BeachNuts Beach Guide for:
Sandy Hook Beach
Sandy Hook is known for exceptional beaches, wildlife, and fishing. This northernmost ocean beach on the Jersey Shore is a popular spot with travelers from northern New Jersey and New York. "The Hook" as it is known has been the migration grounds for students from New York and New Jersey for years now.
While most most Jersey Shore beaches provide for access fees using beach badges, Sandy Hook is free..well sort of...parking fees are $10 per car on the weekend and $8 during the week. Consider going with a group to lower your cost.
If you like beaches without the bustle of hotels and boardwalks in the background and are in search of the ideal place to worship the sun then Sandy Hook is the spot.
The downside, or perhaps for those who are into people watching the upside, "the Hooks" parking lots fill up early on weekends and the beach gets crowded.
Unlike most of the beaches in New Jersey, where drinking beer will result in a fine or perhaps jail time, you will be free to drink beer at Sandy Hook. The reason... it is a Federal Park and there are no regulations against bringing your own beer. One caveat, there is a ban on glass containers.
4BeachNuts advice about food.
Bring a picknick basket full of food, water and soda. If you aren't into this idea, there are concessions that run hamburger and hotdog outlets at various locations up and down Sandy Hook with a full service bar and grill, The Seagull's Nest, located at parking area "D."
For those who don't mind baring it all, Gunnison Beach which is part of Sandy Hook is a nude beach. Like the beer, this is possible because of the Federal status of the area.
Regardless of the beach area you choose, or find space at on the weekend, you'll find good fishing, surfing, swimming and sun bathing throughout the more than six miles of ocean beach front.
If sun bathing isn't your thing, or your skin can't take any more sun, you may want to tour Fort Hancock and its museum. There's a visitor center (Spermaceti Cove) that lists info and tours. The Clearwater Festival takes place at the Hook. A combination of ecology and displays of talent from basketweaving to making paper. On the Hook there's also Fort Hancock. Part of Fort Hancock is off limits - but the rest is accessible for walking/biking. This is a great place to go tramping with the kids. Another place to visit is the Sandy Hook Lighthouse - the oldest operating lighthouse in the US. Sandy Hook Lighthouse, has dramatic views of lower Manhattan and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. There are also nature trails here and nature lovers will be able to catch a glimpse of the Osprey nests and a wide variety of other species.
Parking areas run from "A" to "G" along with North Beach and fill up in that order. On busy days, unless you arrive early in the morning, you will be be parking in the North Beach overflow lots. The walk to the beach though isnt that bad and there will still be plenty of empty space on the beach for you to stretch out.
Things To Do:
Fort Hancock or Sandy Hook Lighthouse
Fishing, surfing, historical sights, ecotourism.
Nude Beach for those inclined...Gunnison
Clearwater Festival held each summer
$10 per car fee on weekends
Beach Info: (732) 872-5970
Parking Lots fill up fast on nice weekends
Beer allowed but no glass containers
Exceptional beach with great sand and surf