Long Beach Island (LBI), famous Exit 63 off the Garden State Parkway, is an 18-mile-long barrier island in Ocean County, New Jersey. The island has evolved from an important fishing hub to a playground for well-to-do men and women. Nowadays, the numerous tourists attractions and white sandy beaches make LBI a huge tourist spot. The summer months are busiest, "the season" ranging from mid-May through Chowda Fest in October. The majority of the island shuts down during the winter months. Although evolved from the 1950s days of full-coverage bathingsuits, LBI is certainly still a playground of sorts.
The Island derives its name from its white sand beaches that stretch the entirety of the 18 miles. LBI was discovered in 1614 by Captain Cornelius Jacobsen May, a Dutch explorer and tradesman. During its history, the island was rattled by a few major hurricanes, including the largest in 1944. A famous photograph of a home slowly falling victim to this hurricane is hung in many stores, restaurants, and hotels on the island today.
The easiest way to get to Long Beach Island is by car. There are bus services, but they are limited, expensive, and/or complex.
Long Beach Island is the perfect embodiment of American car culture. So it is almost certain you will be driving your own car to the island.
Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 63. Then, take Route 72 E onto the Island. From there, you will want Long Beach Boulevard, which is the main street going the entire length of the inhabited parts of the island. There will be a toll at the exit.
Or, take US Route 9 to the exit marked Route 72. Then, take Route 72 onto the Island. From there, you will want Long Beach Boulevard, which is the main street going the entire length of the inhabited parts of the island. As a US Highway, there is no toll.
TransportAzumah, a private bus service, will take you directly from New York City (9 Ave-42 St) or Newark Airport to various stops on the island. It only runs during the peak summer period from late June to early October. There is only one bus per day each direction and the ticket costs $40 for adults and $30 for students under 18 (with ID) (2017). The route is TAZ10. Reservations are recommended. ☏ .
Or you can take a bus to nearby Manahawkin and then a taxi or rental car to the island.
- New Jersey Transit provides service from Newark, New York City, and Philadelphia to Manahawkin. From there, you will need to take a taxi to the Island. This will always involve two buses and a taxi.
- From New York City or Newark, take bus #67 or #319 to Toms River, then bus #559 to Manahawkin.
- From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, take bus #551 to Atlantic City, NJ, then bus #559 to Manahawkin.
- 1 Barnegat Light — Home to Barnegat Lighthouse. Other than that, not much.
- 2 Harvey Cedars — Mainly residential, with a few stores and restaurants. Harvey Cedars is a getaway from the hustle and bustle of other LBI towns.
- 3 Surf City — Lots of shopping and dining opportunities.
- 4 Ship Bottom — Known as the "Gateway to LBI" since it's the landing place for the Causeway Bridge.
- 5 Beach Haven — A historic summer resort town with notable Victorian architecture, and ample shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities. It also hosts the only amusement park on LBI.
Once on the island, there are not many ways to get around besides private car. A shuttle bus traverses the entire island, charging a nominal fee. Depending on which hotel you stay at, they may offer transportation services. If you are not staying at a hotel and need to get around, you can use a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft. In the summer months, they are very easy to come by. The island is very strict with drunk driving, so when you go out at night, make sure you have a ride back to wherever you are staying.
Another way to get around the island is by renting bicycles. Throughout the streets, there are bicycle lanes, so it is very safe to get around, and bike racks can be found at most beach entrances, as well.You can bring your own bike, or there are many places to rent them.
- 1 The Boardwalk, 2306 S Bay Ave, Beach Haven, ☏ , email@example.com. Closed until May 2023. There's also an ice cream parlor (known for the Blotation Device served in a pail) and a convenience store with beach junk. Expect a long line at night in the peak season.
- 2 A.J.'s Rentals, 311 S Bay Ave, Beach Haven, ☏ .
- Surf Buggy, 1414 Long Beach Blvd, ☏ . The website offers the prices for bikes as well as many different beach items. Prices are listed per hour, day, 3-days, and week. If you are worried about spending money, you may want to rent from The BoardWalk instead, they have cheaper prices.
- Uber/Lyft drivers are available, at least in the summer months. They may be hard to come by in the off-season.
- LBI Shuttle, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Available throughout the island from late June to Labor Day. There are designated stop areas signed all around the island. $2 until 7PM, $5 after 7PM.
