Parking at the Beach or Boardwalk in Ocean County
Seaside Park–Have you ever spent a beautiful day at the boardwalk or beach in Ocean County, only to return to your car to find a ticket on the windshield because you were a few minutes late on the meter? It happens every day. In fact, most beach towns actively patrol parking lots waiting for your meter to expire, so it’s always a good idea to either put more than you need in the meter, just in case, or calculate the costs and consider a private lot.
For beach towns, parking is a revenue generator, so they aggressively check meters and typically show no mercy ones the violation has been spotted.
Primarily, Point Pleasant, Seaside Park and Seaside Heights are the communities along the Ocean County beachfront where paid parking meters are prevalent.
The most expensive of the group is Point Pleasant where weekend parking will cost you $3.00 per hour on weekends and $2.25 during the week. If your meter expires, Point Pleasant is home to the costliest fine of $48.00.
Seaside Heights comes in second when it comes to how much you put in the meter, coming in at $2.00 per hour for beachfront and boardwalk spots. On the bay side, a 50 cent discount is afforded in meters.
In neighboring Seaside Park, to the south, metered parking costs $1.50. Both Seaside Heights and Seaside Park impose $45 fines if you get caught with an expired meter.
Many towns offer free parking. In Ortley Beach, just north of Seaside Heights, parking is free, but you better be careful to make sure you park within designated parking spots. Visitors will receive tickets if they park over the white lines, according to the Toms River Township Parking Authority.
Lavallette also has free parking, which at times can be hard to come by, but access to the municipal lot costs $10 per year.
On Long Beach Island, Beach Haven is where most of the fun can be had and parking is also free.
When visiting any boardwalk community in New Jersey always be sure to understand the parking regulations beforehand and be prepared to carry quarters for communities that do not yet have electronic pay stations.
If you want to avoid the prospect of getting a ticket entirely, use private lots. They are recommended for long term stays of more than three or four hours.
Always do the math. If you go to Point Pleasant and are expecting to stay more than three hours, you might be better off just paying for a private lot up to $10, stay an extra hour or two and avoid the prospect of a $48 fine.
As a rule of thumb, I use the following equation. (ParkingMeterHourly x Hours) + $2. If it’s more than parking in a private lot, we park in the private lot. It also relieves the stress of keeping one eye on your meter during your stay.
So in Point Pleasant, this would be for a 5 hour visit: ($3 x 4) + $2 = $14. It’s much better to just park in $10 or even $15 lot at this point.
The other alternative would be to park further away from the beachfront and seek out free spots on residential streets. Make sure you inspect all signage in the area before doing this.
Photo: Seaside Park Police Issuing Parking Ticket.