Belmar New Jersey literally means "Beautiful Sea", and the founders could not have picked a better name for this lovely town. Belmar is a REAL-ly nice town, in the most literal sense. It is a REAL town, where people live, work, go to school, eat and have fun. The kicker that makes it different? It is located on one of the best beaches along the Jersey Shore.
Unlike many Jersey Shore towns, there are not a lot of tourist attractions that bring the crowds in droves. On this beach, you will find people who live right in the neighborhood, or not too far away. They are there for the sand and the surf, and if you are a purist who doesn't need rides and noise and cotton candy to make it a true beach vacation, this may be the place for you.
Sure, you have the day tripper, the weekender and the vacationer, since Belmar is so close to New York City and the populous areas of northern New Jersey, with its corporate parks and related bedroom communities. Many families visit Belmar New Jersey from the northern parts of the state, and generations of the same family have been known to rent a house and go to the same beach for decades. Spend a quiet day with your toes in the sand and your nose in a book, and you will understand why.
What Belmar New Jersey does have is wide, white sand beaches where kids and grownups alike love to swim, boogie board, surf and build sand castles. (There is even a sand castle contest that attracts professional sand castle builders.) Beach fees are $7 for the day, but kids under 15 are free. Season passes are $50 ($15 for senior or disabled) so a two week stay makes it cheaper to go for the season pass. (By the way, Belmar also has free admission to the beach for active members of the military services and their families in a program called “Operation: Thank You.”)
There are a number of great places to eat along the mile long boardwalk and Ocean Avenue is wall to wall snack bars and pizza joints, but there are plenty of "real" restaurants, too, from Mr. Shrimp and Klein's for seafood to fine dining at Brandl and La Dolce Vita. Try something completely different, and healthy, like fresh fruit bowls from Playa Bowls right on the beach. Try the Nutella Bowl or the Electric Mermaid for a fun and refreshing break. So, from your typical hot dog/pizza stand to fine cuisine, there is no lack of places to eat in Belmar.
The party crowd may slip off to Kelly's, Sunset's or the Headliner in Neptune right next door, after the sun sets on the beach, but they also have a great choice of bars in right in Belmar, such as D'Jais, the Boathouse and Bar Anticipation.
Boaters and fishermen love this great shore town as well, since the Belmar New Jersey Municipal Marina is a top notch facility with 70 transient docks for a wide range of boat sizes. It even has its own restaurant, Pier 9! There is also a large charter boat fleet for deep sea fishing, and a number of locations for small boat or jet ski rentals. Surf and pier fishing is also popular, and there are bait and tackle shops catering to it.
As if all of this isn't enough, Belmar is less than 1/2 hour from Great Adventure, if super exciting rides and a Safari Park are on your list of vacation to-dos.
Few of the beach goers tire of sitting on the soft sand in the sun, but if you do, you can go para-sailing, rent a rowboat or jet ski, take advantage of many of the summer events on or near the beach. The annual seafood festival is a big draw, with entertainment as well as great food. Spectators and players come from all over the country for the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Championships. Belmar is also home to one of the East Coast’s preeminent surfing championships, the "Belmar Pro", which attracts surfers from all over world.
For a small town, Belmar has an impressive array of places to stay, for all tastes. There are half a dozen lovely B&Bs, as many guesthouses and cottages, and a number of hotels and motels. Many of the locals will offer a beach house for rent, a perfect way to feel like a native.
And besides volleyball championships, great restaurants and bars, do not forget that Belmar is one of the best surfing locations on the shore.
Go early, before the crowds arrive (and before you have to pay to get on the beach), and you will find super waves as they curl around the many jetties. There is also a great crowd of surfers who are as friendly as they are good at the sport.
© 2016 to-the-beaches.com All Rights Reserved