Sandy Hook beach is one of the closest New Jersey beaches to Manhattan. Less than an hour by highway or luxury catamaran from NYC’s skyscrapers and museums, this shoreline destination is especially popular in the summer. If you’re looking for a relaxed getaway and amazing scenery, the Sandy Hook area in New Jersey is the place for you.
A part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, Sandy Hook Beach is just one of the places where you can connect with nature. The park spans three New York City boroughs—Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island—as well as Northern New Jersey. In the Garden State, you’ll find several miles of beaches nestled along Jamaica Bay and some land jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. These golden-sand beaches tend to be quieter than the beaches of Atlantic City or Asbury Park.
Every year, more than 9 million people enjoy the natural attractions and history sites that are a part of the Gateway National Area. When the weather is warm, a large percentage of visitors come to discover what Sandy Hook New Jersey offers. This is precisely the time when many Manhattanites and others get together their beach bags, grabs their sunglasses, and head to the golden shores of the Sandy Hook Peninsula.
No entry fees are needed to visit the park, which is open all year, but parking costs in the summertime. When temperatures are heating up, Sandy Hook Beach becomes one of the best places around to go for a swim. Lifeguards are on patrol between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and swimming is only allowed in particular designated areas. In the early morning and late evenings, the same beaches are open for surf fishing. Nighttime anglers will need to purchase a pass from visitor center or the ranger stand.
Lifeguards patrol five beaches in Sandy Hook in a season that stretches from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Swimming is only allowed at guarded beaches, and surf fishing is an option only when the lifeguards are not on duty. One of the beaches—Gunnison Beach—allows nude sunbathing.
During the high season, the various concession stands keep regular hours, carrying cold drinks, snacks, and anything else you might need to enjoy your fun in the sun.
Beyond the typical swimming and beachcombing, you’ll find a lot of other things to do in Sandy Hook New Jersey. Many visitors enjoy a picnic on the beach or at the tables of the North Beach Observation Day—a fine place to enjoy the views of New York Harbor.
The beaches and the surrounding lands are popular places for fun on and off the water. Boaters tend to congregate around Horseshoe Cove, while windsurfers and kite boarders head to the bay across from Beach C—not all the names are that clever at Sandy Hook, but the scenery is sure fantastic.
Others flock to the Gateway National Recreation Area for birdwatching and biking. A paved trail, which also is used by rollerbladers and walkers, twists its way through the park, beginning at the entrance and leading to Fort Hancock. This historic site is now a museum, which tells the tale of the fort that protected the harbor during the Revolutionary War. Tours also are available of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse.
While no accommodations are available in the park, the neighboring communities of Belmar Beach and Point Pleasant have hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other accommodations to suit your plans and budget.