Courtesy of the Star-Ledger, below is a listing of the Jersey Shore's top beaches:
Gunnison Beach (Sandy Hook): The state's only legal nude beach is listed first not because I go there but because this is in alphabetical order. Get naked, as they like to say here, or get lost!
Island Beach State Park: RV enthusiast, fisherman's and hiker's heaven. Ten miles of sand and sun, and not a T-shirt shop or pizza joint in sight.
Manasquan: Nice, compact beach, and the nearly-mile-long walkway is nearly clutter and commercial-free.
Margate: On how many beaches can you spread your blanket in the shadow of a six story-high elephant? Lucy's her name.
Ocean Grove: The state's best-behaved beach, if there is such a thing. It's a dry town, and no one's allowed on the beach on Sundays until 12:30 p.m. That means you!
Point Pleasant Beach: Plenty of action on both the beach - volleyball, entertainment, even fashion shows - and the boardwalk.
Sea Bright: The first true Shore town. Free beach-front parking. Amazing.
Strathmere: Blink twice, and you're out of this town, sandwiched between Ocean City and Sea Isle. But it's one of the state's few free beaches. For dinner or drinks: the Deauville Inn.
Sunset Beach: This stretch of sand in Lower Township (adjacent to Cape May), is the end of the line as far as Jersey's beaches go. The evening flag-lowering ceremony here is a must.Wildwood (including North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest): Unimaginably wide beach - you can barely see the surf from the boardwalk - and it's free!!
Here are some more great spots to go to Down the Shore:
Atlantic Highlands: A visitor can enjoy accommodations in an 1800’s Victorian B&B, local seafood so fresh it practically jumps out of the ocean, and many beach bars to unwind and listen to some great music preformed by local Jersey Shore bands.
Avon by the Sea: Just 60 miles from New York and Philadelphia, it is a great place to swim & relax in the summer sun. Plenty of fine restaurants, shops, Victorian homes and a non-commercial boardwalk make Avon one of New Jersey's most relaxing respites.
Belmar: Belmar has kept its reputation as a resort town for all seasons. Whether you are seeking a relaxing vacation on the beach, or a vacation full of activities and nightlife, you can find it at Belmar.
Long Beach Island: Long Beach Island remains the premier spot in New Jersey for quiet relaxation by the ocean. Since it is only a quarter mile wide, visitors are close to both the sea and the bay. Only one town on the island has an amusement area, and there is no boardwalk. Long Beach Island boasts some of the most naturally beautiful beaches on the east coast, as well as hundreds of boutiques and fine restaurants.
Point Pleasant: Point Pleasant NJ has remained a premier Jersey Shore Boardwalk, with a first class aquarium, rides, live entertainment and amusements. Downtown Point Pleasant boasts a thriving shopping district with a myriad of premiere antique establishments, making the area a great location for all ages.
Wildwood: Wildwood consists of four distinct towns. Wildwood Crest, Wildwood, North Wildwood and West Wildwood.