- 1 Barnegat Lighthouse State Park (Take Long Beach Blvd north and make a left onto Broadway), ☏ . 8AM-4PM. Climb the famous lighthouse (closed until Spring 2023) at the northern tip of LBI! There is also an Interpretive center to learn about the history of the lighthouse. Park: Free, Lighthouse: $1.
- 2 Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (Holgate Unit) (Take Long Beach Blvd all the way south (it becomes S Bay Ave)), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Visit the LBI part of the Refuge to see nature with minimal human interference. This area is designated as a wilderness area, which means no wheeled vehicles of any kind. There's a parking lot at the end of Long Beach Boulevard with a bathroom. Free.
- 3 Long Beach Island Historical Museum, 129 Engleside Ave, Beach Haven, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Jul Aug 10AM-4PM daily; Jun Sep Sa-Su; Appt for 4 or more only off-season. Explore the history of the Jersey Shore, with a focus on LBI. The museum has an extensive postcard collection to look at and many artifacts. Most notable is the exhibit featuring the SS Morro Castle disaster. You can also try out a real ship engine telegraph! $3 donation.
- The Beach (Go east from anywhere on the island.). Lifeguards on duty during daylight until 4 or 5PM. Swim/surf/body board in-between designated flags. Badges range in price depending on type and location. Season badges cost $18-30. Weekly badges $15-20 and daily badges are usually $5-6. Tags for adults age 65 or older are discounted or free; badges for children under 12 are not required. Badges are on sale from 8:30AM to 3:30PM weekdays at the Borough Hall. Badge checkers will sell badges on the beach as well, but usually not until the last week in June..
- 1 Fantasy Island Amusement Park, 50 N Bay Ave, Beach Haven, ☏ , fax: . Fantasy Island is a place for rides, games, arcades, food and ice cream. Fantasy Island is a more family orientated place so the rides aren't exactly "extreme thrillers". The amusement park offers rides such as a merry-go-round, bumper cars, the "Sea Dragon", tea cups, drop tower, and more. Although Fantasy Island is a fun and entertaining place, they do not offer large roller coasters. Admission, entertainment: free; rides: 75¢/token, 3-5 tokens/ride; arcade: games vary, but use quarters.
- 2 Thundering Surf Water Park, 300 Taylor Ave, Beach Haven, ☏ . Summer 9:30AM to 6PM. A fun family water park that consists of many wet attractions. Thundering Surf includes eight giant water-slides, the "Cowabunga Beach" which is a kids play area, a giant water bucket, "Flowrider Double" which is a wave surfing stimulator and a lazy river. Thundering Surf also has mini-golf which customers find to be a great family activity. $24-26; $10 for seniors.
Arts and crafts
- 3 St. Francis Community Center, 4700 Long Beach Blvd, ☏ . M F 9AM-6PM, Tu-Th 9AM-9PM, Sa 9AM-1PM (closed Su). Hosts many special events throughout the year.
Boating & water sports
- 4 Beach Haven Watersports (Parasailing & Waverunners), 2702 Long Beach Blvd, Beach Haven, ☏ . 9AM-6PM daily. You can rent watercraft ranging from pontoon boats to jet skis. The staff can be occasionally unhelpful though.
- Horizon Sailing, 3110 Long Beach Blvd, ☏ .
- New Jersey Kayak (LBI rentals, lessons, and tours), 409 East Bay Ave, ☏ .
- Pontoon Rides, 26th St at the Bay, ☏ .
- Water Sports, 3100 Long Beach Blvd, ☏ .
- Miss Barnegat Light, 18th St. & Bayview, ☏ .
- Sea Gypsy (Beach Haven Yacht Club), Engleside Ave, ☏ .
- Miss Barnegat Light, 18th St. & Bayview, ☏ . Ocean exploration
Mini-golf is a popular thing to do on LBI and there are several courses to try out.
- Beacon Mini Golf, 1710 Long Beach Blvd, ☏ .
- Hartland Miniature Golf & Arcade, 28th St. & Long Beach Blvd, ☏ .
- Sutter's Mill Miniature Golf & Upper Deck Batting Cages, 8th St. & Bay Ave, ☏ .
- Mr Tee's Putt & Play, 226 Engleside Ave, ☏ .
It may seem odd to go to the movies while on vacation, but many tourists to LBI do.
