The history of Highlands is as diverse as the varieties of trees, wild flowers, fishes and people that populate its woods, shore and waters – no area of the Jersey Shore has played so important an historic role, nor gone through as many changes as the little town of Highlands and the ever changing spit of land called Sandy Hook.
Situated just twenty-six miles from New York City, to which it is connected by land and water routes, Highlands today is a major attraction to fishermen, bathers and other lovers of the shore, and to those who delight in the very best of seafood dinners. The docks and marinas of Highlands provide safe harbor for every type of craft imaginable, its restaurants are among the most famous on the shore, and the newly established Gateway National Recreation Area on Sandy Hook provides over thirteen miles of ocean and bay bathing for summer visitors. It offers both ocean beaches with concessions and changing facilities and protected bay beaches. The park includes a visitor center and trails for walking and biking. The bay side is perfect for wind surfing, kayaking, parasailing, and Jet Skiing, and boating.
SeaStreak provides ferry service to Sandy Hook beaches in the summer from New York City. From Sandy Hook, one can head up to Twin Lights Historic Site for a tour of the Civil War-era lighthouse. Panoramic views of New York City, Long Island, and the Atlantic Ocean can be seen from this highest point on the eastern seaboard south of Maine. Near Twin Lights is Monmouth County Park System’s Hartshorne Woods — 787 acres of parkland that feature miles of forest trails for hiking, mountain biking, and even horseback riding!