Despite the reputation it earned from the notorious reality show named for the area, the Jersey Shore is a family-friendly getaway lined with lovely beaches. From the Victorian charms of Cape May to Ocean City with its bustling boardwalk to quiet, secluded Spring Lake, you can't go wrong with a day at the beach, or as the locals say, “down the Shore.”
Many families visiting the Jersey Shore rent beach homes, ranging from opulent, multi-story properties right on the water to charming cottages nestled between the shore and intimate towns complete with boutiques and ice cream shops. When it comes to hotels, don't expect large beachfront resorts and tower hotels, unless you're headed to the casinos of Atlantic City. Instead, you’ll find inns, B&Bs and charmingly renovated motel-style properties.
The beach! This is what a visit to the shore is all about. Kids can spend hours playing in the surf and sand, and when that becomes boring, the many boardwalks scattered about the coastline offer water parks, mini-golf, amusement rides and midway games, including Fantasy Island Amusement Park in Long Beach Island, Jenkinson’s South Amusement Park in Point Pleasant, Morey’s Piers in Wildwood and Ocean City’s Castaway Cove. If you’re looking for a little more to do, check out Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, not too far from the Jersey Shore.
The Jersey Shore runs more than 140 miles from its Perth Amboy beginnings to Cape May in the south. Without a car, it’s hard to visit multiple shore towns. However, if you select one town for your vacation, you can find small grocers, restaurants, shops, attractions and more within walking or biking distance so you can park the car and leave it.