- Hoyts Beach 4, Long Beach Blvd, ☏ .
- Hoyts Colony 4, 35th St. & Long Beach Blvd, ☏ .
- Freedom, 33rd St and Long Beach Blvd, ☏ .
- Lyceum Health and Fitness Club, 265 W. 8th St, ☏ .
There are hundreds of shops up and down the Island, ranging in size and mainly along Long Beach Boulevard.
- 1 Bay Village, 830 N Bay Ave, Beach Haven (9th St and Bay Ave), ☏ , email@example.com. Built in 1965, Bay Village is meant to look like a 19th-century village. It has several shops, restaurants, and the famous Country Kettle Fudge and Crust and Crumb Bakery.
- B&B Department Store, 9th St. & Bay Ave, ☏ . B&B Department Store sells a wide variety of items. The store is mostly known for selling low priced yet stylish women's clothing but they also offer a selection of men's and children's clothing. B&B also sells Long Beach Island souvenirs and beach supplies. There are several locations of the B&B Department store on the island. They are usually crowded because the B&B chain is extremely popular.
- Farias Surf & Sport, firstname.lastname@example.org. Faria's offers many different rentals besides bikes, such as surfboards and other beach equipment.
- Hand's Department Store, 14th and Bay Ave, ☏ . Sells all sorts of goods like an old-fashioned general store. Everything from clothing, souvenirs, some foods, tools, beach supplies, and more. Think of Wal-Mart, but smaller and more expensive. Hand's has pretty much everything you will need while on LBI.
- Island Sun Jewelers, 811 North Bay Ave (across from Fantasy Island and to the left one block), ☏ . Island Sun sells mainly clothing, but also jewelry, souvenirs, postcards, beach supplies, and even hermit crabs.
- Ron Jon Surf Shop, 801 Central Ave, ☏ , Info@rjss.com. Daily 8AM-11PM. The famous Ron Jon Surf Shop started in LBI, but only maintains one store here. Nonetheless, this huge store is full of surfing and other ocean equipment to ensure you have a great time at the beach. Ron Jon Surf Shop also includes laid back surf apparel for men, women and children. The prices are reasonable and the brand is popularly known on the island. The Ron Jon company not only sponsors professional surfers but also many events for causes on the island.
- Silver Sun Mall, 3rd St and Bay Ave. The Silver Sun Mall is a small agglomeration of shops in one building. They sell mainly clothing, souvenirs, toys, and beach supplies.
If you love to eat, you’ve come to the right island! Long Beach Island is packed with restaurants and eateries from Lighthouse to Inlet, with the majority of them centralized in Beach Haven, Surf City, and Harvey Cedars. Many restaurants do not take reservations and some can have waits as long as 3 hours for a meal, so timing is key when it comes to dining on LBI. Because rentals change over on Saturdays, avoid going out to eat Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Optimum days to dine out are Thursdays and Fridays, when most tourists are devouring the leftovers they have in their refrigerators before departing. Bon appetit!
- 1 ScoJo's Eatery, 307 N Long Beach Blvd, Surf City (between N 3rd and 4th St), ☏ . Th-Mo 8AM-3PM. In a house-turned-restaurant, Scojo’s is possibly the most popular breakfast spot north of the Causeway, offering all the traditional breakfast fare ranging from eggs and omelets to pancakes, waffles, and French toast, though not recommended for the claustrophobics in the crowd. Reservations are not taken and waits tend to be over an hour on weekends. Indoor seating only. Scojo's is known for it's delicious breakfast meals but they also serve a great lunch and dinner course. Once again, this restaurant is usually packed so they do offer a considerably quick take-out option to their costumers. $5-12.
- 2 Uncle Will's, 3 S Bay Ave (between Center St & Engleside Ave), ☏ . April–October: M-F 8:30AM-1PM; Sa Su 8:30AM-1PM, 5-8PM. The only thing more famous than Uncle Will’s food is its around-the-block lines. Uncle Will’s serves traditional breakfast fare, and is particularly famous for its Daily Specials, especially the daily pancakes and French toast variations. Muffins and cinnamon buns made on the premises. Say “Hello!” to the giant ceramic pigs seating at some tables – the pig theme is abundant throughout the entire restaurant. Try to count them all! Parking on the boulevard gets full fast, so park up by the beach and walk down for a bite to eat. Reservations are not taken and Uncle Wills possibly as the longest waits on the island, so go early and spend time in the neighboring bookstore while you wait – the hostess will come find you in Atlantic Books! $5-17.
