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Visiting Long Beach Island: a Shore Favorite

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  • Post published:04/15/2022
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Long Beach Island has long been known as a beloved summer colony on the Jersey Shore. With miles of pristine white sand beaches, quaint towns that offer their own unique personality and flavor, plenty of outdoor activities and water sports, and the classic shore houses that overlook the Atlantic, you’ll definitely find yourself on island time!

Regardless of where you’re coming from, there is only one way to travel “LBI” — exit 63 off the Garden State Parkway.

You’ll reach the center of the island where you can find modest and luxurious accommodations, shops and restaurants, ice cream parlors, and local businesses. Of course, you can’t forget about the shimmering blue turquoise waters of LBI’s beaches that beckon to be discovered just beyond!

Explore Long Beach Island



  • PARASAIL: Parasailing in LBI? Count us in! Tours leave from Lighthouse Marina in Barnegat Light. More info here
  • ENJOY A LOCAL BREW: Head to Ship Bottom Brewery after a long day at the beach to enjoy a handcrafted brew, right from LBI! More info here
  • MINI GOLF AND ICE CREAM GALORE: Stop anywhere on your drive up or down the island for a sweet snack and quick round of putt-putt!

Public Beach Access Points With Restrooms Adjacent to Beach

  • Long Beach Township: Bayview Park Beach, a family-friendly bay beach with calm surf and a playground offering peace of mind for parents bringing their children to the beach. A parking lot is adjacent to the park with seasonal food trucks serving up gourmet favorites from time to time from fish tacos to lobster rolls to simple chicken fingers and burgers. Restrooms are next to the parking lot (Address: 6805 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach Township, NJ 08008 (in between East Meade Ave & East Dayton Ave)
  • Long Beach Township: Public Beach Access on East Meade Avenue, beach badges can be purchased at the badge office at the entrance or just outside the Borough Hall. Badges daily are $7 and seasonal passes (weekly or monthly can range from $20-$50, definitely get those in advance!) Restrooms are adjacent to the beach and are air-conditioned, clean, and updated). (Parking can be found on East Meade Avenue or East Dayton Avenue, or at adjacent Bayview Park Lot for a small fee).
  • Beach Haven: Public Beach Access on Nelson Avenue, beach badges can be purchased on the beach upon arrival. (Parking is on Nelson Avenue, metered parking).
  • Harvey Cedars: 86th & 80th Streets offer public beach access and beach badges can be purchased for daily prices of $7 at Harvey Cedars Borough Hall prior to your arrival. (Parking on either street, metered or at town hall for a small fee).
  • Barnegat Light: Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, public beach access, free for the day, no beach badge required, restrooms are located adjacent to the beach and in the park. (Parking can be found at the state park lot or closer to the beach in the outer lots. Free parking!)

Below you can find where to stay, what to eat, and what to do along the whole island. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know!

Exploring Barnegat Light

Barnegat Light is a casual residential community located on the island’s northernmost tip, facing both Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, that offers marina amenities, white sand beaches, and is home to the Barnegat Lighthouse (New Jersey’s most popular lighthouse — on Instagram, at least). Once you drive north on Long Beach Boulevard, you’ll see the tip of “Ol Barney” and know you’ve reached the north end of the island!

What to do

Visit Barnegat Lighthouse, the island’s oldest lighthouse and state landmark on the Jersey Shore offering sweeping views of the Atlantic and Barnegat Bay from the top. You can climb to the top for $1 during the summer season (details here, weather permitting). It can be quite windy from the top!

Explore Viking Village, a shopping and dining destination located on the marinas of Barnegat Bay. If you’re looking for a new shore outfit, decor for your summer home or a gift for back home, or looking for a cup of coffee, this is your spot to unwind and relax! I recommend How You Brewin’ for an excellent iced coffee or frappe!

If you want to get into a little more of the history of the area, visit Barnegat Light Historical Society and Museum. The museum “features artifacts, replicas and photographs depicting the history of Barnegat Light and Long Beach Island.”

Parasail around LBI with LBI Parasail — one of the most unique things you can do at the Jersey Shore!

Where to stay

The North Shore Inn is a classic motel located two blocks away from the beach and an affordable property if you’re looking to snag a deal on the island, which is hard to come by come peak season! Rooms are classic to the shore style of the island.

Sand Castle Bed & Breakfast is an updated modern property located on the inter-coastal waterways of Barnegat Bay offering views of the bay and Lighthouse Marina. Here you can find an outdoor pool at the center, free onsite breakfast, and free WiFi. To avoid peak prices, book in advance.

