When you think of Jersey Shore activities, what comes to mind? I know the Jersey Shore television show makes a lot of you think of ridiculously crazy antics, but the Jersey Shore is much more. Don’t get me wrong, you can 100% find the party scene, but there are so many awesome things to do in Lavallette, NJ.
Lavallette, NJ is my absolute favorite place on the Jersey Shore and really offers the best of both worlds – you can enjoy a charming beach town during the day with family and friends and still venture out to Seaside Boardwalk in the evening to experience the nightlife.
Growing up, I went to the Shore almost every summer to visit family, so here’s my bucket list for Jersey Shore activities, specifically things to do in Lavallette, NJ. The list covers a little bit of everything, so I hope the suggestions will be helpful as you plan your trip to Lavallette!
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Things to Do in Lavallette, NJ
1. Lavallette Beach
One of the best things to do in Lavallette, NJ is to head up to the beach and park your butt in a beach chair for the day. It’s an awesome spot to read, people watch, take a swim, go boogie boarding, or even just take a nap. While you’re on the beach, pay attention to where the lifeguards have erected the flags; they will designate areas for swimming, surfing, and boogie boarding.
One other important thing to note is that all visitors must purchase a beach badge. Lavallette’s Beach Badge Office has all of the information on hours, prices, etc. You can also buy a badge from the badge checkers at every entrance to the beach. Badges are available for daily, weekly, or seasonal prices.
For parking, the street parking operates on a first come, first served basis on the ocean blocks, so it pays to arrive early. However, make sure you check for parking signs since Lavallette does have some areas designated for permit holders and others that are 2 hour parking only. My personal favorite option for parking is on Philadelphia – I can usually find a pretty good spot, and it is a common stop for ice cream trucks.
2. Ice Cream Trucks
While you’re at the beach, keep an ear out for the many ice cream trucks cruising the area and pulling in to the beach access points. Nothing beats a cold ice cream on a summer day. I’m also not ashamed to admit that I’ve definitely chased the ice cream truck down the boardwalk to catch it at the next stop.
3. Breakwater Beach Water Park
If it’s a steamy day, might as well slide down some waterslides and cool off at the water park. Breakwater Beach’s FAQ page will answer all of your questions regarding admission prices, hours, cabanas, food options, parking, and locker rentals.
4. Seaside Casino Pier
The Casino Pier is an absolutely unbeatable place to spend an afternoon or evening and I have so many memories coming here as both a kid and an adult. Take a ride on the roller coaster, sky ride, and ferris wheel. If you can, go on Wednesday during the summer and save $$$ with the unlimited ride wrist band. It is definitely worth checking out all of Casino Pier’s promotions before planning your visit!
5. Boardwalk & Arcade Games
Play boardwalk games and win a prize (or not, since they’re all probably rigged). My favorite is always shooting water into the clown’s mouth since you know someone will win that game. I’ve had some of my most fun times at the Shore (as both a kid and an adult) competing in these ridiculous games. Seaside Pier definitely has no shortage of arcade games either, if that is more your style.
6. Crabbing at the Pier
Crabbing is a quintessential staple on the list of things to do in Lavallette, NJ. I grew up crabbing on my grandparent’s dock, and the great news is that there are two public docks for crabbing and fishing. The docks are located at Bay Boulevard & Magee Ave and Bay Boulevard & Reese Ave. Please make sure you’re up to speed on New Jersey’s regulations before any crabbing or fishing. If you need any gear, pop over to Chadwick Bait & Tackle, which is a 5 minute drive north.
7. The Music Man Singing Ice Cream Shoppe
The Music Man is one of the most unique ice cream/ performance venues I’ve ever seen. I have always gone with my entire extended family, which makes for quite the spectacle. Essentially, this cabaret performance is put on by waiters and waitresses dancing through tables, singing show tunes, and passing out the most spectacular sundaes.
I am obsessed with the Cookie Monster sundae, but have honestly loved every concoction I have ever ordered there. In season, there are five nightly shows and I would highly recommend making a reservation in advance. The Music Man is truly a unique experience and one of the top things to do in Lavallette, NJ.
8. Mini Golfing
I can’t say no to an evening of mini golf on a summer’s night. I’ve been mini golfing at most of the courses around Lavallette and it is one of my favorite things to do in Lavallette, NJ. A few good options are Lava Golf and Barnacle Bill’s, although if you just drive up and down the Shore, you’ll see plenty of options.
9. Lavallette Movies on the Bay
The Borough of Lavallette offers free movies on Tuesdays at 8:30 pm at the Lavallette Gazebo (in July and August). Check out the upcoming movie schedule to see what may strike your fancy.
10. Summer Concert Series
Lavallette also offers a free summer concert series on Sundays at 7:00 pm in July and August. The concerts are located at the Lavallette Gazebo, so make sure to bring a picnic blanket or folding chair to enjoy the music.
11. Sunrise at Lavallette Beach
One of the best things to do in Lavallette, NJ is to catch one of the beautiful sunrises at the beach. It is incredibly early, so check the sunrise time in advance so you can make the best of it! It is so incredibly peaceful on the beach at that time of day, and the views are unbeatable. The sunrises here bring me back to the mornings on Isle of Palms in Charleston.
