Spring Lake is a borough situated on the Jersey Shore in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 2,993, reflecting a decline of 574 (-16.1%) from the 3,567 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 68 (+1.9%) from the 3,499 counted in the 1990 Census.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Spring Lake as the 240th best place to live in New Jersey in its 2010 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.
Spring Lake was formed as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 14, 1892, from portions of Wall Township, based on the results of a referendum held on March 8, 1892. On February 24, 1903, the borough of North Spring Lake was annexed to Spring Lake. The borough was named for a clear spring-fed lake.
During the "Gilded Age" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Spring Lake developed into a coastal resort for members of New York City and Philadelphia high society, in similar fashion to the settlements of Newport, Rhode Island and Bar Harbor, Maine. A surviving example of architecture constructed during this era is the Martin Maloney Cottage on Morris Avenue next to the tycoon's former and no longer existent Ballingarry Estate. Another fine example of period architecture listed on the National Register of Historic Places is the Audenried Cottage on Tuttle Avenue.
The owner of the Ballingarry Estate, Marquis Martin Maloney, built St. Catharine Roman Catholic Church on a knoll overlooking the eponymous Spring Lake. The cornerstone of the church was laid on St. Patrick's Day in 1901.
The second of the five victims of the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, Charles Bruder, 27, a Swiss bellhop for the Essex and Sussex Hotel, was killed on July 6, 1916, while swimming approximately 130 yards (120 m) from shore in Spring Lake. The wave of attacks took place between July 1 and July 12, 1916, along 80 miles (130 km) of Atlantic Ocean coastline and is often attributed as having inspired the novel Jaws by Peter Benchley and the corresponding film by Steven Spielberg, though Benchley has explicitly denied the claim.
The borough and its environs are known as the "Irish Riviera" because of the large Irish-American population in the area, with Spring Lake having the highest percentage of any municipality in the United States.
The Spring Lake 5 Mile Run, a race that was first run in 1977, circles the borough, beginning and ending at the beachfront.