New Jersey : Safety by City
- Asbury Park
- Atlantic City
- East Orange
- Hamilton Township
- Jersey City
- Long Beach Island
- Mountain Lakes
- Mt. Laurel
- New Brunswick
- Red Bank
- Seaside Heights
- Toms River
- Upper Township & Ocean City
- West Orange
Asbury Park, New Jersey, is what Travel & Leisure called “the coolest place on the Jersey Shore in 2022.
This city is so much more than the beautiful beach that lines the eastern edge.
The music scene here brought up famous artists like Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi. In fact, Springsteen’s E-Street Band got its name from E Street just three miles south in Belmar.
There’s something special about the Boardwalk in Asbury Park that sets it apart from other Jersey Shore walkways.
It’s a collection of performance, visual, and sculpture art with enough nostalgia mixed with beach vibes that it just encapsulates everything that makes America great.
Asbury Park has been a tourist destination since the mid-1800s, but after years of neglect, it was facing tough times at the end of the 20th century.
A new revitalization brought it back to life, and that effort is ongoing.
Rumor has it that “The Boss” (Bruce Springsteen) still hangs out at Asbury Park from time to time, so keep an eye out!
Warnings & Dangers in Asbury Park
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here, but nothing you wouldn't expect in a tourism community. While it can be family-friendly, it's also an artsy, eclectic, and hip city with an edge for nightlife and late hours.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
The town is very walkable, but you can use NJ Transit to get here. The summer schedules have plenty of beach routes. Taxis and rideshares will be available, but most of what you'll want to see is right on this stretch of beach. You can also opt for a rental car at the airport to explore more of the beach that spans north and south of Asbury Park.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Treat this with a medium risk, as the summer crowds and concerts can be packed. You don't want to leave your stuff on the beach when you go into the ocean. Carry only what you need and nothing that you can't live without. I highly recommend waterproof mobile phone cases so that you can take them into the water with you.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Asbury Park has a history of flooding, and climate change isn't helping the cause. That means any storm, from a hurricane to a nor'easter to a winter storm, can cause flooding on top of high winds and dangerous lightning. Even sunny days come with a medium risk due to potentially dangerous surf conditions.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here, but please stay in the boardwalk and beach area. Once you get outside the tourist corridor, the risks will go up.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
This is a low risk as no hard targets are in Asbury Park or nearby. You can always check the overall terrorism concerns through Homeland Security's updates.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Watch out for any phone calls where the caller claims to be a police officer. You might also think things like fortune-tellers are scams, and you'll find them on the boardwalk. You should treat this with a medium risk because people are always going to try to con you out of money. Never wire money to secure a home rental, either.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk, but you should use caution when you're enjoying the nightlife here. Don't take drinks from strangers and stay with a friend or in a group. Also, if you go searching for sexual assaults in Asbury Park, there's a horrendous story about a man and his cat. Don't read the details. I wish I could unsee it.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
American Water provides the tap water supply here, and they are one of the best in the nation. The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. You can check closer to your visit to see if there are any pressing issues, like water main breaks or hydrant flushing, that could impact water quality, texture, or color.
Safest Places to Visit in Asbury Park
Asbury Park Boardwalk is the name of the tourism website for the city.
The city’s official page also has everything you need to know about beach access, parking, and other logistics.
Visit Monmouth is the name of the countywide tourism site.
Start your exploration of Asbury Park with a leisurely stroll along its iconic boardwalk.
The wooden planks stretch for miles, offering breathtaking views of the ocean and a cool sea breeze.
The Asbury Eighteen Mini-Golf course right on the beach is a rite of passage for summer guests near the 3rd Avenue Beach Entrance.
**NOTE: Beach entrances are available at 1st through 7th Avenues on Ocean Avenue.
The walkway is lined with murals and artworks, with a new extension in the summer of 2023 that connects to Ocean Grove next door.
You’ll be able to stop at the famous Carousel Building, where the Casino Building still stands since 1929.
This is a town filled with all kinds of art, and you immerse in the experience at the Asbury Park Boardwalk Art Gallery.
This unique space showcases the works of talented local artists, offering an intimate glimpse into the town’s creative spirit.
Music lovers flock to Asbury Park for its legendary music scene.
Pay homage to this history by visiting The Stone Pony, a renowned venue that launched many careers, like Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi.
The Wonder Bar is another musical mainstay of Asbury Park but has reached new fame for its pet-friendly Yappy Hour at the fenced-in beach area.
There is a $10 admission charge, but that does go to local pet rescues.
Visit the Silverball Museum Arcade, where you can step into a bygone era as you play vintage pinball machines and classic arcade games, including the late 1970s classic Asteroids.
More than 600 games are on display in the museum or in the arcade.
See the latest games on display on Instagram @silverballarcade.
Seven miles north, you can visit the Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, which was home to the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.
