Ocean County Spotlight: Top Places to Explore

Ocean County, NJ is located in the south-central region of New Jersey along the East Coast of the United States. It stretches from Point Pleasant Beach to Tuckerton, and extends as far west as New Egypt. From beautiful beaches and breathtaking pineland landscapes, to bustling downtown districts and unique local businesses, this picturesque county is perfect for day trips or extended stays.

This month, Choose New Jersey ventured out to Toms River, Point Pleasant, and Long Beach Island (LBI) to spotlight some standout Ocean County destinations.

Hikes and Vistas

Whether you’re an Ocean County local or a visitor looking to get outdoors, Cattus Island County Park in Toms River is a great place to start. Enjoy seven miles of trails, explore beaches and boardwalks, or go bird watching at the Cooper Environmental Center overlook!

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is located at the northernmost end of LBI. While hiking trails are limited, the park supplies visitors with picnic areas and a scenic view of Island Beach State Park across the Barnegat Inlet.

Double Trouble State Park in Bayville is a biodiverse forest with over 8,000 acres of cranberry bogs, trails, pine forests, and Atlantic white cedar wetlands. This park offers visitors a small slice of the Pinelands National Reserve and is ideal for hiking, canoeing, and exploring the historic village near the entrance.

Shopping Districts

Arnold Ave in Downtown Point Pleasant Beach is a walkable community optimal for window shopping, dining out, and supporting local businesses.

Schooner’s Wharf, located in Beach Haven on LBI, is a charming shopping complex packed with small shops and eateries. If you love coffee and gift shops, this is the place to visit.

Downtown Toms River is an up-and-coming walkable community full of striking murals and a plethora of small businesses to enjoy.

Local Coffee Shops

Cool Beans in Toms River is an artisan coffee house with soup and sandwich options located across from the Ocean County Mall. Cool Beans is currently open for indoor dining, and they also feature the works of local artists on the walls, which are available for purchase.

When you visit Point Pleasant Beach, it’s hard to leave without a Green Planet Latte. Centrally located on Arnold Ave, Green Planet Coffee Co. is the prime location to pick up some coffee, tea, smoothies, or pastries.

If you’re a coffee lover, you can’t visit LBI without stopping at How You Brewin’ Coffee Company. The Surf City location is open all year, while the Barnegat Light location is open seasonally. How You Brewin’ is a classic cozy coffee house with plenty of distanced seating space to get some work done with your favorite beverage.

Supporting Small Businesses

Located at Schooner’s Wharf in Beach Haven, the LBI Book Swap is a three-story bookstore with plenty of new and used books to choose from. They always carry new copies of the New York Times Best Sellers, as well as over 5,000 used books to rifle through. They even offer a large selection of children and teen’s best sellers in the basement! If you have any used books in good condition, you can bring them in for an additional 25% off your purchase.

Named Best Donuts in NJ by The Daily Mail, Uncle Doods is undeniably the best donut shop around. Located on Robbins Street in Downtown Toms River, the shop offers a variety of unique donut flavors like PB&J and Samoa. They even feature a specialty donut menu that varies month-to-month.

If you love antiquing, then the Point Pavilion Antique Centre is the place for you. Point Pavilion is an enormous antique shop located on Arnold Ave in Point Pleasant Beach. With two floors to explore, you’ll have no trouble finding a perfect gift, or maybe even something for yourself.

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