Although Long Beach Island is a hidden gem that serves up opportunities for quality time with loved ones year 'round, the warm summer months offer the most variety. An 18-mile barrier land mass, this New Jersey shore has everything you could want for fun, relaxation, culture and entertainment. Here's a look at some of the area's top destinations:
Play at Local Beaches
With clean, smooth sand and cool, crisp waves, Long Beach Island has some of the most amazing beaches in the northeast. So, if long afternoons by the water are what you crave, you've come to the right place. Plus, area beaches offer plenty of girth, so it's not difficult to find a prime spot, even during peak times. Note: to access any beach, you'll need a badge.
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Some beaches work best for intimate groups, while others more easily accommodate large parties. Also, opportunities for boating, fishing and water sports can vary by location. Here are some of the area's top-ranked beaches:
Outdoor Adventures Away from the Beach
If you need to nurse a sunburn or give your sea legs a break, don't reject the outdoors entirely. Instead, take the family to Fantasy Island Amusement Park for the day. With games, shops, rides, an arcade, and endless opportunities for indulgence, you won't be disappointed.
Another chance to stay in the water but get a break from the salty shores, Thundering Surf Water Park is a local favorite. Family owned and operated, this aquatic wonder promises hours of fun for thrill-seekers of all ages. So support small business and upgrade your vacation at the same time.
The Local Shopping Scene
Whether you're on a mission to score some bounty or simply want to window-shop, Long Beach Island offers high-quality destinations for every agenda.
- Bay Village - A lively spot in Beach Haven, Bay Village is a veritable hunting ground for all things purchasable. With 23 shops and eateries, you won't leave empty-handed...or hungry.
- Viking Village - To load up on local seafood, look no further than Viking Village. Committed to responsible fishing and harvesting, you can find the freshest seasonal goodies all in one place.
- Surf City 5&10 - Since 1952, this local shop--family owned and operated--has thrived near the Surf City Beach. Selling everything from beach supplies to salt water taffy, you won't regret stopping by.
- Schooner's Wharf - Situated next to Bay Village, this area offers another opportunity to eat and shop yourself crazy. Not to mention, it's free to park. Can't beat that.
Museums and Natural Wonders
To feed your brain along with your soul, don't forget to hit up a nature reserve and/or indoor exhibition. While you're at it, absorb some culture with a little live theatre.
- Barnegat Lighthouse State Park - At the northern tip of LBI, you'll find this natural beauty. A 32-acre park showcasing a historical lighthouse, this attraction also lets you birdwatch, daydream, or learn about local history.
- Island Beach State Park - A shoreline preservation area, Island Beach State Park boasts nearly 10 miles of beach as well as tidal marshes and dense forests. For a chance to spot local wildlife, this one can't be beat.
- New Jersey Maritime Museum - Calling all history buffs. The NJ Maritime Museum in Beach Haven has the most massive collection of nautical history in the whole state.
- Long Beach Island Historical Museum - Also in Beach Haven, this museum holds preserved artifacts and photographs that highlight the area's rich history.
- SurfLight Theatre - A professional live theatre devoted to high-quality entertainment, Surflight showcases a variety of pieces, from Broadway and Children's Theatre to live music and standup comedy.
- Long Beach Island Foundation of Arts and Sciences - With art exhibitions, summer camps, science day camps and performing arts showcases, this enormous venue has something for everyone.