15 Best Things to Do in Seaside Heights, NJ

Seaside Heights, NJ skyline
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Another summer destination you might not have heard of is Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

Located at the Barnegat Peninsula, the Ocean County borough attracts summer vacationers who want to catch entertainment on the boardwalk.

Likewise, the borough has a considerable number of apartments, drawing as many as 65,000 people flocking to the nearby bars and restaurants.

Seaside Heights also tags itself as “Your Home for Family Fun Since 1913,” a tagline it well deserves.

It’s got a healthy resort community, a beautiful beach, and a boardwalk littered with amusement options such as bars and clubs.

Visit the borough between March and October, with its peak activity coming in July and August.

During the summer, the population of Seaside Heights blows up from 30,000 to 65,000.

The hit MTV reality show Jersey Shore also films episodes at Seaside Heights, which also boosts its economy.

Do you want to know more about Seaside Heights, NJ?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in town:

Bring Your Family to the Casino Pier & Breakwater Beach Amusement Park

Night lights of Casino Pier & Breakwater Beach Amusement Park
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Treat your family to a whole day’s fun and games at the Casino Pier & Breakwater Beach Amusement Park, one of Seaside Heights’ major attractions.

It’s also one of the most thrilling theme parks in all of New Jersey, with various activity options for the whole family.

Let your kids wander and ride the roller coasters, the vintage Tilt-a-Whirl, and even a multi-story funhouse.

Sunset at Casino Pier & Breakwater Beach Amusement Park
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Besides these rides, you can even join them on the Shore Shot, which catapults you into the sky twice!

The theme park also features the best water park in New Jersey.

Splash around the park with your family and experience thrilling water rides, such as the Wave Pool or Salem’s Scream, a 50-foot freefall ride.

If you prefer to unwind, end your day at the Plymouth Rock Hot Tub Springs to soothe your tired bones before going home.

Sunny day at Casino Pier & Breakwater Beach Amusement Park
SurFeRGiRL30, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Grab the World-Famous Jumbo Sawmill Pizza at Sawmill Café

Since 1977, the Sawmill Café has provided tasty snacks and meals to guests frolicking along Seaside Park.

Its origins were humble, too, starting from a simple hotdog stand just outside the Funtown Pier entrance.

The café got its name from the Funtown Pier’s Log Flume ride.

After the success of their Jumbo Slice pizza, the hot dog stand became a full-service restaurant.

Bring your friends or family to Sawmill and enjoy the signature Jumbo Sawmill Pizza, a whopping 27” pizza with a wide variety of toppings.

Bring Your Kids to the Hershey’s Shake Shoppe Arcade

Exterior of Hershey’s Shake Shoppe Arcade
Hypnotica Studios Infinite from Toms River, New Jersey, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Your kids should love visiting Hershey’s Shake Shoppe Arcade for some games and ice cream.

The arcade is a family-friendly and welcoming entertainment facility, standing on the north point of the Seaside Heights boardwalk.

While your kids rush to the arcade, sit down somewhere with some sweet Hershey’s Ice Cream paired with succulent hamburgers.

Besides games and snacks, the center also hosts a family-operated beach boutique called the Le Petit Garage.

Make sure to spend some time browsing their selections.

Enjoy a memorable weekend for the entire family at Hershey’s Shake Shoppe Arcade.

Satisfy Your Appetite at Hemingway’s Café

Another restaurant you should visit in Seaside Heights is Hemingway’s Café, which offers a varied menu that includes pasta, seafood, and steaks.

The café also prepares daily specials, so check that out during your visit.

Before you dive into the main course, whet your appetite with some hot and cold appetizers like sushi and brick-oven-baked pizza.

Visit at night to try their after-work happy hour and late-night menu, featuring terrific cocktails, cold draft beer, and an extensive wine list.

Challenge your friends to a game of pool or darts while catching up on the day’s big game on the café’s HD LCD TVs.

