Summer 2023 is going to be here before you know. The beach lovers of the Garden State are ready and raring to go. Here's one important question, though, for all people who love to plop their behinds in the Jersey sand from May through early September every year -- have you gotten your beach tags yet?

Beach tags, they're the bane of your existence during the summer, aren't they? Truth be told, I'm not sure what's worse: taking the risk and going to the beach without one or forgetting them when you've already purchased them for the season.

New Jersey beaches sure are beautiful, but it is rather annoying to think about the fact that we have to pay for the right to use them even though we inhabit the very state in which they exist. Seems weird, right? Why should we have to pay to use land that we already pay taxes for? That's an argument for another day, though. For now, we'll just say it is what it is.

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There is one place, however, that might be completely free for residents to enjoy all summer long. Have you ever heard of Island Beach State Park? Located in Ocean County just south of Seaside Heights, it's a beautiful place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of the ocean, the birds, and wildlife without all the riff raff that usually accompanies most towns at the Jersey Shore.

According to, if the current budget proposal put forth by Governor Murphy passes later on this year, then Island Beach State Park won't require an entry fee for the rest of the summer. That means you can enjoy the beach without having to worry about the cost!

This is a big deal because most beaches here in New Jersey require beach tags. Whenever there's a chance to get to a beach that doesn't require a fee to use it, you always take advantage of it.

Currently, Island Beach State Park is free to use from now through June 30th thanks to last year's budget approval. Since the fiscal year comes to an end in the middle of the summer, we'll have to wait to see if next year's budget that includes waived fees for all of NJ's state parks actually passes.


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