June 6, 2023 0 Comments Beach Tips, Best Beaches in The World, Destinations

13 of The Best Beaches Near Philadelphia to Enjoy!

Philadelphia, affectionately known the world over as the, “city of brotherly love”, is known for its rich history, vibrant art scene, and mouthwatering cheesesteaks. However, with summer approaching, many residents and visitors are looking for a beach getaway within driving distance of the city. If you’re searching for the perfect beach near Philadelphia, look no further!

We’ve compiled a list of the best beaches near Philadelphia off the mighty Atlantic ocean to help you plan your next coastal escape. From the bustling boardwalks many Jersey beach towns to the serene shores of Delaware, there’s a beach for everyone. So, pack your sunscreen, grab your sunglasses, and get ready to discover the best beaches near Philadelphia.

1. Ocean City, New Jersey

ocean city one of the best beach towns near philadelphia

Boardwalk in Ocean City

Distance: 65 miles
Drive Time: 1 hr, 5 minutes

Ocean City, New Jersey, is the perfect family beach destination and the closest beach to Philadelphia. This quaint island city boasts a long, wide, wooden boardwalk that offers miles of shops, restaurants, cafes, and accommodations – a truly awesome beach promenade! Founded by a church group, Ocean City retains its conservative family values, making it a great spot for a relaxing and wholesome beach vacation, it’s also dry so bring your own alcohol as there are no stores that sell it here!

The main public beach area is expansive and patrolled by lifeguards, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors. Beach tags are required for visitors aged 12 and above, costing around $10 per full beach day, for adults or $20 for a season pass. The Port-O-Call Hotel offers beachfront accommodations right on the boardwalk, making it a convenient and comfortable place to stay. Ocean city, NJ is next to other iconic beaches and some of the closest beaches to Philadelphia  within a short drive like Avalon Beach, Atlantic City Beach, to name a couple more.

2. Avalon, New Jersey

Distance: 75 miles
Drive Time: 1 hr, 20 minutes

Avalon, New Jersey, is known for its luxurious atmosphere, wide unspoiled and swimming beach, and stunning sand dunes. This upscale beach town has a laid-back vibe and offers a variety of high-end shops and fine-dining restaurants. Avalon’s unique location on the north side of Seven Mile Beach makes it “cooler by a mile,” adding to its appeal.

Beach tags are required to access Avalon’s pristine white sand beaches, with daily, weekly, and seasonal options available. In addition to relaxing on the beach, visitors can enjoy designated surfing and windsurfing areas, surf fishing, as well as nearby attractions like the charming town of Stone Harbor.

Consider staying at the ICONA Avalon, a boutique beachfront resort that offers a taste of luxury on the dunes.

Avalon is a favorite of locals and considered as one of the best beaches near Philly.

3. Wildwood, New Jersey

Distance: 91 miles
Drive Time: 1 hr, 30 minutes

For a beach vacation with a lively atmosphere, look no further than Wildwood beach, New Jersey. This vibrant beach town is known for its energetic boardwalk, amusement piers, and free access to its five miles of wide, sandy beaches.

Wildwood beach’s carnival-like atmosphere is perfect for visitors seeking excitement and entertainment alongside their beach relaxation.

The boardwalk offers an array of shops, eateries, and attractions, while the island beach state park and amusement piers provide thrilling rides and attractions for visitors of all ages. For a fun-filled beach getaway near Philadelphia, Wildwood is the ideal destination.

4. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

beast beaches near Philadelphia in Delaware

image from thefullpassport.com

Distance: 124 miles
Drive Time: 2 hr, 15 minutes

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, is a charming beach town known for its clean water, wide patrolled beaches, and old-school wooden boardwalk. This popular destination attracts visitors from Philadelphia and Washington D.C., making it a perfect weekend getaway or extended vacation spot.

In addition to enjoying the beautiful beaches, visitors can attend free concerts at the open-air bandstand, explore shops and cafes along the boardwalk, and visit the nearby Tanger Outlet Mall for some retail therapy.

Consider staying at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel for a beachfront experience with modern amenities.

5. Long Beach Island, New Jersey

Distance: 65 miles
Drive Time: 1 hr, 35 minutes

For a beach vacation that offers both luxury and entertainment, consider Long Beach Island (LBI), New Jersey, south of Seaside heights beach. This barrier island features 18 miles of beautiful beaches, with towns like North Beach and Harvey Cedar boasting luxurious summer homes and marinas, while Ship Bottom and Beach Haven offer amusement parks, mini-golf and miniature golf courses and, and shopping.

LBI’s beaches are wide and unspoiled, with grassy dunes providing a natural barrier between the beach and nearby developments.

Beach badges are required to access the beaches, and various activities such as fishing, kayaking, and kiteboarding are available for visitors to enjoy. The Spray Beach Hotel is a popular beachfront hotel option on LBI, offering a range of amenities for guests.

6. Cape May, New Jersey

cape may is one of the best beaches near Philadelphia

Distance: 93 miles
Drive Time: 1 hr, 30 minutes

Cape May, New Jersey, offers a unique beach experience with its Victorian mansions, family-friendly atmosphere, and beautiful beaches. This historic beach town has been a popular summer resort destination since the Victorian era and retains its charm with vintage architecture and a beachfront boardwalk.

