The homes in the South end of Pt Pleasant Beach are beautiful, mostly newer therefore have what the buyers want: open floor plans, modern conveniences. And, there are plenty of them close to the beach. In Manasquan, the beach area is considered nicest at the far north and south ends, which are away from the area with the most rentals. Finding a newer large home in these areas is not as easy as in Pt. Pleasant. Most of the people who want one buy a cottage, tear it down and build what they want.
As others have said, you need to figue out what is most important to you: school systems, travel time, general area traffic/congestion issues and the local demographic conditions in general. Finally, your budget may be the deciding factor. $1M will get you to within steps of the Pt Beach, but it will cost a few hundred thousand more for the same in Manasquan.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out to me via email or my website. As Realtors, we are not allowed to "steer" people towards one area or another, only to answer your questions so you can decide for yourself what area best suits your needs.
If you would like to search for properties in these towns, you can do so at my website which is connected to the Monmouth and Ocean County MLS. Then, if you see something, drop me a line and we can discuss.... more