Long Beach Island, New Jersey: Enjoy a Family Friendly Beach Vacation on the Best Beaches of LBI, NJ (Video)
Long Beach Island
Long Beach Island, New Jersey: Great Beach Vacation
If you're looking to go on a relaxing East Coast beach vacation with your family but you don't like the crowded beaches of Atlantic City or other shore cities, try Long Beach Island, New Jersey. About 25 miles north of Atlantic City, Long Beach Island, or LBI, has eighteen miles of beautiful, clean and private beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.
My family and I have visited LBI several times. We love going back when we can in the summertime. Together with other members of our extended family, we have rented houses in both Ship Bottom and Holgate.
The houses, depending on your budget, can range from small and cozy to incredibly large, and can be rented on the bay side or ocean side. We tend to rent a house on the ocean side in the middle range of size: not too small and not too large. The houses have been clean and remodeled, but nothing too fancy, which is perfect when you have sandy kids coming back from the beach. There are also many muti-million dollar homes there that are very modern and elegant, but they tend to be the most expensive to rent.
Each little town on the island has a corresponding stretch of beach, all clean and well maintained (In fact, the island spent millions of dollars in recent years reestablishing the shoreline after too many years of erosion had threatened the beaches and the dunes). In order to access the beaches, each guest is required to wear a beach tag, which can be purchased for a daily visit, a weekly visit or a season pass. Many of the rental properties have season passes that they provide to guests, so if you're renting a home, there's usually no need to go out and buy a tag.
Lifeguards and beach patrol are on the beaches from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., keeping the beaches safe for families. I have witnessed them in several instances even running training and re-training sessions while they are on duty, keeping themselves on the ball in case of actual emergencies.
Dress is beach-casual almost everywhere you go on the island. Most people, especially in the summer, will go everywhere in their bathing suits or beach attire, so be prepared! There are many shops and even restaurants that do not require regular attire, so there may be people fresh off the beach shopping and dining with you in their shorts and bathing suits.
LBI: Ship Bottom and Holgate
LBI: Long Beach Island Specifics
LBI is considered part of Ocean County, NJ. The only entrance to the island is a single bridge known there as The Causeway, which takes you to Ship Bottom, the widest part of LBI. Once off the bridge, you can go north or south on the island on the main 'highway', Route 72.
If you go North, you will drive through Surf City, North Beach, Harvey Cedars, Loveladies and Barnegat Light, which are all 'towns' on the island.
If you travel South, you will drive through ShipBottom, Long Beach Township (including Brant Beach, Beach Haven Crest, Brighton Beach, Peahala Park, Beach Haven Park, Haven Beach, The Dunes, Beach Haven Terrace, Beach Haven Gardens, and Spray Beach) North Beach Haven, Beach Haven and Holgate.
Activities for Families on LBI
Aside from spending time on the beach, there are many things for families to do on LBI. Along the main road, there are many great little restaurants. There are also mini-golf/arcades, an amusement park, shops, day spas, art galleries, and museums.
If you'd like a little adventure, there are bicycle rentals and surfing lessons. There are also boat rentals and jet skis if you'd like to have fun in the ocean.
If you'd like to relax and you like to fish on the beach or go crabbing on the bay, there are quite a few bait and tackle shops where you can get all the equipment you need. You'll also find that many of the rental homes have equipment and you will just need to get a fishing license.
If you would rather find an indoor venue to relax, there are movie theaters to enjoy, which are great for rainy days or when you want to cool off. Another way to cool off is to visit the ice cream shops that are on the island.
Restaurants on LBI
- LBI Foodies | Life's a beach...dig in! | Long Beach Island Restaurant Reviews
LBI Foodies is dedicated to helping visitors and locals of Long Beach Island New Jersey find the best places to eat, drink and indulge while enjoying the best 18 miles of shore in the foodie-verse.
Barnegat Lighthouse on LBI: History
At the northernmost tip of the island rests the historical Barnegat Lighthouse, known locally as 'Old Barney'. Built in 1859, this lighthouse was used to warn ships coming from New York down to New Jersey about the potentially dangerous conditions and areas surrounding the island. It was deactivated in 1944, but in the 1950s the lighthouse was opened to visitors. The surrounding land was designated as a state park and a museum with the lighthouse's history was housed nearby.
Today, visitors to Old Barney can still climb to the top to see its panoramic views of LBI. I have climbed the tower several times; it is no easy feat, but if you are healthy enough and willing to try, I say go for it!
Barnegat Lighthouse on LBI
Visit LBI Anytime, Like During Chowder Fest!
LBI, while a popular summer destination, can be visited year round. One of their most popular fall festivities is the Chowder Fest, a celebration of clam chowder that includes a chowder competition, music and other festivities.
The island is open all year long. Even if you can't swim or enjoy the beach as much, people still visit the island in the winter to get some peace and quiet as the summer crowd isn't there. The weather isn't too extreme in the winter due to being on the Atlantic Ocean, so you won't be facing massive snowfall if you should choose to visit in the winter.
Anytime you go, you will really enjoy Long Beach Island, New Jersey. It truly is one of the nicest beach spots on the Atlantic Coast. Visit LBI!