There are a lot of beautiful; places in Monmouth & Ocean Counties, so it may not come as a surprise to you that one of our local gems was named the most beautiful place in New Jersey by a national publication.

You normally know the drill. You see the article, scroll down to New Jersey and you you find out that the national publication has named somewhere in Cape May or Atlantic City the best or most beautiful whatever. But not this time.

This time Cosmopolitan decided to choose the most beautiful place in each state, and when I saw the headline I thought to myself, 'we have a shot at this one, and I was right. Cosmo chose our very own Island Beach State Park as the gem of the Garden State.

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And that is a well deserved honor for our beloved Island Beach State Park, and it's always nice to have the honor land in our backyard. And those 10 gorgeous miles between the Bay and the Ocean is just so amazing.

And how about this. Island Beach State Park is being mentioned in this article in the same sentence as places like the sea caves in Hawaii, Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado and the legendary Sequoia National Park in California, and that's some pretty amazing company.

Just remember to check ahead if you're heading to Island Beach State Park, especially this summer. Everyone wants to go to the beach this year, but we all know how fast Island Beach reaches capacity!

So congratulations to us as we celebrate a nice honor for Ocean County and Island Beach State Park!

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LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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