What to eat

Mustache Bill’s Diner (W 8th St, Barnegat Light, New Jersey 08006)

Mustache Bill’s Diner is an island classic! It’s a retro-style diner that serves up comfort foods from breakfast to lunch and is cash-only, BYOB, and open Fri-Sun from 6 am to 3 pm.

Daymark (404 Broadway Barnegat Light, New Jersey 08006)

Daymark is a newly renovated island restaurant offering classic American dishes and fresh seafood fare. You can grab a seat at the bar and taste the local craft beers, or dine in facing modern decor and seaside digs!

Kelly’s Old Barney Restaurant (208 Broadway, Barnegat Light, New Jersey 08006)

When you’re planning a visit to “Ol’ Barney”, be sure to grab a bite at Kelly’s Old Barney Restaurant, a longtime island favorite in Barnegat Light serving up classic comfort foods in vintage retro digs!

Exploring Harvey Cedars

Harvey Cedars is an upscale residential community that has elegant beachfront summer homes and a small downtown with a few stores, two restaurants, a pizzeria and ice cream parlor, as well as a local supermarket and liquor store. The beaches here are mostly private to summer residents and year-round residents, however, you can find a couple of public beach access points and locations on two sides of Harvey Cedars. If you’re looking for a peaceful, serene spot on the island, this is definitely your place!

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Harvey Cedars Sunsets 😍

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What to do

Barnegat Light Yacht Club offers sailing and water sports for Barnegat Bay adventures.

Harvey Cedars Marina offers jet skis, boat rentals, and water sports for beginners and experts who want to explore the island from the water.

Where to stay

Summer rentals are key and highly recommended! Check out AirBnb, Vrbo, Homeaway, TripAdvisor, & Vacation Rentals LBI t to find the best place to live out your summer vacation dreams.

Where to eat

Black Eyed Susans (7801 Long Beach Blvd, Harvey Cedars, New Jersey 08008)

Black Eyed Susans, is a contemporary spot for seasonally-sourced American dishes and local catch seafood as well as offering organic varieties for health-conscious individuals! Here you can dine among summer residents and locals alike and take in the comfort and relaxation of being on island time in upscale elegance and gourmet choices!

Plantation Restaurant & Bar (7908 Long Beach Blvd, Harvey Cedars, New Jersey 08008)

Plantation Restaurant & Bar is a widely-known and popular eatery on the island that is always busy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and for good reason! You’ll have to try it out for yourself.

Exploring Surf City

Driving north, you’ll find Surf City, a quaint little town similar to Ship Bottom, but a little quieter where you’ll also find wonderful local businesses selling beachwear and sundries, ice cream parlors, pizzerias, and seafood restaurants! Classic summer homes line both sides of the town from the inter-coastal waterways of Barnegat Bay to the shimmering shores of the Atlantic on the other.

What to do

Didn’t bring a bike? No problem! Head down to Surf Buggy Bike Shop and rent one, year round. Locations in Surf City and Beach Haven.

Surf City Marina offers opportunities for those looking for exciting and adventurous water sports from jet skis to parasailing to fishing.

Check out Route 72 Waverunner & Kayak, a canoe and kayak service where you can relax and unwind with the sea while getting lessons if you’re a beginner!

Surf City Yacht Club offers sailing and water-sports for beginners and experts alike and a chance to get out on the water and take in the views of the island and Barnegat Bay.

Where to stay

Summer rentals are key and highly recommended! Check out AirBnb, Vrbo, Homeaway, TripAdvisor, & Vacation Rentals LBI to find the best place to live out your summer vacation dreams.

Where to eat

The Big Dipper (1501 Long Beach Blvd, Surf City, New Jersey 08008)

The Big Dipper, a classic vintage ice cream parlor offering a vast array of flavors and desserts is your go-to stop for ice cream on a hot summer day or if you’re looking to cool down and take in the salty breeze of the Atlantic.

Exploring Ship Bottom

What to do

Visit Ron Jon Surf Shop as you enter LBI, a local favorite for all your beach apparel and anything else you’d need for your beach vacation.

The possibilities for mini golf are endless! Tee it up at Hartland Miniature Golf & ArcadeFlamingo Mini Golf Course or Sand Trap Mini golf. After you’re done, stop by Haymarket to pick up a game or toy for your stay on LBI.

