The largest city in Monmouth County, Long Branch is home to more than two miles of sandy white beaches. The town boasts bars, restaurants, and shopping along the beach and in its downtown area.

 The new Pier Villages shops offer upscale shopping, dining, and a boardwalk. Located at Chelsea Avenue, the center also features a convenient paid parking lot. On-street parking is available as well, but may be difficult to find.

 Food, non-alcoholic beverages, and coolers are allowed on the beach, so pack a picnic lunch if you don't feel like straying from the beach to eat.

 Beach badges at the municipal beach, located from Seaview Avenue to Brighton Avenue, cost $5 daily or $35 for the season. People younger than 18 or older than 60 get on the beach for free.

 Restrooms are available at West End Avenue, Cottage Place, Morris Avenue, Laird Street, North Bath Avenue, and Great Lawn beaches. Port-a-potties are available at Seaview Avenue. Outdoor showers to rinse off are located on all beaches, and indoor showers are available at North Bath and Morris Beaches. Changing in restrooms is permitted here, as well.

 For more information, call 732-571-6545.

 Long Branch is also home to Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, located at 221 Ocean Ave. North. The 38-acre park features picnic tables, an activity center, sand volleyball, a pavilion with a snack bar, and of course, beaches.

 Coolers with food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in the park.

 Do your kids love to skate? Then they'll love the park's skateplex, which features a rink for inline and rollerskating as well as half-pipes and wedges for skateboarding.

 Daily parking costs $6 at the park, or $55 for the season.

 Daily beach fees are $7. Children ages 11 and younger are free. Season badges are $60 for those ages 17 through 64, $42 for those ages 12 to 16, and $23 for seniors 65 and older.

 For more information, call 732-229-0924.

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