Is Seaside Heights Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On March 6, 2024
Seaside Heights, United States
Safety Index:
48
* Based on Research & Crime Data

While Seaside Heights, New Jersey, has been a famous spot on the beach since the early 1900s, it wasn’t until 2009 that MTV’s Jersey Shore created a global viral situation.

This small piece of paradise isn’t even one square mile large, but it has a big personality with its boardwalk, two amusement parks, beach, and nightlife.

Seaside Heights welcomes families and singles with amenities and options for all ages.

For a town that is known for being so much fun, you might be surprised by the strict rules around drinking alcohol, pets, and swimming.

You should also know that there’s more to this barrier island than just Seaside Heights.

While the beach in the borough is less than a mile long, the entire island has 23 miles of beach, part of which goes through a state park.

The bay side of the island offers even more to explore.

Whether you want to fist bump the night away or shop for the next ‘T-Shirt Time,” there’s so much to explore at the Jersey Shore.

Even MTV didn’t cover it all!

NOTE:

Jersey Shore hasn’t released official crime data since 2020, and even that data was a broad stroke of crime data without specifics.

Information we provide is from that crime data and more recent news events.

Warnings & Dangers in Seaside Heights

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM

There's really no way to get around the medium risk here. With large crowds, lots of alcohol and a mix of generations, there's a definite party vibe to this town. That will come with a lot of temptation and some inherent risks.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

"Cab's Here!" The statement made famous by Pauley D should remind everyone that Jersey Shore does have cabs. You can use NJ Transit to get to the beach from inland. Rental cars are available too, but this is really a small, walkable area if you're just staying in Seaside Heights.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM

There's a medium risk in any tourist destination like this. Between the boardwalk crowds, the shoulder-to-shoulder beach chairs, and alcohol-induced forgetfulness, there's an inherent risk if you don't keep your stuff secure.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW

Between beautiful beach days, there will be risks of severe weather that can send crowds running for cover. Hurricane season runs from June through November. Even sunny days with rough waves can cause havoc on the beach. Winter can bring snow and nor'easters. Stay weather aware while you visit here and know the meaning of beach flag colors.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM

From 2010 through 2020, there wasn't a year that had more than 11 robberies. That's a statistically low risk, but without more updated crime data, it's smart to treat it as a medium risk.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

As popular as the beach is, there isn't a direct threat of terrorism here. The teenagers are causing the most mass problems, with groups of kids ages 13 to 17 creating large disturbances and abuse.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Watch out for rental scams. It's best to use a rental company that is registered through the town and approved by the Better Business Bureau. Some of the boardwalk games might feel like a scam but don't waste a lot of money to win a stuffed prize. They aren't geared toward helping you win.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM

Women should use a lot of caution, especially if they'll be drinking. Don't take drinks from strangers, don't go to private house parties, and never leave a friend alone at a bar. There are just too many potential dangers to treat this with anything but a medium risk.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The 2022 Water Quality Report shows no violations and full compliance with all state and federal standards. Check with the social media sites for the town to see if there are more pressing water quality issues during your visit.

Safest Places to Visit in Seaside Heights

Exit82.com is the official tourism site for Seaside Heights, as that’s the exit number on the Garden State Parkway that takes you through Tom’s River to the shore.

You can follow them on Facebook @officialseasideheights, Instagram @SeasideHeights, or Twitter @seasidehgtsnj.

The Boardwalk sits between the beach and the shops of Seaside Heights, running the entire length of the town.

At the center are Casino Beach and Breakwater Beach Waterpark, with amusement and water rides.

Two of the most popular rides are the Ferris Wheel, that’s 131 feet tall, and the Hydrus Roller Coaster, with insane angles and gravity-defying turns.

About 700 feet north of the pier is the T-shirt shop where the Jersey Shore cast worked, and those who don’t know might be surprised to know the Jersey Shore house is immediately behind that shop with the famed entrance on Ocean Terrance, right next to the Sand & Surf Motel.

The town also has several adventure golf locations, including Wacky Rooftop Golf at the Pier and Smugglers’ Quay next to the Casino Pier.

During summer, the beachfront has plenty of rental options, from SUPs to peddle boats to aqua trikes.

This is also the place for some of the longest surfing rides in New Jersey.

If the beach crowds are a little too much, check out the options with Bayside Excursions, where you can ride the waters of Barnegat Bay.

I’d also recommend the sunset cruise.

There’s also a small park and gazebo at the end of Berkeley Lane called Sunset Cove Park that gives fantastic views of the sunset.

Three miles south of Seaside Heights, you can enter the much calmer atmosphere of Island Beach State Park.

This is one of the few undeveloped barrier islands in this region, and you’ll learn a lot about wildlife and marine conservation while you’re here.

Places to Avoid in Seaside Heights

You should definitely avoid Seaside Heights around Memorial Day weekend, as that is historically the most rowdy weekend of the year, and it’s only getting worse.

Avoid any house party or after-hours event on private property for your own safety and for the risks that could come with a large group of strangers in a rented home.

Police are really cracking down on landlords, and you never know what illegal activity is happening in a home, even if you’re just hanging out on the porch.

If you want a more family-friendly location overall, consider Ocean City, New Jersey or Wildwoods.

