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Jul 2024

Getting to Know Berkeley’s Beaches

By Eric San Juan
For retirees in the Holiday City and Silver Ridge Park communities, Berkeley Township feels like a woodland community surrounded by the Pine Barrens. And it is.
But it’s also a beach community with parks that offer scenic waterfront views and access to the Barnegat Bay and Atlantic Ocean. The question is, how well do you know them?
One of the best known is Butler Beach, located at the end of Butler Boulevard in the Bayville section of town, off Route 9. The park was officially dedicated in 2017, after a post-Sandy series of upgrades and renovations.
The waterfront beach area and park is named after former Mayor Marcus Butler. Though the beach has long been unofficially associated with the Butler name, and was often called Butler Beach by locals, 2017 was the first time is had been made official. The Butler family donated the parcel to the township many years ago.
In 2015, with the help of with a nonprofit organization called Alexandria’s Playground, a playground was installed there.
Then, thanks to aid from FEMA and other sources, new amenities such as a 195-foot, four-foot wide dock for fishing, crabbing, or just enjoying the water were also added. The Department of Environmental Protection also approved permits to add 740 cubic yards of sand to replenish the beach.
The upgrades marked a dramatic turnaround for the beach area, which had been battered by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. 
For those who want to enjoy the ocean, White Sands Beach is located in the South Seaside Park section of town, at 20th –23rd Avenues. This is an ocean beach with lifeguards and restrooms. Note that from Memorial Day to Labor Day, it requires a beach badge fee of $15 per season for senior citizens, $60 per season for others.
A great way to take in White Sands is coming August 24, when the annual Summer Concert Series moves to the ocean for a beach party. Alotta Colada will offer music with a resort vibe from 5 to 8pm, making it a day perfect for fun in the sun. Visit under “concerts” for details or call the Recreation Department at 732-269-4456.
Another park offering bay views is Amherst Beach, located off Bayview Avenue, at end of Amherst Dr. This family-friendly bay-facing park has a full set of playground equipment. In 2019, the park was dedicated as Clifford B. Wright Memorial Beach, after the lifelong Berkeley resident, World War II veteran, and founder of the Bayville First Aid Squad Clifford B. Wright. Wright passed away in 2014 after serving the community his entire adult life.
Allen Road Beach in South Seaside Park, at the end of the road of the same name, is a small bayfront park that offers a panoramic view of Barnegat Bay.
There are also county parks in town, including John C. Bartlett, Jr. County Park at Berkeley Island, offering perhaps the most scenic views of the bay in the county. There are walking paths, pavilions, piers, bathrooms, and other amenities. It has a spray park for kids, a fishing and crabbing pier, and shaded park benches and tables for a relaxing lunch. It’s located at the end of Brennan Concourse in the Bayville section of town, off Route 9.
Finally, though not technically located in Berkeley, there is Island Beach State Park, located directly adjacent to South Seaside Park on the barrier island. This sprawling 10-mile stretch of open land includes pristine beaches, hiking trails, and natural wildlife. It has lifeguarded beaches and bathroom amenities. Note that a fee is required to access the park, and it gets busy during the summer, sometimes closing when it is as capacity.
For more information on Berkeley’s park system, visit