Long Branch, where the park is located, was also known as America’s Summer Capital through seven presidencies starting in the 1860s.
Places to Avoid in Asbury Park
The southwest section of town is known to be the most dangerous.
You should avoid the area west of Memorial Drive and south of Asbury Avenue.
You won’t be missing any of the top tourist attractions or great hotels if you don’t go into that part of town.
In fact, you likely wouldn’t see that section of the city anyway.
I would definitely avoid Asbury Park if there’s an incoming tropical storm or hurricane.
This area is prone to flooding, and there isn’t an abundance of major roads to use for evacuation.
Most people don’t realize that tropical weather’s biggest risk is the storm surge, not winds or rain.
Avoid being on the beach if there is a storm in the area or even on the horizon.
If you are close enough to hear thunder, you are close enough to get hit by lightning.
In 2021, a Berkley Township lifeguard was killed, and seven more people were hurt when a small, fast-forming storm approached.
It’s just not worth the risk, especially when there are so many great indoor spaces in Asbury Park.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Asbury Park
- Asbury Park has its own police department. The main phone number is (732) 774-1300. They are also on Facebook @AshburyParkPoliceDeptNJ. The city is on Twitter @inAsburyParkNJ.
- Take a few minutes to sign up for a Nixle account, where you can get first reports of crime and safety issues in the town. Even as a regular citizen, I use Nixle all the time to get information. It was very handy as a journalist, too, because that’s where we got the first details about issues happening in the community.
- If you have information about a suspected crime or a non-urgent update to a crime like graffiti or vandalism, you can report it anonymously to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers. That number is 1-800-671-4400. The P3 app also lets you send tips through your phone.
- Use the VIPLY app to get beach passes for your trip. This is a wonderful option since many Jersey Shore towns make you go to the town office to purchase one.
- Asbury Park has metered street parking at the beach throughout the year, but you’ll pay less during the off-season from October 16 through April 14. You will use the ParkingApp.com website or app to pay for parking.
- Bring your own reusable bags and food containers since New Jersey is doing away with plastic bags and Styrofoam food containers. You won’t get a straw at a bar or restaurant unless you specifically as for one.
- I highly recommend you review the Storm Parking section of the city’s website. For example, winter storms can bring flooding on local roads near lakes. Also, after a snowstorm, there are alternate street parking rules to follow. Honestly? It can be very confusing for people visiting just for a few days. Use a parking garage or private lot to make it easier.
- Asbury Park is going through renovation and expansion. Use the APBoardwalk website to check for updates, concert schedules, and summer bonfires.
- Before you head to the beach, you should check the water quality through the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, the Surf Forecast through the local National Weather Service Office, and current hazards. The beach will also have colored flags that explain any risks. Never go in the ocean if there are red flags up.
- Anglers will need a fishing license from the New Jersey Department of Fish & Wildlife. The requirement is for anyone over the age of 15. You’ll need to choose a non-resident license and buy either a freshwater or saltwater license, depending on where you plan to fish.
So... How Safe Is Asbury Park Really?
It’s true that Asbury Park is one of the statistically most dangerous cities in New Jersey.
It’s also true that there’s nothing about the crime concerns that should keep you away.
Let me explain…
Asbury Park has a violent crime rate that is more than three times the national average (as of 2020).
That number is determined by the number of violent crimes (188) divided by the population (15,188) and then multiplied by 100,000 to get the “rate per 100,000 people.”
That formula works to get all cities and towns on the same playing field.
It’s not always an EVEN playing field.
Because places like Asbury Park also see 1+ million tourists in a year.
Monmouth County overall sees more than eight million tourists.
With that said, there are some less attractive and more dangerous parts of town, but they aren’t near the tourist area.
Since this is a heavy tourist area, you can bet there will be a lot of security at the boardwalk and the beach.
You should still use common sense, situational awareness, and safety steps.
The creativity and party vibe of this town will also put you at the edge of making risky choices, but if you keep your head on right, you should enjoy every second of your time in Asbury Park.
How Does Asbury Park Compare?
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- Visas - International visitors will be required to have a passport and a visa. There is a visa waiver option for some people, but that depends on your country of origin. Start the process using the Visa Wizard on the U.S. State Department's website.
- Currency - Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here. Exchange currency before you get to the beach. Your home bank or a local branch of your bank will give the best rates and lowest fees. Don't use public ATMs, especially at night.
- Weather - Asbury Park is a four-season destination, but you'll want to layer up in the winter. Summers will be warm and humid, but a jacket for cooler evenings would be helpful. Sunscreen and bug spray are must-haves for this beach.
- Airports - Newark Liberty International Airport is the closest option, just 44 miles away. JFK, Atlantic City, and LaGuardia airports are all within 75 miles.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance should cover acts of nature like hurricanes, and you'll want to have health coverage in America in case you need urgent care. Extra rental car insurance will be helpful too.
Asbury Park Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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