15 Best Things to Do in Long Branch, NJ

Long Branch, NJ
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Long Branch, named so because of its location along the South Shrewsbury River branch, was a seaside vacation town in the late 18th century.

Theater performers from the era frequently convened and performed here in the 19th century.

Seven Presidents Ocean Front Park, a park next to the beach, is named in recognition of the visits made by presidents.

The only building in Long Branch still connected to the seven presidents is the Church of the Presidents, where they all went to church.

Long Branch is still a popular beach destination, although it has developed into more of a residential community than a vacation spot.

The Long Branch Beach and Boardwalk are among the city's main attractions and are open all year round.

There are also several parks, playgrounds, a fishing pier, and a marina.

Beach, fun, and food—what more could you want?

Long Branch has it all!

Here are some of the best things to do in Long Branch, New Jersey:

Stroll, Shop, and Dine along the Long Branch Beach and Boardwalk

Aerial view of Long Branch Beach & Boardwalk
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The Long Branch Beach and Boardwalk are among the best places to people-watch and enjoy the fresh ocean air.

Located an hour from New York City, the 32-mile-long boardwalk has been completely renovated.

The new and improved boardwalk is perfect for strolling, jogging, biking, or rollerblading.

Daytime view of Long Branch Beach & Boardwalk
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If you get hungry, there are plenty of food options, including pizza, ice cream, and sandwiches.

The Long Branch Beach and Boardwalk are open all year round, so you can enjoy them regardless of the weather.

Pavilion of Long Branch Beach & Boardwalk
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Enjoy the Fresh Ocean Air at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park

The waters of Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park
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Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park is a terrific place to swim, sunbathe, and surf in the summer.

The beach is equipped with a snack bar, covered picnic tables, a volleyball court, guarded swimming, and designated surfing sections.

Kayaking or canoeing is also allowed in some areas of the park.

People enjoying the sun at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park
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It also has a dedicated cycling lane that goes all the way from Sandy Hook to Asbury Park, so it's perfect for a leisurely bike ride by the ocean.

Children will also have a grand time with its playground.

This 38-acre beach area is a lovely place for peaceful hikes during the off-season.

Learn about the Presidents at the Church of the Presidents

Exterior of the Church of the Presidents
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The Church of the Presidents is a historic Episcopal church visited by seven American presidents.

The church has beautiful stained-glass windows and fascinating history.

St. James Protestant Episcopal Chapel, a division of St. James Episcopal Church also located in Long Branch, was dedicated as The Church of the Presidents in 1879.

It is one of the only buildings still standing in Long Branch with ties to all seven presidents who vacationed here.

Seven US presidents attended services at the Church of the Presidents, which is worth visiting.

Visit Lake Takanassee

Lake Takanassee is a beautiful lake in Long Branch and is the ideal location to visit when you want to stroll or see the scenery near the water.

The lake is an excellent outdoor site with a total area of 1.6 acres.

It is crucial to preserve the area's unique biodiversity as a habitat for numerous plants and animals.

Several hiking trails go around the lake, too.

If you're looking for a place to relax and enjoy nature, Lake Takanassee is the perfect spot.

Glendola Reservoir in Neptune, Shadow Lake in Red Bank, and Swimming River Reservoir in Colts Neck are larger lakes close to Long Branch.

Watch a Show at the New Jersey Repertory Company

The New Jersey Repertory Company is a professional theater company that produces original work and classics from the American canon.

Suzanne and Gabor Barabas established it in 1997.

The Lumia Theater on lower Broadway serves as the organization's current corporate headquarters.

The New Jersey Repertory Company's goals are to create and stage new plays, contribute significantly to the American stage, and rediscover forgotten gems.

In the past 20 years, NJ Rep has staged 140 plays, 125 of which were world premieres.

The company has produced over 100 world premieres and many productions of classic works.

Some of the company's recent productions include Ragtime, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Glass Menagerie.

If you're interested in theater or want to see a good show, the New Jersey Repertory Company is the place for you.

Make Yourself at Home in Pier Village

Buildings and shops at Pier Village
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Pier Village is a mixed-use development that opened in Long Branch in 2008.

The village is located on the former Naval Weapons Station Earle site and features shops, restaurants, apartments, a hotel, and a boardwalk along the beach.

The village has something for everyone, whether you're looking to shop, dine, or enjoy the beach.

You can create lasting moments with the family in the amusement area in Pier Village, which has an upscale arcade with a full-service redemption facility and offers fun games for players of all ages and abilities.

The grounds of Pier Village
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Modern virtual reality games, skee ball, several crane games, and a variety of skill and chance games are all available to play for points that can be redeemed.

If you're looking for a place to stay, the pier village offers several options, including the oceanfront Wave Resort and the Bungalow Hotel.

Pier Village is worth checking out whether you're looking for a home or a place to visit.

Aerial view of Pier Village
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Bond with Your Kids at Manhasset Creek Park Playground

Manhasset Creek Park Playground provides outdoor enjoyment and nature preservation in Long Branch.

Facilities in the park include a playground, picnic area, and a trail for walking and jogging.

The playground is designed for children ages two to 12 and features slides, swings, and monkey bars.

Athletes are also welcome with their training and sports facilities.

The park also offers a variety of programs for all ages, including arts and crafts, sports clinics, environmental education, and more.

The picnic area has tables and grills for your convenience.

Manhasset Creek Park Playground is an excellent option if you're looking for a place to take your kids or enjoy the outdoors.

It's a great place to take the kids for a fun day out.

Taste Rich Spirits at Long Branch Distillery

Pegged as a modern distillery, Long Branch Distillery is one of the only distilleries in New Jersey's Monmouth County.