- Bay Village Pizza, 9th Street and Bay Ave, ☏ . Apr-Oct: M-Th noon-11PM, F-Su noon-midnight. Boasting “the biggest slices in town,” Bay Village Pizza really does serve up slices bigger than your head. The pizza has been voted best on the Island three years running by the local newspapers and the fresh-cut, seasoned French fries are a big hit, too. Bay Village Pizza offers take-out. Outdoor seating only, place orders at the counter. Parking is tough because it's in Bay Village – so park, shop, and then grab a bite. $3-6.
- Bistro 14, 9th St, ☏ . Apr-Oct: daily noon-11PM. Upstairs in Bay Village (the restaurant gets its name from the fourteen steps customers voyage up). The spacious restaurant has tons of windows and an outdoor balcony, all which offer great views of Bay Village and the water park. People watchers love sitting outside at Bistro 14. Burgers, salads, and seafood baskets complete with French fries and big hits. Complete raw bar, reasonably priced. The bistro is best for lunch, but also open for dinner and offers indoor and outdoor seating. Park in the Bay Village parking lots. $10-22.
- Broadway Pizza, 1718 N. Bay Ave, ☏ . May-Sep: daily 11AM-midnight. French fries, burgers, hotdogs, pizza and other grilled goodies. $2-6.
- Country Kettle Chowda, 800 N. Bay Ave, ☏ . May-Oct: daily noon-10PM. Manhattan and New England style chowder (pronounced “chowda”), served in a sourdough bread bowl or not is the only thing on the menu, besides the daily soup option. Minimal outdoor seating is offered, among the shops in the Village. $3-5.
- The Gazebo, Schooner’s Wharf (Go all the way to the far end of the Wharf and you will see it.), ☏ . May-Oct: daily noon-10PM. Burgers and pizza, coffee and soft drinks offered. Full sushi bar, reasonably priced. Indoor and outdoor seating, The Gazebo is a great lunch option during a day of shopping. The restaurant is also open for dinner. $6-14.
- The Holiday Snack Bar, 401 Centre St, ☏ . Mid May-late Aug: daily 11AM-9PM. Take a seat at the giant, singular wrap-around counter in this small restaurant and talk up the other patrons! Home-style burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, fries, onion rings make up the menu. Portions run small, on account of the joint being a “Snack Bar,” but are very reasonably priced. Homemade cakes for dessert; they can be ordered a week in advance for parties, too. The Holiday is great for kids, but not to large parties of 6 or more. $2-8.
- Inlet Deli, 33 W. 4th St, ☏ . May-Aug: daily 5:30AM-6PM. Steps outside of Barnegat Light State Park, Inlet Deli offers casual deli fare and is very popular with locals and tourists alike. Inlet Deli has larger facilities than most other casual dining options and is air conditioned in the summer months. If you're on the far north end of the island, there is no better place to stop for lunch. If you're planning a day on the water, order a few sandwiches to pack in the cooler for later in the day. $4-11.
- A Little Bite of Italy Deli, 1419 Long Beach Blvd, ☏ . Open all year round. A local Italian deli that serves pizza, baked goods, soups and salads.
- Boathouse Restaurant, 13015 West Ave, ☏ . Jun-Aug: daily 5PM-11:30PM. Overlooking the bay, the Boathouse offers a large menu with a wide selection of surf and turf options. The wait tends to be long on the weekends, so weekdays are a better bet. Reservations are taken, which makes this restaurant a great options for large parties. $18-42.
- The Chicken or the Egg (The Chegg), 207 N. Bay Ave, ☏ . May-Oct: daily 24 hours. Situated near the southern end of Beach Haven, "The Chegg" is the only 24-hour joint around. Popular with families for the basic three meals, the restaurant has a huge menu with all the typical diner favorites. All meals served all day. The Chegg is also the most popular hangout for intoxicated partiers after-hours. Stop by if you’ve had a few for a good time after midnight. BYO. $8-15.
- Howard’s, 33rd Street and S. Bay Ave, ☏ . May-Sep: daily 5-11PM. Howard’s overlooks a marina and serves an array of seafood dishes in an up-scale setting. Business casual attire is best; great service. To avoid the crowds, try showing up closer to 5PM; the restaurant does not take reservations. $19-45.
