Summer memories are best made on the ocean, and a good yacht is how you get there.
New Jersey boasts 130 miles of popular Atlantic coastline. From the luxurious marinas overlooking Manhattan to the Victorian charm of Cape May’s boat docks, New Jersey offers hundreds of destinations where you can deboard and sit back to a plate of crab legs and a glass of Riesling. Add in New Jersey’s eclectic local music scene, and you’ll see how the Garden State affords a wealth of opportunities to make the most of your summer yachting.
Here’s where you can find the best places in New Jersey to dock your sportfish, cruiser or mega yacht.
If live music is what you’re looking for, get ashore at the Navesink Marina. Their own Eventide Grille is an excellent spot to enjoy lighter fare, refreshing drinks and live local bands under the setting sun. Here, boating accommodations range from short-term slips to rack and cradle storage for the off-season.
The Channel Club Marina
The Channel Club Marina offers 30 to 100-foot slips and complimentary shuttle services to local destinations. However, once you dock at The Channel Club, you might not want to leave. Much more than a place to fuel up, The Channel Club in Monmouth Beach boasts its own ambitious, dockside restaurant, plus a tiki bar, dock attendants and a housekeeping service.
With transient docks up to 150 feet, there’s no better place to dock in Belmar. Even if you don’t own a boat, there’s plenty of charter and party boats available at the discretion of their owners. The marina is also located just steps away from the 9th Ave. Pier Bar & Restaurant and the Marina Grille, which both feature live music and specialty cocktails.
The Molly Pitcher Inn
One of the few places on our list that offers lodging, The Molly Pitcher Inn is a paradise in the heart of Red Bank. Take a break from sleeping on the tide and check yourself into the promenade or garden suite. When you’re ready to explore the ever-walkable streets of Red Bank, be sure to visit the upscale Italian restaurant, Pazzo, before catching a show at The Downtown’s beachfront venue.
If you’re cruising the coast in a larger vessel, keep Pier 281 on your map. With deep waters and customizable slips capable of accepting yachts over 75 feet, this could be your best chance to dock before Atlantic City. Plus, located just ashore is Reel’s Restaurant, a quiet, elegant BYOB offering a full range of seafood fare.
The Marina at Southwinds
Four miles from Tice’s Shoal and the annual Floatchella, the Marina at Southwinds offers slips up to 58 feet and is home to an on-site 50,000- lb. travel lift. You can also treat yourself to a full sushi menu and live entertainment at the River House next door. Ask about their dock-and-dine offers.
Beach Haven Yacht Club
Beach Haven is a small, exquisite community featuring art walks, food festivals and pristine beaches. The Beach Haven Yacht Club parallels the neighborhood’s discerning tastes. The yacht club and its marina offer slips up to 70 feet, uniformed attendants and beach passes for transient boaters. If you’re stopping by, don’t miss Parker’s Garage & Oyster Saloon and the Engleside Inn.
Senator Frank S. Farley State Marina
This huge state marina, with over 600 slips and accommodations for vessels up to 300 feet in length, is right at the foot of the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. Enjoy the opulence of marble baths, Sobel Westex bedding and exquisite dining, or dive into the nightlife and entertainment of the East Coast’s finest casino.
Voted “Best Outdoor Bar” in the Atlantic City Nightlife Awards, this restaurant, bar and grill hosts a seafood festival, beach concerts and live music on the weekends. Stay late—they have a happy hour until 6 a.m. or spend the afternoon along the Atlantic City boardwalk, just a few blocks from Wonder Bar.
Seaview Harbor Marina
Located in Long Port, just south of Atlantic City, Seaview Harbor can accommodate yachts up to 125 feet. For dining, help yourself to a continental breakfast served on the second floor of their clubhouse, or visit the chic Caffé Luciano Lamberti for a pasta positano overflowing with jumbo lump crabmeat. You can also spend the day on Seaview Harbor’s sprawling, private bayside beach.
Tavern on the Bay Resort
Situated in a fully renovated Victorian mansion, this resort offers slips for yachts up to 70 feet and a quiet night’s sleep in a romantic room. While miles away from the bright noise of Atlantic City, you can still enjoy one of the region’s best steakhouses and catch a show at one of the many bayside venues in historic Somers Point.
Cape May County:
The Reeds at Shelter Haven
When it comes to coastal pampering, few places do it better than The Reeds at Shelter Haven, an exclusive hotel and spa with excellent dining options on-site. Let their beach butler service chauffeur you to Stone Harbor’s pristine beaches, and on the way back, don’t forget to browse Stone Harbor’s art galleries, boutiques and cafés.
Schooner’s Island Marina
With slips up to 110 feet, this marina will place you in the center of beautiful Wildwood, New Jersey. For a romantic bayside evening on a candle-lit deck, head next door to the Beach Creek Oyster Bar for great cuisine, cocktails and nightly entertainment. Schooner’s also hosts adults-only dance parties and fishing tournaments, so be sure to ask what events are taking place.
Two Mile Landing
This marina boasts two restaurants with 500 feet of waterfront dining. Enjoy live music and fish buckets at The Crab House, or sit down to upscale dining at 2 Mile. Wherever you choose, you’re not going to want to miss out on the great live entertainment.
Canyon Club Marina
Surrounded by beautiful waterfront homes, the Canyon Club Marina is a half-mile from the Victorian villages of Cape May. The Canyon Club’s central position in Cape May Harbor means this marina offers easy access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware River. The Canyon Club is renowned for several fishing tournaments it hosts each year, in case you’re ready to cast your lines in hope of hooking a blue marlin.