If the waves are more your style, take a surf lesson or stand up paddle board class at LBI Surfing Academy — classes fill up fast!

Where to stay

A popular accommodation located right on the beach and has been serving vacationers to LBI for over a decade is the Drifting Sands Oceanfront Hotelwhere you can book a room facing the ocean or overlook Ship Bottom. Relax here in a beachy “down the shore” style while maintaining modern comforts and conveniences of Free WiFi and an outdoor swimming pool. Be sure to book your stay at least six months in advance prior to your departure as rooms here can reserve up very quickly especially in peak season which runs from the end of June to early September.

A new addition to the island is the Hotel LBI, a contemporary resort overlooking Ship Bottom, Barnegat Bay, and the rest of the island. It prides to be the purveyor of comfort, luxury, and convenience. The hotel offers large rooms and suites offering splendid views of the marina and the bay and are ideal for catching sunsets during golden hour from the rooftop bar & lounge. The hotel also offers an onsite salon & spa, dining, a fitness center, and an indoor pool (open year-round).

Where to eat

Woodies Drive In (509 Long Beach Blvd, Ship Bottom, New Jersey 08008)

A longtime favorite on LBI, Woodies Drive-In offers a casual assortment of mouthwatering burgers, crispy fries, hot dogs, and even homemade crab cakes, a classic shore delight! Located on Long Beach Boulevard in the heart of Ship Bottom.

Jayson’s Pancake House (500 Long Beach Blvd, Ship Bottom, New Jersey 08008)

Looking for a delicious breakfast? How about scrambled eggs, buttermilk pancakes, and home fries? Something to start the day before a day of adventure awaits! Head on over to Jayson’s Pancake House, a cash-only breakfast and early lunch joint where you can have your favorite comfort foods and dine in classic digs! Open from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm (in-season).

Exploring Beach Haven

Last but certainly not least, Beach Haven is perhaps the most popular town on the island! It’s a quaint seaside community dotted with marvelous summer homes, a happening town center, shops and restaurants, an amusement park and waterpark, marinas and bay vistas, and the famous beaches of LBI!

What to do

Head to Ship Bottom Brewery after a long day at the beach to enjoy a handcrafted brew, right from LBI!

Didn’t bring a bike? No problem! Head down to Surf Buggy Bike Shop and rent one, year round. Locations in Surf City and Beach Haven.

Bay Village, a seaside outdoor shopping mall offering shops, boutiques, and one-of-a-kind dining on the marina.

Fantasy Island Amusement Park is a family-friendly destination offering moderate thrill rides and a Ferris wheel in a vintage theme as well as indoor arcades. And check out Thundering Surf WaterPark, a seasonal destination offering water rides, outdoor entertainment, and an on-site mini golf course.

If you want to get into history a little more, head to the NJ Maritime Museum, where you can “explore the most extensive collection of maritime history and artifacts in the entire state of New Jersey!”

Where to stay

The Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club is an island-themed hotel set on two acres of oceanfront located steps away from the center of Beach Haven and has spectacular views of the Atlantic. Rooms are tastefully decorated in a tropical island theme and a beachy “down the shore” vibe. The palm tree-lined pool overlooks the ocean.

The Engleside Inn & Restaurant is a famed historic hotel that has been on the island since the turn of the 20th century. The hotel offers updated rooms and suites in a well-appointed contemporary coastal elegance.

Coral Seas Oceanfront Motel is a modest accommodation offering splendid ocean views and is just steps away from the beach — a great family option.

Summer rentals are also highly recommended here, especially if you’re traveling in larger groups or are looking for a homey getaway!

Where to eat

Uncle Will’s (3 S Bay Ave, Beach Haven, New Jersey 08008)

Uncle Will’s is a classic island eatery and diner located in the heart of Beach Haven, just steps away from the beach. They are a cash-only, comfort food, and casual joint. They are open for breakfast and lunch and then open for dinner starting at 5 pm.

The Chicken or the Egg (207 N Bay Ave, Beach Haven, New Jersey 08008)

The Chicken or the Egg is a famed 24-hour restaurant and the only one of its kind on the island offering chicken varieties and a signature dipping sauce. Be sure to head there during an off-time as lines can escalate to almost two hours long during peak-season —a true island favorite!

Long Beach Island is a summer destination that offers everything for the perfect getaway with family, friends, and loved ones where you can make memories that last a lifetime and return home relaxed and pampered and waiting to plan your next visit to LBI. Long Beach Island will always be shore to please!

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