Lobster, shrimp, and crab, oh my! The New Jersey Seafood Festival in Belmar has been tempting the tastebuds of locals and visitors for over 30 years. (In fact, it garnered over 100,000 attendees in 2019!) This three-day event takes place each May and features a variety of crowd-pleasing dishes, all made with ingredients that come straight from the ocean. It’s the best place to get a taste of the Jersey Shore — and, it’s free!
Keep reading to learn more about this wildly popular event. And, if you’re looking for other things to do during your vacation, be sure to request a copy of our complimentary Travel Guide. This guide has everything you need for an awesome getaway: restaurant recommendations, outdoor activities, family-friendly events, and more!
Experience the Best Seafood Festival in Belmar, NJ
Food & Drink
Spend a weekend enjoying the warm sunshine, salty air, and, of course, delicious food! The Belmar Seafood Festival is the perfect excuse to pack up the family and head down the shore. Local Belmar restaurants, including Ragin’ Cajun, Mr. Shrimp, and Federico’s, offer grab-and-go items at their vendor tents as live music fills the air. You can try everything from gumbo and jambalaya to lobster rolls and conch fritters! Then, head over to one of the food trucks selling scrumptious side items like street corn, crab fries, and fresh salads.
Got a picky eater in your group? There’s no need to worry. You’ll find non-seafood items from several vendors, including Jersey Shore BBQ, Hoagitos, and Simply Southern.
Local Tip: Save room for dessert! Funnel cake and fried Oreos are Jersey Shore classics you won’t want to miss.
Shopping & Entertainment
After you get your fill of local eats, it’s time to walk it off. Throughout the festival weekend, local artisans and market vendors sell their products on the 8th Avenue sidewalk adjacent to the festival area. Downtown Belmar clothing boutiques and specialty shops are also open during the event, so you can enjoy a little retail therapy.
Where to Stay
The Belmar Seafood Festival is held in the Belmar Plaza parking lot behind Pyanoe Plaza, 10 minutes away from Ocean Grove. Instead of trying to find lodging in the busy town of Belmar, skip the crowds and stay at The Ocean Plaza Hotel. Our accommodations are quiet and serene, offering private balconies, ocean views, and plenty of amenities. We even serve a delicious, complimentary breakfast each morning of your stay!
Local Tip: Rooms typically fill up fast, so don’t wait — check our availability and book your weekend getaway as soon as possible.
More Fun Events to Attend
No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always something fun happening at the Jersey Shore! Here are some other seafood festivals to add to your calendar this year.
- Bradley Beach Lobster Festival | August
- Asbury Park Oysterfest | September
- Point Pleasant Festival of the Sea | September
- Long Beach Island Chowderfest | October