Visitors can explore the pedestrian mall along Washington Street, enjoy the clean and beautiful beaches, play beach volleyball, and take advantage of the many attractions and activities available in the area. Consider staying at the historic Congress Hall, which offers luxurious accommodations and modern amenities.

Other beaches near Cape May that are worth a visit are Sea Isle City and Sea Isle City Beach as well as Wildwood Beach and Stone Harbor Beach.

7. Asbury Park, New Jersey

Distance: 79 miles
Drive Time: 1 hr, 25 minutes

Asbury Park, New Jersey, combines beach fun and music history, making it a great destination for fans of Bruce Springsteen, who played here frequently during his early years. This seaside resort has a vibrant music scene, a wide wooden boardwalk, and plenty of fun activities for visitors to enjoy.

In addition to lounging on the beach, music lovers can visit the Stone Pony, where Springsteen first performed, and catch live shows from both established and upcoming artists.

The Asbury Hotel is a stylish, modern hotel that offers a range of amenities such as an outdoor movie theater, a music venue, and a popular bowling alley with a diner inside.

8. Dewey Beach, Delaware

Distance: 124 miles
Drive Time: 2 hr, 10 minutes

Dewey Beach, Delaware, is a small beach town that offers a lively nightlife scene alongside a relaxing beach atmosphere. With a population of fewer than 400 people, Dewey Beach is popular with younger crowds looking for a fun beach vacation near Philadelphia. It’s also near Rehoboth Beach as well.

Visitors can enjoy the beautiful beach, explore the many nearby restaurants and shops, and take advantage of the active nightlife. Accommodations are plentiful, making it easy to plan a weekend getaway or an extended stay in this lively beach destination.

9. Margate, New Jersey

Distance: 62 miles
Drive Time: 1 hr, 10 minutes

Margate, New Jersey, is home to Lucy the Elephant, a 65-foot-tall wooden elephant that serves as a unique tourist attraction. This luxurious residential community offers beautiful beaches and a peaceful atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a quaint beach town with the family.

Visitors can explore the park surrounding Margate City Beach Lucy, enjoy the stunning beaches, and take advantage of the numerous shopping and dining options available in the area. While there are no hotels in Margate, visitors can explore nearby accommodations for a comfortable stay.

10. Seaside Heights, New Jersey

Distance: 78 miles
Drive Time: 1 hr, 35 minutes

Seaside Heights, New Jersey, is a popular beach destination known for its lively atmosphere and bustling boardwalk. Featured on the MTV show “Jersey Shore,” this beach town offers a variety of attractions and entertainment options for visitors looking for a fun and exciting beach vacation near Philadelphia.

The sandy beach front here is wide and flat, with plenty of space for visitors to relax and enjoy the sun. Beach fees are required for access, typically costing around $10 per day or $50 for a season pass.

11. Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey

point pleasant beach near Philadelphia

Distance: 74 miles
Drive Time: 1 hr, 20 minutes

Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, offers a family-friendly beach experience with a wide wooden boardwalk, local shops, numerous pizza and ice cream shops, and mini-golf courses. This charming beach town is perfect for a relaxing family vacation or a romantic getaway.

Visitors can enjoy the beautiful beaches, explore the many nearby attractions, and take advantage of the wide variety of activities available in the area. Beach fees are required for access, with daily passes costing around $10 for adults and $5 for children.

12. Brigantine Beach, New Jersey

Distance: 67 miles
Drive Time: 1 hr, 10 minutes

Brigantine Beach, New Jersey, is a charming beach town located just north of Atlantic City. Known for its small-town feel and beautiful beaches, Brigantine Beach is the perfect spot for a relaxing beach vacation near Philadelphia.

Visitors can explore the waterfront park and the iconic Brigantine Lighthouse, visit the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, and enjoy the clean and beautiful beaches. Beach tags are required for access ocean city beach, with daily and weekly options available for purchase.

13. Smithfield Beach, Pennsylvania

Distance: 110 miles
Drive Time: 1 hr, 45 minutes

For a unique beach experience near Philadelphia, consider Smithfield Beach, Pennsylvania. Situated on the Delaware River, this quiet beach that offers a sandy shoreline, cool water for swimming, and various recreational areas for visitors to enjoy.

While not an ocean beach, Smithfield Beach provides a refreshing alternative for those looking for a day trip to east coast beach towns or weekend getaway within the state. There is a small fee for access, which includes access to picnic areas, restrooms, and a boat launch.

Frequently Asked Questions about the beaches near Philadelphia

What is the best time to visit the beaches near Philadelphia?

The best time to visit the beaches near Philadelphia is between May and September, with the peak season being between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. During these months, beach towns are bustling with activity, and the weather is typically warm and sunny.

How do I get to the beaches near Philadelphia?

The easiest way to reach the beaches near Philadelphia is by car, as most hotels and resorts offer free parking, and the major highways make it easy to get to the other beach towns too. Alternatively, Greyhound and Flixbus offer bus services to many of the resort cities.

Now that you have a comprehensive list of the best beaches near Philadelphia, it’s time to plan your next coastal escape.

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly destination, a romantic getaway, or a lively beach town, there’s a beach near Philadelphia that’s perfect for you. So grab your sunscreen, pack your beach bag, and get ready to soak up the sun on the best beaches near Philadelphia.

Do you have any other Jersey beach towns you would recommend near Philly? Share in the comments!