As recently as 2014, Belmar Beach was recognized as #1 Central New Jersey. This little patch of sand measuring almost a mile and a half north to south ranked as the #6 beach in the entire state. Those rankings are possibly suspect, but they do come from the Top Ten Beaches Competition. Over the years, Belmar has aged well and is an extremely welcoming town for a beach vacation. So no matter how you want to classify Belmar, it’s a fun place to visit and maybe even live.
In another ranking that should be taken a bit more seriously or at least not scoffed at, the 7th Avenue Beach in Belmar ranked as the best in New Jersey for a report, “Testing the Waters: A guide to water quality at Vacation Beaches”, compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The NRDC aims to protect swimmers from contaminants including viruses and bacteria in beach water. One of the the Borough of Belmar’s stated goals is to providing the healthiest and cleanest environment on the beach for everyone, even tourists!
Smoking on the beach in Belmar has gone the way of the dodo. If you still smoke, take heed that while you are on your beach vacation, you can get ticketed if you light up on the sands or boardwalk. I am not sure how I feel about that, but the town’s heart is in the right place. Additionally, every morning the town cleans their beaches.
Where is Belmar, New Jersey? 40°18′N 74°02′W
The beaches of Belmar have a lot of playgrounds. In fact, the most in all of New Jersey. Approximately every 5 blocks, you can find a beach park for children. The parks were built to suit the needs of children (fun and safety). The Borough of Belmar takes great pride in having fun, safe and clean beaches for families.
Between First and Twentieth Avenue, the boardwalk is located on Ocean Avenue. There are a number of fun activities, restaurants and shops. Not to mention, the people watching is world class along the the long beach.
The population of this beach town in Monmouth County had dipped more than 4% to 5,794 in the 2010 Census. Heading north along Ocean Avenue from Belmar, is Avon-by-the-Sea and to the south is Spring Lake. Of course, these are very nice beaches on the Atlantic Ocean.
Belmar is a very small town and only has a a total area of 1.6 sq. miles, according to the United States Census Bureau.
In 1885, Belmar was originally incorporated as Ocean Beach borough from parts of Wall Township. Four years later the name was briefly switched to the City of Elcho. Finally, the Borough of Belmar, came into existence on November 20, 1890. In case you did not recognize, the city name means “beautiful sea” in Italian.
With wide beaches suitable for fishing, swimming, surfing and more, Belmar is a premier beach vacation destination. Belmar beach is equally blessed by its scenery as well as location. Its close enough to New York to take a local train in less than 2 hours. Philadelphia is a relative short drive as well. There are a lot of activities on offer in this party town. Sporting events, an active arts community, festivals and family events happen frequently. There is also a large marina on the south side of the Shark River, with an inlet to the ocean.
Belmar Beach Surfing
The waves in this part of New Jersey are surprisingly good. Regularly, the beach in Belmar is host to surfing events and competitions. Belmar, Manasquan and Sea Girt are among the best surf spots on the East Coast along with Hatteras etc in North Carolina.
I’d like to thank my old friend Bruce for driving around with me a few weeks ago while I took these pictures from Belmar and a couple other towns. Bruce spent his summers in Sea Girt growing up and is an avid surfer and skier. He helps out with the High Fives Foundation. It is a wonderful organization. I was humbled to see Bruce et al in action down the street from me in San Diego.
Je ne sais quoi