want a more ‘city beach’ like experience you can choose the bustling central area.
Otherwise, you can even choose the areas near Jones Beach State Park which is a very nice area to be in. There are tons of parking spaces along the main road so you can stop at different sections and explore this long beach.
We recommend Jones Beach when you are looking for a more secluded experience. As it’s so big you’ll definitely be able to find a spot with not a lot of others nearby. Just make sure to dodge NY traffic otherwise you’ll be sitting in your car for a long time.
4. Sandy Hook Beach, NJ
Although there are still more great options for beaches near Bergen County, NJ, in New York state, it’s time to leave the area behind. The three we mentioned are our top recommendations but should you wish to explore, you can find more nice beaches.
Sandy Hook Beach is a perfect spot for a beach day out from Bergen County. It’s 60 miles and even in heavy traffic the travel time is ‘just’ 1 hour and 40 minutes. In good traffic conditions, you can complete the distance in around 1 hour.
The Sandy Hook Beach is rightfully loved by both the locals and the tourists that visit the area. The beach has its own small isle and there are sandy shores on each side (hence the name).
The whole area is a great recreational spot making this beach a good visit even during the colder months. People love to come here for jogging or just to catch the sunset while they listen to the waves of the ocean.
As a beach, Sandy Hook is an excellent choice. It’s well equipped and there are lifeguards (until 5 PM). Due to the size of the sandy shore, you will have an option to settle away from the others. We do recommend bringing food and drinks as the vendor prices are a little high.
Be prepared to pay $20 for parking if you want to visit during the day. After-hours (after 5 PM) it’s free but there are no lifeguards.
5. Belmar Beach, NJ
If you are looking for a less crowded beach then Belmar Beach in New Jersey should be on your radar. It’s the local beach of Belmar and it’s mostly used by locals and the people vacationing in Belmar.
The distance is 70 miles and the route goes through good roads so the chances of traffic jams are low. You can get to Belmar Beach in around 1 hour and 20 minutes or a bit more on heavier traffic days.
We love to recommend this beach to families as it’s less crowded it’s perfect for the kids to run around and enjoy the sandy shore. There are even playgrounds that will enhance their experience.
Toilets and food vendors are all readily available near the shore and they work with okay pricing. Still, if you bring your own things it will be cheaper but it’s not too bad.
Do note that you need to purchase a daily badge to use this beach. It’s $9 per person and it’s free for children under 15 years.
6. Beach Haven, NJ
Beach Haven is an excellent beach town in New Jersey. It’s 115 miles from Bergen County which is a little short of two hours of driving in moderate traffic.
It’s a great choice if you are planning a full day out. There is a free public beach area that we recommend. It’s beautiful, sandy, and well maintained even if it’s free.
Toilets are available and if you come early enough there is also free parking. This is a great choice if you are looking to save a few bucks and still enjoy the perfect beach day out.
7. Wildwood Beach, NJ
The last one on our list of the best beaches near Bergen County, NJ is Wildwood Beach. Wildwood is a city known for being a nice holiday resort town and it has everything for a fun day.
The distance is 162 miles so you can expect a lot of driving, but visiting Wildwood should be a full-day activity anyway.
As it’s a full-blown resort town this beach has the most activities and amenities available out of all the selections from this list.
If you are looking for a day filled with fun you can visit Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks which is an awesome amusement park. The kids will absolutely have a blast here.
Oh did you think this is all? There is also an Adventure Pier, the Splash Zone Waterpark, and Ocean Oasis Water Park. You have tons of choices when it comes to family fun.
These were just the amusement parks and other attractions. There are also tons of great restaurants and photo spots and the beach.
The beach is an awesome, well-maintained, and super clean sandy beach. It’s a great beach for relaxing and swimming.
In short, Wildwood has everything you would expect from a proper resort town and as such it’s one of our favorite picks among the beaches near Bergen County.
Of course, the drive over Wildwood is long but in our opinion, it’s totally worth it. Especially if you are visiting with family. The kids will make great memories here.
+1 Hazard Beach, NJ
Last on our list is a bonus pick for you. This is a bonus pick as it’s not a swimming beach but rather a great photo spot. It’s inside Bergen County near George Washington Bridge.
Hazard Beach is great if you want something close and just want to relax and take in the scenery.
Beaches Near Bergen County, NJ – FAQ
Yes, there are multiple free beaches in New Jersey, such as the one in Beach Haven.
New Jersey beach towns usually require a small charge to enter. This tax will help the beach be kept clean, staffed with lifeguards, and help the local small towns to grow.