Dozens of towns line the Jersey Shore, each with its own unique character. Some towns are party scenes, others are more family-friendly, and others are tony spots for the well-heeled. Below are some of our favorite towns for running on the Jersey Shore (from north to south), with suggested routes.
Sandy Hook: This Gateway National Recreation Area is the northernmost point on the Shore. Great beach for running, a 7-mile bike path with water views, and other trails. Also reachable via a 35-minute ferry ride from Manhattan.
Red Bank: This increasingly hipster town has a fun downtown for running, with a shopping and cultural scene along its sidewalked roads, and some nice waterfront running along the shore and into Marine Park. It’s also a fun mile over the Rte. 35 bridge.
Ocean Grove: One of the tonier towns on the Shore, with lovely Victorian architecture, a commercial-free Boardwalk, the pretty, shop-lined Main Ave., and a nice path along Wesley Lake.
Spring Lake: Another upscale town. The 2-mile beach and the quieter boardwalk section here are great for running. Explore some of the tree-lined residential side streets south of Rt. 71 and east-west from Ocean Ave. to Old Mill Rd., which feature some of the Jersey Shore’s grander homes.
Lavelette: A quieter town just north of Seaside Heights. Use as an extension of the Boardwalk to run along the 1.5 mile Oceanfront path, and skip over to Bay Blvd., which has nice water views from Ortley Ave. for 1 mile south to Pershing Blvd.
Longport: Nice 2 mile run along the bay with great views, just south of the hustle and bustle of Atlantic City. Combine with beach and the southern part of the Atlantic City Boardwalk for a nice 4-5 miler. MAP
Avalon and Stone Harbor: These charming coastal towns occupy a barrier island called Seven Mile Beach. They’re quieter and more residential. The main roads feature wide sidewalks and are very pleasant for running. Also fun to criss-cross the streets that run between the beach and 3rd Ave./Ocean Dr.
Cape May: The southernmost town on the Jersey Shore is a National Historic Landmark and a treat for running, with 2-mile long Beach Ave., Victorian architecture, and historic lighthouse. We’ve got a whole section for Cape May.