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Long Beach Island New Jersey Travel Guide

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Things to do in Long Beach Island New Jersey

Long Beach Island New Jersey

Long Beach Island (colloquially known as LBI or simply The Island) is a barrier island along the Atlantic Ocean coast of Ocean County, New Jersey in the United States. The island is aligned north-south; the northern portion of the island is generally slightly higher end and has low-density residential; whereas the southern portion possesses more economical, higher-density housing and considerable commercial development. Tourism, fishing, and real estate constitute the primary industries of the area. The island can only be accessed by land through the Dorland J. Henderson Memorial Bridge, colloquially referred to as the Manahawkin Bay Bridge or "The Causeway". The island can also be reached through various means of water transport. The two most significant landmarks on the island are Barnegat Lighthouse, located on the northern tip and the Holgate Unit of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, located on the south end.
At the United States Census, 2000, the combined population of the six separate municipalities of Long Beach Island stood at 8,556. However, with the arrival of summer, the number of part-time residents and visitors increases drastically, the overall population of the island swells to approximately 100,000.


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History
The island, which was initially a destination for hunters, has been continuously settled since 1690. Barnegat Inlet, situated in the north of the island, had always been an important path for freight shipments and whaling from the 17th century through the 20th century. Owing to the growing importance of inlet and its turbulent waters, a lighthouse tower was constructed in 1835 to guide shippers through the area. Excessive erosion of the land destroyed the tower in 1857, two years before the current Barnegat Lighthouse was completed in 1859. It was constructed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Around 1872, the United States Life-Saving Service built Station #17 in Barnegat Light (then known as Brownsville), which continues today as a United States Coast Guard station.
A developing tourism sector led to a railroad connection between the mainland and the island, which was completed to Barnegat Light in 1886. In 1920, a severe winter storm destroyed most of the beaches along the island as well as several hotels. Another storm in 1923 further diminished the tourism sector, resulting in the termination of train service to Barnegat Light between 1923 and 1926. In 1935, the railroad bridge to the mainland washed out, which left the entire island without rail service.
Throughout the island's history, several storms have resulted in the island being split in two, with the division occurring at the island's narrowest point in Harvey Cedars. Most famous of such storms was the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962, which split Long Beach Island into numerous pieces and nearly destroyed the island in its entirety.
 
Attractions in Long Beach Island, New Jersey
Beaches
Since Long Beach Island is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on all sides, activities like sunbathing, swimming, skim boarding, boogie boarding and body boarding are quite common. Brant Beach, located at the southern end of town, with its wide, smooth sand is a nice place with to spread out one’s blanket. The township has 19 surf beaches along the oceanfront and thus it offers surfers plenty of room to catch waves. Those who prefer the calmer waters of the bay can swim to their heart's content at BayView Park or at the kiddie beach with playground and ball court at Taylor Avenue in Beach Haven. One important thing to remember is, access to Long Beach Island beaches require daily, weekly or seasonal beach tags for visitors from ages 12 to 64.
 
Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is a pristine, 32-acre park located at the point of intersection of the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay. The bosky and picturesque park has nature trails, a maritime forest, and a 1,033-foot concrete path perfect for strolling, wildlife viewing and fishing. The centerpiece of the park, Old Barney, is one of New Jersey's most visited and photographed lighthouses. Visitors can walk to the top of the 217-step tower for spectacular panoramic views of the ocean and the park. The Barnegat Light Historical Museum lies to the south of the lighthouse. It contains artifacts from shipwrecks, shark teeth, nautical items and vintage photographs of the area.
 
Viking Village
Viking Village was founded in the 1920s by a Norwegian fisherman. It is a group of eclectic shanty-style shops on the docks of one of the East Coast's largest fresh-fish suppliers. The village, which is designed on the lines of a quaint fishing hamlet, has candy and coffee shops, antique stores and also a clothing outfitter for sea captains. Dozens of festivals, antique shows and craft fairs are scheduled at the village each summer, and free dock tours are held every Friday morning.
 
Amusement Parks
Fantasy Island Amusement Park, which is designed to resemble a charming Victorian-era village, delivers traditional amusement rides amidst a scene straight out of a Dickens' novel. Brick paths lined with old-fashioned lampposts and oak benches meander by an old-school shooting gallery, a Ferris wheel and a turn-of-the-20th-century carousel, almost everything has been given a Victorian touch. It has an indoor casino arcade, which houses hundreds of amusements, including crane games, pinball machines, slot machines and skee-ball courts. Few minutes down the road lies the Thundering Surf Water Park, where visitors can get wet and wild with impunity. With its eight water slides, flow rider and miniature golf, the park offers hours of pure, unabashed summer entertainment.
 
Events in Long Beach Island, New Jersey
Chowderfest
An event which allows unlimited chowder tasting, it also has live music, children's entertainment, and a food court as part of the event. People’s favorite red and white chowder is declared, and the preparer of the dish is awarded a grand prize. It is held in September rain or sunshine at the Taylor Avenue ball field, Ninth Street and Taylor Avenue in Beach Haven.

 

Autumn Wine Festival
Autumn Wine Festival is held at Manahawkin Lake located off of Route 9. It featurs wine tasting of more than 250 New Jersey wines from wineries such as Amalthea Cellars, Auburn Road Vineyard, Coda Rossa Winery, Cream Ridge Winery, DiMatteo Vineyard, Plagido’s Winery, Renault Winery, Sharrott Winery, Tomasello Winery and Wagonhouse Winery. This two day festival takes in the heart of the famous Stafford Township Fall Harvest Festival which offers Hay Maze, live music, Scarecrow Making, Hayrides, with Movie and Bonfire.

 

Tuckerton Seaport
Tuckerton Seaport brings back ghosts of pirates, sea captains and other creatures of the deep. Haunted lighthouse, hayrides, and pumpkin patch make it fun of all. For something more devilish, there is always the Revenge of the Jersey Devil Murder Mystery Dinner Show at the Sea Oaks Country Club. This event takes places in October.

 

Ocean Progression Theatre shows
What is Halloween without the classic horror story? Witness three of Poe’s most famous mysteries as they are brought to life at Ocean Professional Theatre’s matinee or evening performance of The Poe Mysteries at the Bengal Auditorium at Barnegat High School. Another new tradition, the Bonfire and Halloween storytelling also takes place at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park in historic Barnegat Light.

 

Fishing Contests
East Coast's long running fishing contests are organized in Long Beach Island, where thousands of anglers who have compete. Some of the popular competitions include striped bass and bluefish caught from the shores of Long Beach Island NJ.
Other events like Lighthouse Film Fest (June), LBI Fest (Big Festival) (June), LBI Triathlon/Duathlon (September), LBI Dune Grass Planting (October), 18 Mile Run (October), "Last Call" Party At Nardi's (September) also take place in Long Beach Island, New Jersey.



Map of Long Beach Island New Jersey