Take a Stroll along the Seaside Heights Boardwalk

Arcade building at Seaside Heights Boardwalk
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Summer tourists flock to Seaside Heights to enjoy its expansive boardwalk, which offers a ton of activity options in every corner.

Kids will love visiting the arcades and taking the boardwalk rides, while adults can enjoy delicious food at the many restaurants.

People walking around Seaside Heights Boardwalk
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Likewise, younger adults will love the vibrant nightlife options.

The Seaside Heights Boardwalk should be your first stop during your visit, even if you don’t plan on entering restaurants, taking rides, or dropping by the clubs.

Start your unforgettable Seaside Heights trip at the boardwalk.

Sunset at Seaside Heights Boardwalk
Kyle Lee / Shutterstock.com

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Van Holten’s Chocolates and Sweet Shop

The Van Holten’s Chocolates and Sweet Shop at Seaside Heights is truly “a chocolate lover’s paradise,” serving luscious chocolates and sweets since 1904.

The shop has earned a stellar reputation by making the sweetest chocolates with only the best-quality ingredients.

Likewise, they also create sweets from around the world, proving that candy is not just an indulgence but an art form.

The store aims to recreate your childhood moments when candy was all it took to make you happy.

Van Holten’s offers various sweets and chocolate products made from top-quality nuts, jellies, creams, and fruits.

Try their specialty fudge, jelly beans, lollipops, gummies, licorice, popcorn, and more.

Spend the Day at Lake Avenue Playground and Beach

Your kids will love their visit to the Lake Avenue Playground and Beach at Seaside Heights.

Since it’s a coastal park, it should let them splash around in the cool water.

Likewise, the place doubles as a children’s playground, so they can run around and play to their hearts’ content.

You can also enjoy the large beach in the park’s premises, like taking seaside photos while observing your children.

Otherwise, you can also play soccer or volleyball there.

If you don’t feel like elbowing with crowds for space, though, you might want to visit outside summer and spring.

Play Your Favorite Games at the Lucky Leo’s Game Center

Exterior of Lucky Leo’s Game Center
duckeesue / Shutterstock.com

Since 1953, the Lucky Leo’s Game Center has provided top-shelf entertainment to visitors stopping by Seaside Heights.

Its founder, Leo “Pete” Whalen, still runs the place, growing it from its humble origins as a stand with a hand-spun wheel.

Today, Lucky Leo’s has become a household name on the entire East Coast.

Exterior of Lucky Leo's Game Center
Hypnotica Studios Infinite from Toms River, New Jersey, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lucky Leo’s offers a variety of games with memorable prizes.

You have the classics, like the Ring Toss, Giga Cranes, and Whack-a-Mole (or Whack-a-Minion).

Likewise, you can rent the place to celebrate birthdays, with snacks from the game center’s sweet shop.

Explore the Waters with The Dock Outfitters

Complete your Seaside Heights journey by renting a boat from The Dock Outfitters to explore Barnegat Bay.

This one-stop shop for fishing and marine recreation provides all types of boats for all kinds of travelers.

Besides boats, the shop also rents out WaveRunners and Jet Skis, so you can explore the water in style.

For several decades, The Dock Outfitters shop has served anglers who want to fish at Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

They sell high-quality bait, rods, reels, and more.

Their veteran and expert staff can also help you find the best fishing spots, whether you’re fishing on the pier, from the jetty, the sand, or a boat.

Grab a Drink at JR’s Ocean Bar and Grill

After a long day of exploring Seaside Heights, why not let your hair down at JR’s Ocean Bar and Grill on the boardwalk?

It’s one of the borough’s classic spots that scores of people flock to every year. Have a little break and hang out with friends over a couple of ice-cold beers.

Otherwise, try their signature cocktails for something fresh.

You can also try their daily food and drink specials to satisfy your palate.

Enjoy Seaside Heights’ booming nightlife by dropping by JR’s!

