Whether it's fishing, surfing or just the chance to frolic in the water, Brigantine beaches are the playground for a host of activities. And don't be offended if someone tells you to go fly a kite. Kite flying is permitted between the 34th and 38th street beaches.

The city's small-town charm makes it a welcoming place to spend a day at the beach with the family. With five miles of protected stretches of sand, there's plenty of room to carve out your own little piece of heaven. Seasonal beach tags are $18 ($15 before June 1, $8 for ages 60 to 64), daily beach tags are $8. The beach is free for seniors age 65 and children younger than 12.

If you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, there's no need to schlep all your stuff across the hot sand. At the south end of Brigantine off Lagoon Drive, a winding sand trail takes you right up to the water's edge at the Cove, the bay beach on this end of town. But you do need to acquire a permit - it's $175 or $85 for those age 60 or older - to drive on the beach.

The Brigantine Beach Volleyball Association maintains eight beach volleyball courts at the 38th Street beach, where tournaments are held throughout the summer.

Portable bathrooms are located above the dunes prior to entry onto the beach.

As far as something eat, bring your own or hit the Laguna Grill Martini Bar, located at 1400 Ocean Ave. on the beach.

For more information, contact the beach patrol at 609-266-5233.

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