Picking a spot to dig your toes in the sand at the Jersey Shore just got a bit easier.

With an interactive tool launched Thursday by the state Department of Environmental Protection, users can learn pretty much everything they need to know about the 2,900-plus beach, bay and river access points in Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties.

NJDEP interactive public access map (Screen shot of NJDEP online tool)

Want to know if parking is free? Need the option to grab a bite to eat? Do you refuse to pay for a beach badge? Using the state's map, you can see which fees and amenities are in place at each access point. Each listing comes with a photo as well, so you can get a glimpse of the surrounding area.

And if you're craving a certain atmosphere — such as a beach with no playground for kids, but with a pier on site — the tool has a search feature so you can find the ideal spot along the shore.

"So if I want to find a guarded beach with restrooms in a certain town or county, you can search for that," DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said Thursday in a visit to Asbury Park.

Each access point's information and photographs were compiled by DEP staff. Later this year, the maps will include access points for the Delaware Bay and Delaware River, along with access areas in the northeast portion of the state.

"It shows people of our state, and those who visit, that they have literally thousands of choices when it comes to access to tidally-driven waters," Martin said.

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