12. Walk/ Bike the Boardwalk
Exercise and entertainment all at once, what more could you ask for? If you’re biking the Boardwalk, make sure you follow regulations and only bike early morning (5:00 am – 10:00 am). After that, the Boardwalk is pedestrians only. The Boardwalk is a bit over a mile long and a huge plus is that it is completely noncommercial so you can enjoy your walk/ run/ bike ride in peace. However you choose to get up and down the boardwalk, it is definitely one of my favorite things to do in Lavallette.
13. Shore Store & Shore House
As seen on MTV’s Jersey Shore, you can visit the actual Shore Store where the cast worked or the summer house where they lived. The address of the Shore House is 1209 Ocean Terrace in Seaside Heights.
14. Lifeguard Tournaments
This may be one of my favorite things to do in Lavallette, NJ. The competitors row, swim, and compete against the lifeguards from other beaches to see who is better. It is so much fun to watch and cheer for the Lavallette lifeguards.
I love the rowing competitions – it looks surprisingly difficult to successfully pilot the lifeguard boats over the waves. I’ve just stumbled upon the tournaments many summers, but this website gives a schedule of the lifeguard tournaments. No worries if your Lavallette trip doesn’t coincide with a tournament; it is still super fun to get to the beach early and watch them go through their warm up routines.
15. Sunset at Barnegat Bay
Watch as many sunsets as you can while you are in Lavallette. Best sunset viewing is over Barnegat Bay, which is on the opposite side from the beaches. It makes for a great evening walk or bike ride to round out your day at the Shore. The views alone make if one of the best things to do in Lavallette.
16. Make-Your-Own Popsicles
My great-grandmother made these popsicles growing up, and they were perfect after a day at the beach. All you need are small plastic cups, wooden Popsicle sticks, and of course Popsicle ingredients (I vote for orange!) It would go something like this recipe, except sub out the fancy popsicle molds for little plastic cups and voila, popsicles! This is the ultimate Jersey Shore summer snack and I am all about the homemade popsicles.
17. Lavallette Shopping
Do a little shopping in Lavallette’s main shopping area. Island Gypsy is great for cute boho beachy clothing and accessories. If you’re in the market for some coastal home goods, look no further than The Beach Home. Martin’s has a little bit of everything and you’ll find swim suits, athletic attire, and everyday clothing. Fun fact: my parents met while they were working at Martin’s when they were teenagers! They’re still happily married today, so the store definitely holds a special place in my family’s heart.
18. Pizza at Little Mia’s
When you’re at the shore, pizza is a must. I’d recommend Little Mia’s…if you want to eat in, get there very early, otherwise you’ll have a wait!
19. Kohrs Ice Cream
These are the ice cream shops with orange and vanilla swirl—a Shore must-eat! And yes, if you are counting ice cream related activities on my list, then this is number 3. Ice cream is absolutely a staple at the Jersey Shore in the summer.
20. Crab’s Claw Inn
Dine at the Crab’s Claw Inn, which serves lunch, weekend brunch, dinner, and cocktails. The seafood is so darn good that it is definitely worth the wait. The historic Crab’s Claw Inn has live music most days, plus they will also host events like trivia, karaoke, and more. Check out their events calendar to see what may be up your alley.
Where to Stay in Lavallette, NJ
Home Rentals: I’d personally recommend searching for beach home rentals. The ideal house in on the ocean/beach block so you don’t have to cross any streets to get to the beach and you can keep your walk nice and short! The great thing about a vacation home rental is that you can go bigger or smaller based on the size of your party.
My first recommendation is this beautiful 5 bed, 2 bath house that is only 4 houses away from the beach! You can actually enjoy beach views from the upper deck and easily pop back and forth between the beach and the house throughout the day. The rental is great for a larger family or group of friends.
If you are traveling with a smaller crew, check out this 2 bed, 1 bath beach bungalow. It is located on the ocean block and it is super close to Little Mia’s. You have the perfect location to enjoy all of the things to do in Lavallette.
Hotel Deals: If you choose to go the hotel route, my top choice is Expedia.com. Lavallette doesn’t have a ton of hotel options, so make sure you book well in advance of your trip!
Flying to Lavallette, NJ
You have a few options for flights when visiting Lavallette, NJ. My preferred option is to fly into Atlantic City and drive up. The drive is about an hour and relatively painless.
Your other option is to fly into Newark and then drive out to the Shore. For those familiar with Newark airport, you’re probably also familiar with the obnoxious traffic. With light traffic, the drive can take under 1.5 hours, but traffic is so unpredictable there and can really make you start your trip off on the wrong foot.
For both airports, I’d recommend searching for flights through eDreams.net. They scan tons of different travel discount sites and feature special flight deals.
In any case, you’ll either need to rent a car for your trip out to Lavallette or grab an Uber. For me, it’s nice to have a car to drive to the surrounding areas and dinner, so I’d recommend looking into a car rental. Expedia Car Rentals does the comparisons for you and makes the shopping around process pain-free.
I hope this guide to Jersey Shore activities and top things to do in Lavallette, NJ was helpful! What other recommendations do you have for visiting the Shore? Let me know in the comments. And remember, ice cream is always the answer!