Live in a Reality Show at The Jersey Shore House

Exterior of The Jersey Shore House
Hypnotica Studios Infinite from Toms River, New Jersey, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you ever wanted to live inside a reality show, spend the night at the famous Jersey Shore House right there at Seaside Heights!

See the house that Snookie, Vinny, Sammie, Mike the Situation made famous on MTV.

The Jersey Shore House has become a popular attraction thanks to the celebrities, politicians, and other famous people who have visited the house.

Likewise, if you get lucky, you might even catch the Jersey Shore cast visiting the house during the off-season!

The house also hosts private parties like birthday parties, radio station giveaways, and more.

Bring your friends and stay at the Jersey Shore House, with six beds, three baths, and a three-car parking lot. It even has a DJ and catering service.

Win Big Prizes at Coin Castle Amusements

Play many fun games and win big prizes at Coin Castle Amusements, one of Seaside Heights’ top-shelf attractions.

You can even enjoy a majestic view of the Atlantic Ocean and its pristine white beaches while you play!

The diverse selection of coin-operated video games, redemption games, and skill games will fill your entire afternoon with sheer entertainment.

When your belly starts grumbling, you can always head to the next-door Spicy Mexican Cantina with hot Mexican food and spectacular beach views.

The game center is also open every day, year-round.

Parking is also free.

Practice Your Swing at Smugglers’ Quay Adventure Golf

Bring home bragging rights by winning a friendly family game of mini golf at Smugglers’ Quay Adventure Golf at Seaside Heights.

The 36-hole golf course offers a variety of challenges for every player, from kids to adults.

Try to swing as you enter mountain caves, cross footbridges, and traverse tall waterfalls. Likewise, you’ll even learn of entertaining pirate legends.

Besides the challenging terrain, you’ll also witness some spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and Breakwater Beach.

Don’t forget your camera!

Take all the pictures you want while your kids play.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Check Out the Artwork at the John F. Peto Studio Museum

Exterior of John F. Peto Studio Museum
Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take a ten-minute drive away from Seaside Heights to reach the nearby borough of Island Heights, New Jersey.

Why Island Heights?

You’ll find the uniquely informative John F. Peto Studio Museum in town.

Devoted to preserving the legacy of trompe l’oeil artist John F. Peto, the museum displays his art, artifacts, historic photographs, and more.

Go back to the late 19th century by visiting modern recreations of Peto’s house, studio, and gardens.

Learn from the works of the still-painter and trompe l’oeil master, which is French for “fool the eye.”

You can also find his personal easel, painters’ tools, and his original painting subjects displayed in the museum.

Take some time out of your busy day to let your eyes feast on wonderful art.

Soak in the Sun at the Seaside Park Beach

A ferris wheel at Seaside Park Beach
Glynnis Jones / Shutterstock.com

Four minutes away from Seaside Heights lies the borough of Seaside Park, where you can enjoy the eponymous beach.

This beach stretches for nearly two miles, with a short boardwalk on the north side, filled with concession stands, games, and Funtown Pier amusements.

You’ll also pass grassy dunes while traversing the oceanfront, a residential area south of Funtown Pier.

Sunbathers should mark this quiet spot for soaking up the sun near the beach.

View of Funtown Pier at Seaside Park Beach
Liz Van Steenburgh / Shutterstock.com

If you get hungry, just go to Ocean Avenue for the park-owned snack bar.

Lifeguards also observe the waters regularly, so don’t worry about swimming.

Otherwise, just take a walk along the boardwalk to ease your mind.

The boardwalk also has benches when you get tired. You just need to get a beach badge before you enter the beach.

Likewise, you need to carry this badge with you while you’re on the beach.

People around Seaside Park Beach
Hypnotica Studios Infinite from Toms River, New Jersey, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Seaside Heights is one of New Jersey’s top summer hotspots for various reasons.

It’s got a buzzing nightlife, a range of amusement options, and a wonderful beach environment.

You can go there alone, with friends, or with family, and you’ll still have the time of your life.

Mark off your calendars and book your Seaside Heights trip today!