It was started by three friends who share a passion for spirits and a love for Long Branch.

Their goal is to create high-quality spirits that reflect the rich history and character of the city.

The distillery offers tours, tastings, and private events.

They offer a variety of spirits, including vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey.

Long Branch Distillery is an excellent option if you're looking for a unique experience.

The distillery offers a variety of spirits that are sure to please any palate.

Take on a Challenge at Escape the Puzzle

Considered Jersey Shore's first real-life escape game, Escape the Puzzle is a great place to challenge yourself and have fun with friends.

You'll need your wits and teamwork to solve puzzles and escape the room in 60 minutes or less.

Escape the Puzzle has created the best escape game, giving you a thrilling experience that calls for teamwork and analytical thinking.

They also have escape rooms for kids, which gives you the chance to have a great time with the whole family; kids under six get to play for free.

Pick the room theme that best fits your family from the many available options, such as the animal kingdom, carnival, and pirate rooms.

Try one, or go back and try them all; it's a great chance to learn how to collaborate and give your kids practical problem-solving skills they can use daily.

Grab a Bite at the Celtic Cottage Pub & Patio Bar

Exterior of Celtic Cottage Pub
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Black shutters, red flower baskets, and a red door provide the brick façade of The Celtic Cottage Pub & Patio Bar, painted white, the appearance of a Dublin pub.

A local painter recreated a landscape from the lush, rolling hills of the Emerald Isle on the building's northbound side.

The Celtic Cottage Pub & Patio Bar is a great place to eat, drink, and be merry as it offers traditional Irish fare and American cuisine.

Some menu items include shepherd's pie, bangers and mash, fish and chips, burgers, and more.

The pub has a full bar with various beers, wines, and spirits.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Have Fun with Your Pets at Wolf Hill Recreation Area

Wolf Hill Recreation Area is located in Oceanport, five minutes away from Long Branch.

The recreation area has a dog park, walking trails, and scenic views.

It's a great place to take your furry friend for a day of fun.

Local dog owners can do just that at Wolf Hill Recreation Area, thanks to its two distinct off-leash zones, which are ideal for dogs of various sizes.

Pets should be kept on their leashes, and owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.

There is a playground, picnic area, and basketball court for the humans to enjoy.

The recreation area is open daily from dawn to dusk.

Step Back in Time at the Township of Ocean Historical Museum

Exterior of Township of Ocean Historical Museum
JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ, M.D., CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Twelve minutes away from Long Branch, the Township of Ocean Historical Museum is housed in the Eden Wooley House and is an architectural gem.

The museum aims to preserve the history of Ocean Township and Monmouth County.

It features a variety of exhibitions, educational programs, and special events.

The Township of Ocean Historical Museum features a more-than-250-year repository of local artifacts, documents, and photographs.

Features exhibitions on the history of Long Branch, Oceanport, and Eatontown.

The museum also has a research library open to the public by appointment.

It's a great place to learn about the area's history and see some unique artifacts.

Be Part of History in Monmouth Park

Monmouth Park is one of the most popular attractions near Long Branch.

It's located five minutes from the city, in the neighboring town of Oceanport.

In the past 139 years, the name Monmouth Park has been used for three different structures.

This historic park has been around since 1870, making it one of the oldest parks with racetracks in the United States.

It's also the site of some of the most prestigious horse races in the country, including the Haskell Invitational and the United Nations Stakes.

Monmouth Park is the place for you if you're interested in horse racing or want to be part of history.

Explore the Asbury Park Boardwalk

Building sign of Asbury Park Boardwalk
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The mile-long stretch of beach and sea at the Asbury Park Boardwalk has long attracted tourists who love surfing, swimming, sunbathing, and fishing.

It is located 15 minutes away from Long Branch.

Mini golf, playgrounds, restaurants, shops, water parks, and other attractions may also be found on the boardwalk.

It features a gorgeous view of the beach and ocean and the opportunity to people-watch and take in the fresh ocean air.

People touring the Asbury Park Boardwalk
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At the Asbury Park Boardwalk, you will find unique shops, family activities, exciting nightlife, and live music scenes—all neatly tucked away along a historic coastal promenade covered with brilliant murals.

Nearby, you'll find the Asbury Park Convention Hall, a beautiful example of Art Deco architecture.

If you're looking to have a lot of fun on the beach, the Asbury Park Boardwalk is the perfect place to go.

View of Asbury Park Boardwalk's convention hall
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Tour Asbury Park Convention Hall

Exterior of Asbury Park Convention Hall
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Asbury Park Convention Hall is located on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, just 15 minutes outside Long Branch.

It was built between 1928 and 1930 and served as a premier destination for concerts, conventions, and other events.

It is situated on the beachfront, and along the beach in Asbury Park lies the 3,600-seat indoor exhibition hall.

The building was renovated in 2004 and has been home to many famous performers, including Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Pearl Jam, the Beach Boys, and more.

Interior of Asbury Park Convention Hall
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If you're looking for an iconic building to tour, the Asbury Park Convention Hall is a great option.

The Paramount Theatre is next to the Convention Hall, and a Grand Arcade connects the two.

The National Register of Historic Places lists both buildings.

Final Thoughts

The planks of Long Branch's boardwalk and piers, which date back hundreds of years, are woven with the city's history.

When a major Jersey Shore resort destination in the 1800s, this Monmouth County beach village drew presidents and celebrities.

In the early 1900s, the city's seven-mile oceanfront became home to some of the country's most prestigious private residences and grand hotels.

Today, Long Branch is a great place to enjoy the beach, eat at some fantastic restaurants, and explore its rich history.