Each one has its own set of challenges, but Seaside Heights is more known as the “party town” than any of the other two.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Seaside Heights

  1. Seaside Heights does have its own police department. The non-emergency phone number is (732) 830-2202. There is a Facebook and Twitter page for the department, but neither is updated often with safety information. Since that could change, it’s wise to follow them.
  2. You can sign up for “Notify Me” alerts through the town’s website. While there are a lot of options on the page, you really only need the Alert Center options. You should also sign up for Rave Smart 911 notifications for developing weather.
  3. You’ll have to pay to get on the beach, either a daily fee or with a weekly/seasonal beach pass. Don’t lose your beach badge because you won’t be able to get on the beach without it.
  4. If you want to visit Seaside Park next to Seaside Heights, you’ll need a beach sticker for that borough. This is one section of the Jersey shoreline that will require beach stickers for each town.
  5. Alcohol, pets, and balls for playing on the beach aren’t allowed at any time. You also can’t bring speakers to blast music or carry glass on the beach, even if it’s in a cooler. Drones are banned too.
  6. Swimming is only allowed in designated beach areas while lifeguards are on duty. Once the lifeguards go away, surfing is allowed, but swimming is not.
  7. Check the Rip Currents and Surf Reports section of the town’s website to learn important safety information. It’s critical that you know how to get out of a rip tide and that you stay away from the water when rip tide risks are present.
  8. If a storm is approaching, stay off the beach and go inside until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
  9. Anglers need a fishing license from the state of New Jersey. You can apply for one online. Fishing charters might include the price of a license in the fee, so check before you accidentally make the same purchase twice.
  10. Check the curfews before you visit. In the summer, many towns are closing beaches at 8:00 pm to stop juvenile disruptions. The boardwalk could also be closed to those under 18 after 10:00 pm. Parents should be aware of these rules as they can be held responsible for their kids’ behavior.

So... How Safe Is Seaside Heights Really?

Seaside Heights offers literally little to no crime data for public consumption since 2020.

While the numbers from those years weren’t sending up any red flags, Seaside Heights is known to be a party town, as immortalized by the MTV show Jersey Shore.

What we do know from local news reports is that Seaside Heights is dealing with the same outbreak of juvenile crime and mayhem, much like other South Jersey beach towns and other cities nationwide.

The issue is amplified by how little time these offenders can be held, and juvenile crimes largely won’t be on public records once these kids turn 18.

The town is one of many on the shore implementing summer curfews on boardwalks and beaches.

“Memorial Day has always been a problem weekend – always,” said Mayor Anthony Vaz.

“This one was particularly different.

There were a lot of young people who had no respect for the residents, the police department, the officers, anyone.”

The town has attracted families for many years to stay in the rentals, but nothing guarantees you won’t get a quiet rental next to a rowdy party house.

The town is taking steps to make landlords more accountable for out-of-control renters.

Seaside Heights can be a lot of safe fun, but there are risks that are beyond your control.

Control what you can by limiting what you carry and staying away from rowdy crowds.

How Does Seaside Heights Compare?

CitySafety Index
Seaside Heights48
Philadelphia60
Houston59
Atlanta58
St. Louis58
Los Angeles56
Oakland57
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

International guests will need a visa or visa waiver, depending on the purpose of the trip and the country of origin. That will be paired with a passport that isn't within six months of expiring. Once you go through Customs and Border Patrol at the airport or port of entry, you can travel between all the states without showing ID.

Currency

Currency

You can only use the U.S. Dollar here. You'll get the best rates for currency exchange at your home bank. The major airports will also have a currency exchange. Credit cards offer the best fraud protection.

Weather

Weather

The shore gets all four seasons and a nearly daily sea breeze. Summers will be warm, humid, and sunny. You want a sunscreen that is eco-friendly, sunglasses, and water shoes. Wear comfortable shoes on the boardwalk. Winters will be cold and snowy at times. Fall and spring can have fluctuating temperatures. Bring layers of clothing.

Airports

Airports

Philadelphia International Airport is about 90 minutes from Seaside Heights. Newark's airport is just under 90 minutes, and JKF or LaGuardia will be 2+ hours of traffic to get to either airport.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is smart when visiting a place that can be impacted by so much severe weather. If you don't have health coverage in America, consider picking up your own supplemental plan in case of issues like jellyfish bites or twisted ankles.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Seaside Heights Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -1° C
Feb 1° C
Mar 5° C
Apr 11° C
May 16° C
Jun 21° C
Jul 24° C
Aug 23° C
Sep 19° C
Oct 13° C
Nov 8° C
Dec 3° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
571117222730292519148
Low
°C
-6-5-1491417171261-3
High
°F
414552637281868477665746
Low
°F
212330394857636354433427

New Jersey - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Asbury Park54
Atlantic City48
Boonton74
Burlington70
Clifton73
East Orange44
Elizabeth47
Hamilton Township72
Hammonton75
Hoboken73
Jersey City54
Lambertville74
Long Beach Island72
Mountain Lakes74
Mt. Laurel76
New Brunswick64
Newark56
Passaic65
Paterson67
Princeton77
Red Bank77
Seaside Heights48
Toms River43
Trenton46
Upper Township & Ocean City74
West Orange72
Wildwood51

Where to Next?

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