New York Magazine’s Ultimate Beach Finder
not all my favorite beaches but useful, amusing and cleverly done.
DAY TRIP/WEEKEND GETAWAY
Spring Lake Beach in Spring Lake, New Jersey
Spring Lake beach in Monmouth County is just an hour drive or train (easy from Penn Station) from NYC. The beach is quiet and beautiful and clean. It’s basically perfect. Except, you have to pay an entrance fee (I think about $6.00), which actually isn’t bad considering that there is a food stand and bathroom for your convenience. You can’t bring coolers onto the beach but all the locals line them up along the boardwalk until lunch time. I’ve had cherries and treats at my chair and that has always been fine.
The town of Spring Lake is wonderful to explore - there are your necessary and standard local ice cream shops, a sweet cafe - Cafe Artiste - and a row of boutiques to shop. Here is a list of shops. Just driving around and looking at the homes is a pleasure.
Ask the locals where to get fresh seafood and they’ll send you to Klein’s Fish Market in nearby Belmar just an 8 minute drive.
And, should you want to never leave (the gorgeous mansions and lovely sunsets can do that to you) there are plenty of inns to book your stay.
This travel nyc website has a more in depth profile - littleviews travel
and here is the town website