An affordable, laid-back beach scene in Seaside Heights.
Jersey Shore: Oceanside Fun
Credit: Mark Chesner

The Jersey Shore earned quite the reputation a few years back, thanks to the MTV series of the same name. But there’s much more to the area, which also delivers the perfect mix of scenic shores and boardwalk kitsch. Join the July and August crowds for sunbathing, fresh (often fried) seafood, and the lively after dark scene—or go in the spring or early fall to have the place all to yourself.

Barnegat Light Historical Society Museum

Explore 90 miles of sandy beaches, then take a look around the 150-year-old Barnegat Lighthouse. The centerpiece of the museum is the lighthouse's 1856 Fresnel lens, fabricated in Paris by Henri Le Paute and composed of more than 1,000 individual prisms fitted into a massive iron frame. Outfitted with a new lens in 2009, it now shines again after 80 years out of commission.

Floyd Moreland Historic Dentzel / Looff Carousel

Go for a spin on the boardwalk carousel. Some of the hand-carved animals—there are 58, in all—date to the 1890s.

Red's Lobster Pot Restaurant

Save on eating seafood by eating at the low-key Red’s Lobster Pot on the dock, about 15 minutes from Seaside Heights in Point Pleasant. Get there in time to watch the sunset.

Luna Rosa Trattoria

This Seaside Heights restaurant is the place for Italian by the shore—share the Mozzarella Tower with roasted peppers and dive into chicken Parm or pasta.

Ocean Glow Motel

Book a room (two night minimum) at the classic 1950s Ocean Glow Motel, right on the Seaside Heights boardwalk.