Long Beach Island Destination Overview
Grab a breath of fresh air on the coastal escape of Long Beach Island. Known as LBI, or simply The Island by locals, this 18-mile-long barrier strip off the coast of New Jersey is a beach lover's paradise. Between shores sits small towns, amusement parks and plenty of family-friendly activities. Though home to only about 10,000 people year-round, the island swells into a bustling summer colony, boasting more than 100,000 visitors.
Activities and Attractions
Although it's not too big, the island is split between northern and southern parts. In the north is Barnegat Light, where visitors can spot a giant lighthouse. The north tends to have more relaxed towns, such as Brant Beach, Loveladies, North Beach and Harvey Cedar. In the southern part lies the happening Surf City, Ship Bottom and the island's main action center: Beach Haven. Here you'll discover amusement parks and other activities perfect for the whole gang.
Beautiful, well-groomed shores await you on your vacation. Take a walk along the soft sand, jump in the Atlantic waters or simply unwind and watch the sunset. There are at least 19 surfable beaches, plenty for shredders to spread out and catch a breaker. Barnegat Light, Surf City and Harvey Cedars are surf hotspots. Boogie boarding is another staple here.
Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
This landmark isn't hard to find. Just look for the 172-foot-tall red and white spire on the northern tip of the island. Originally built in 1859, the Barnegat Lighthouse offers amazing views from the top - a welcome reward after climbing the 217 steps. A fun fact: the light creates a single beam that can be visible for up to 22 nautical miles. Besides the lighthouse, the state park has a maritime forest trail, where nature lovers flock to spot migratory birds and towering red cedar trees. From the picnic area, you can go fishing for striped bass, bluefish and the summer flounder. The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Victorian Fantasy Island Amusement Park
With rides, games, arcades, entertainment and ice cream, Victorian Fantasy Island Amusement Park covers all the bases. Little kids love riding the giant Ferris wheel and carousel while the grown-ups can try their hand at slot machines in the casino arcade that opens every day at noon throughout the summer. Don't miss the Ice Cream Parlor, which whips up tasty milkshakes, banana splits and brownie sundaes.
Thundering Surf Water Park & Golf
For a full day of water activities, head to the Thundering Surf Water Park & Golf. If you've always wanted to carve a wave, this is the place to practice! The FlowRider simulates a wave that allows you to experience the thrill of shredding. The FlowRider is available during the early morning and evening hours, whereas the daytime offers boogie board riding only. Grab a tube and launch down one of the park's eight water slides. If you're feeling relaxed, hop on the lazy river. There is even an infant pool for the littlest of water-lovers.
Kick back at the Surflight Theatre, which features quality performances just one block from the beach. This 450-seat theatre has been the home of a handful of now-famous actors, directors and musicians. During the summer, they have weekly shows for kids, though serious dramatists often make their way here on the weekends. Expect plays such as Les Miserables that continue to impress visitors.
Chicken OR the Egg
Start the day off right at this awesome breakfast joint. Chicken OR the Egg has a fun, animated atmosphere, with a handful of delicious eats. Menu favorites include Goshdarnwich and the Killer Bee Sting Naked Wings. Notably, it's only open in season.
Ship Bottom Shellfish
If you work up an appetite climbing the Barnegat Lighthouse, head to the Ship Bottom Shellfish for yummy seafood. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this family-owned hotspot is known for its jumbo lump crab cakes and New England clam chowder. The food is all homemade and worthy to take home.
Shore Good Donuts
Sweet-tooths won't want miss a slice of heaven at Shore Good Donuts. The donuts are soft, fresh and simply to die for. Locals and visitors alike rave about these deep-fried masterpieces.
In the same sugar-filled vein, Skipper Dipper has unbelievable ice cream. Some families have been known to stop here every day on vacation. Without a doubt, Skipper Dipper is a LBI staple.