Like many other areas of New Jersey, the beaches in Monmouth County are beautiful, and we have a few favorites, of course. Depending on what you like, Sea Girt and Point Pleasant are both fun choices. We also have enjoyed Seven President’s Oceanfront Park at the very north end of Asbury Beach.
If you’re looking for quiet and clean, Sea Girt is lovely. The surrounding area is really cute and nice. You won’t find a lot of chains or any high rises – everything looks really pristine and well cared-for. This is probably because they have so many rules! So, if you don’t like a lot of rules at the beach (like no tents, pets, or loud music, etc), this might not be your place. We liked it. Beach tags are $12 for adults between 9 and 5, and there is free parking, concessions, outside showers and restrooms.
Point Pleasant and Jenkinson’s Boardwalk
If you like a little more action, the beach at Point Pleasant around Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is nice and wide and there is tons to do. It does get very crowded! The boardwalk is really cute and has rides and food and shops, but also an aquarium with seals and penguins! Prices for the aquarium and beach for 2022 are pictured below.
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park
Seven Presidents can get crowded as well, but it has a really fun playground which we used one evening when the surf was super rough and we were tired of playing in the sand and catching sand crabs. Complete with little climbing walls, a pirate ship, and separate areas for younger and older kids, it entertained our kids for quite a while.
Road trip tip: If you drive from Sea Girt up to Seven Presidents you will pass through Belmar, and let me tell you: If you like ogling homes of the rich and famous, you will really enjoy this drive.
The (non-beach) Parks and Museums
If you want a day off from the beach, there are some lovely parks and interesting museums in Monmouth County. Here are our favorites:
Allaire State Park
Allaire State Park is a pleasant place to walk a trail or learn some history, and it has no fee this season (summer 2022). Our favorite part was the historic village, which features a museum set up in the row homes with information and displays about the workers who mined iron ore out of the bog – a pretty interesting process (if you’re a super-nerd like me). My kids like to know where stuff comes from so they enjoyed it.
But the best part was the train ride, which is on an original steam train from the 1840’s. Tickets were quite cheap, and it lasted less than a half hour, just doing a couple loops around the park. It leaves every half hour on weekends between 11 and 3:30.
For a shady walk, Manasquan Reservoir is a really beautiful place with a 5 mile trail (around the reservoir), ample free parking, a playground and a really nice environmental center, all for free. The environmental center is really big compared to most nature centers you find in state or county parks and included a “muskrat nest” you’re kids can tunnel through, and some great bird watching opportunities. (There were also plenty of chipmunks we could watch from our pleasantly air conditioned view). You can also rent a canoe or kayak for a fee. This was a beautiful place and we would definitely go back to see it in other seasons.
If it rains and you want to kill a little time (maybe a half hour or so), visit National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey. Our son is into weapons and military history at the moment so he enjoyed it, and there was actually a submarine called the Intelligent Whale that you could take a look inside – so that was really interesting. It is free, and right on the base, but you don’t actually have to enter the base to go in.
A few miles away is the Infoage Science Center, which includes exhibits and interactive displays on space exploration, military communication, radio technology, and the like.