Long Beach Island doesn’t have a boardwalk like Wildwood or Seaside Heights, but the lack of typical NJ “shore” amusements is one of the things that makes it so special. “Our region is a destination like none other at the shore, with distinctive towns that each hold their own personality,” says Lori Pepenella, CEO of the South Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.
Once in LBI, you must make a patronage to Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. A visit to Old Barney is obligatory, and the kids will love walking out on the big stone jetty and looking for sea creatures along the water.
For traditional shore activities, head to Fantasy Island Amusement Park and the Thundering Surf Water Park for rides, slides and an arcade. Or catch a family-friendly show at the Surflight Theatre. Pick up a free passport or visit passporttolbi.org to find more gems like the NJ Maritime Museum that offers kids’ programs and scavenger hunts and the LBI Museum with its history of the baymen and their tools.
Want to commune with nature? Head to Loveladies for the Long Beach Island Foundation’s marsh walk where you might spot ospreys. Or visit Barnegat’s Cloverdale Farm for cranberry bogs and a self-guided trail.
Grab breakfast at The Chicken and the Egg (aka Chegg) for a classic diner menu. Head to Parker’s Garage for fresh oysters and views of the water and make an early dinner reservation for the popular Black Eyed Susans with a seafood-filled menu.
While staying in any of LBI’s towns like Harvey Cedars, Beach Haven or Loveladies, many rent houses for a week, a month or the whole summer. But after a year of staying home during COVID, demand is higher than normal. “We recommend making reservations now for lodging,” says Pepenella. “Our website, visitlbiregion.com has up-to-date beach, surf and travel guides to make planning easy.”