Point Pleasant Beach is a borough in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 4,665, reflecting a decline of 649 (-12.2%) from the 5,314 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 202 (+4.0%) from the 5,112 counted in the 1990 Census.
Point Pleasant Beach was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 18, 1886, from portions of Brick Township, subject to the results of a referendum passed the previous day.
The borough is situated on the Barnegat Peninsula, a long, narrow barrier peninsula that divides the Barnegat Bay from the Atlantic Ocean at the Manasquan Inlet, and the borough derives its name from this location. Point Pleasant Beach is also the northern terminus of the East Coast's Intracoastal Waterway. It is near Point Pleasant borough, a municipality independent of Point Pleasant Beach.
The borough's boardwalk is approximately one mile long, spanning the coastline from the Manasquan Inlet at the north to New Jersey Avenue in the south. The central third of the boardwalk is largely amusement rides, the Jenkinson's Aquarium, the Jenkinsons Arcades, pizza joints, ice cream parlors, games-of-chance and miniature golf courses. There are fees of up to $10 per person age 12 or over to access the various beaches, as well as parking fees of up to $2.50 per hour or more.
It was ranked the eighth-best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium.
The area that includes Point Pleasant Beach was first occupied by the Lenape Native Americans. On September 2, 1609, Henry Hudson and the crew of his ship, Half Moon, noticed the area on their way north to explore the Hudson River. Crew member Robert Juet noted in his journal, "This is a very good Land to fall with and a pleasant Land to see." The first European settlers were fisherman and farmers who first arrived in the 18th century. Summer tourism began in the early 19th century when Quaker Thomas Cook Jr.