20 Best Things to Do in Long Branch, NJ

Long Branch, NJ
FotosForTheFuture / shutterstock.com

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, 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
FotosForTheFuture / Shutterstock.com

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
James Andrews1 / Shutterstock.com

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
James Andrews1 / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy the Fresh Ocean Air at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park

The waters of Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park
cleanfotos / Shutterstock.com

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
Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock.com

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
Acroterion, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

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
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

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
quiggyt4 / Shutterstock.com

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
FotosForTheFuture / Shutterstock.com

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
John Arehart / Shutterstock.com

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.

Dine at Sirena Ristorante

Exterior of Sirena Ristorante
John Arehart / Shutterstock.com

Satisfy your Italian fare cravings at Sirena Ristorante on Ocean Avenue North.

The award-winning restaurant serves classic Italian eats in a romantic and warm atmosphere with fancy floor-to-ceiling windows and stunning ocean views.

It's popular for serving fresh seafood, pasta, and meat, which are either sourced locally or imported from Italy, and sometimes made in-house.

Try its mouthwatering Risotto, Pasta Fagioli, Margherita, Saltimbocca, Pork Chop Diavolo, Fried Calamari, Branzino, Halibut, and Pappardelle.

Its dessert menu also offers delicious treats, including Gelato, Sorbetti, and Tiramisu!

Sirena Ristorante was established in 2006 by Joseph Cetrulo.

Its name "Sirena" means "mermaid", which is inspired by the restaurant's breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Get Your Caffeine Fix at Rook Coffee

Start your day with your favorite cup of coffee at Rook Coffee on Joline Avenue.

Established in 2010 by childhood friends Holly and Shawn, the coffeehouse roasts its own coffee, which is specially curated and sourced beans to ensure freshness and quality in every cup it serves.

From lattes to cold brews, and cappuccinos, it's certain that you're getting your coffee fix just right.

Also, don't miss out on its New Orleans-style cold brew.

Pair your cup with its delicious bagels, scones, and muffins, among others.

You can also buy whole bean or ground coffee at Rook Coffee if you're brewing your coffee at home.

Shop for Unique Gifts at Frostings by Venee

If you were to grab gifts and souvenirs, look no further than Frostings by Venee.

This quaint small shop features personalized items perfect for gifts for any occasion and even as a souvenir for this trip.

You can choose from its great selection of home goods, toys, accessories, clothing, bags, fidgets, stationeries, and even sweet treats like candies and jellies perfect for the little ones.

Drop by Frostings by Venee for cute and unique finds!

It's located off Lincoln Avenue.

Enjoy a Good Read at the Long Branch Free Public Library

Lots of great selections of books and other printed materials are kept at the Long Branch Free Public Library; a place for bookworms alike.

These materials are useful for research, study, and reading with different genres for kids, teens, and adults.

In addition to books, you can choose from its resources like audiobooks, e-books, DVDs, magazines, music, movies, podcasts, and many more.

You'll love its warm and welcoming environment with comfortable reading nooks to enjoy a good read.

You can find the Long Branch Free Public Library on Broadway.

Hang Out at Nip N Tuck Bar & Package Goods

Located on the Jersey shore, Nip n Tuck Bar & Package Goods is the best place to cap the night after exploring the city.

Bring your family and friends out to the bar and enjoy great bites, ice-cold beer, wine, and specialty cocktails for a fun and memorable night.

The bar features TV screens to watch your favorite sport while having nice drinks and conversations.

You can also play the lottery, video games, yard games, or sing in the jukebox!

If you need to grab a bite, Nip n Tuck Bar & Package Goods serves mouthwatering burgers, wings, and more.

Go, find it at Norwood Avenue.

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
gary718 / Shutterstock.com

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
EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

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
Erin Cadigan / Shutterstock.com

Tour Asbury Park Convention Hall

Exterior of Asbury Park Convention Hall
Erin Cadigan / Shutterstock.com

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
Erin Cadigan / Shutterstock.com

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.

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.