Hate crowds? NJ’s secret, less crowded beaches few know about
"Hell is other people."
~ Jean-Paul Sarte
There’s still plenty of summer left. But maybe you don’t want a ride wristband. Maybe you aren’t interested in every attraction on the boardwalk and don’t necessarily need a boardwalk at all. Perhaps drinking at a bar and reliving your Snooki years isn’t what you’re about and you could do without the restaurants and games.
Maybe you just want to sit on the beach in peace and quiet, and the fewer people the better.
Here are some quiet, less crowded beaches and in some cases practically secret beaches not likely to be the subject of a pop-up party.
This gem is deep in Cape May County. No lifeguards, no restaurants, not even any restrooms. Just nature. So if you’re OK with a portajohn, this place is really off the grid. You have to drive down a dirt road just to find a smaller gravel lot for parking then it’s a small hike through some woods and dunes to get to it. It’s a one-and-a-half-mile-long beach along Delaware Bay so remote people use it for bird watching.
Driving directions from capemay.com:
Follow the Garden State Parkway south to mile 0 and exit to the right for Route 109 North. Take Route 109 North to Route 9 south. Turn left onto Route 626. Cross the bridge and turn right onto New England Road. The road dead ends at Higbee Beach.
If you don’t need to be quite as remote as Higbee, this quieter beach just north of busier Belmar is enjoyed by local families and has lifeguards, bathrooms, free street parking and you can find a bite to eat at Avon Pavilion right on the beach.
You’ll find this oasis at the very southernmost tip of Cape May County. USA Today named it one of the quietest beaches New Jersey has to offer. No boardwalk. No concessions. Just nature. Peace and quiet. And lifeguards. Also it’s a wide beach so those who do find it can still spread out and give each other the space they come here for.
Between Ocean City and Sea Isle City is a place so tiny its population is less than 200 people. And Strathmere is one of the rare free beaches in New Jersey. They do have a lifeguard though, unlike Whale Beach just south which has even fewer visitors. So choose your level of isolation.
Monmouth County locals know this is one of the quietest beaches in the area. You’ll definitely be avoiding the heavier crowds of Belmar to the north and Point Pleasant to the south.
It lies below Lavalette and above Seaside Heights. Far less crowded than those places and it offers free street parking. If by ‘a day at the beach’ you actually mean beach and not rides and restaurants and arcades and bells and whistles, this could work.
Right next to Higbee Beach you’ll find free parking without as long of a hike to get to the sand. And because it’s the bay side you can have a beautiful view of the sunset right from the beach, thus the name.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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