- Joey’s Pizza, 8106 S. Bay Ave, ☏ . Apr-Sep: M-F noon-10:30PM, Sa Su noon-11PM. Notice Joey’s clever signs that change weekly while driving the boulevard – it’s nearly impossible to miss, as most traffic slows to read and have a laugh. Casual atmosphere with classic Italian favorites: Appetizers, pastas, and pizza. Enjoy watching the pizza slide through their unique oven on the conveyer belt. Avoid this joint after it has rained – its nicknamed “Joey’s Underwater Pizza” because the corner floods like not other place on the island after rain. Of course, the restaurant will still be open, so if you don’t mind wet feet, head on over! Joey’s also provides take-out, which is the more popular option. $12-18.
- Oasis Grill, 8001 N. Bay Ave, ☏ . May-Sep: M-Sa noon-9PM. Serving up typical grill fare, Oasis is famous for their burgers. Indoor and outdoor seating; order at the counter. $6-14.
- The Plantation, 7908 S. Bay Ave, ☏ . Year round: M-F 5PM-10PM, Apr-Sep until 11PM. Styled like a Southern plantation home, The Plantation serves up unique, Southern inspired cuisine. The restaurant is two floors, with best seating downstairs. Reservations are a must-have for anyone who is not willing to wait hours to dine. This restaurant could be considered one of the higher class restaurants on the island. Although business casual attire is appropriate, many dress a bit fancier. The Plantation excels in their great service to their costumers. The restaurant offers a coat check and valet parking. $35-65.
- Roberto’s Dolce Vita, 12907 N. Bay Ave, ☏ . May-Sep: M-F 5PM-10PM; Sa Su 5-11PM. Authentic Italian food accompanied by great service. Business casual attire appropriate; reservations are not taken. Weekdays are best to avoid the crowds. Parking can be tough – parking on a side street near by is recommended. BYO. $21-43.
- Tucker’s, Engleside at the Bay, ☏ . Year round: daily 11AM-11PM. This spacious restaurant by the bay in Beach Haven offers a wide variety of all-American cuisine. The chef’s specialty appetizer, fried tomatoes, has become a huge hit with locals and visitors. A kids' menu is available. Shuffleboard and popcorn are available near the bar during the summer season. Indoor and outdoor seating available – check out the Black Whale tour boat parked in the bay nearby if seated on the patio. Reservations are taken at Tuckers. $14-40.
- Yellow Fin, 104 N. Bay Ave, ☏ . May-Oct: daily 5-11PM. A small, upscale restaurant on the northern end of Surf City, Yellow Fin offers an array of specialty seafood dishes. Casual business attire appropriate. $25-45.
- Lainie's, 811 Bay Ave (across the boulevard from Fantasy Island and a block to the left), ☏ .
- Skipper Dipper, 9305 Long Beach Blvd, ☏ . Memorial Day-Labor Day: 11AM-11PM. $2-7.
LBI has a great night life. There are numerous bars to choose from. Most of the bars require casual attire.
- Buckalew's Restaurant & Tavern, 101 Bay Ave, ☏ . Open year round. Traditional Jersey atmosphere.
- Daddy O's, 4401 Long Beach Blvd, ☏ . open year round. Largest bar on the island. Stylish and casual, upscale so the prices are higher.
- Gateway, 8th St. Causeway, ☏ . Local bar, karaoke, Weird Al Yankovic impersonator comes on occasion
- The Hudson House. Tucked away on a residential street in Beach Haven, "The Hud" offers drinks of all kind and a great atmosphere.
- Joe Pop's Shore Bar & Restaurant, 20th St. and Long Beach Blvd, ☏ . Local bands every night, dance floor, pool tables, air hockey, shuffle board, darts, and video games.
- The Ketch, 2nd Street & Dock Rd, ☏ . 18 to party 21 to drink, 2 levels: upper level is strictly for those who are 21 and the lower level is open to the 18 - 21. A teen night is hosted once a week for those who are under 21.
- The Marlin, 2 S. Bay Ave, ☏ . Dress up attire is preferred; pool tables, bar, live entertainment.
- Nardi's, 118th Street & Long Beach Blvd, ☏ . Has a pink drunk bus that picks up and drops off. Local & live bands.
- The Quarterdeck Inn & Restaurant, 351 W. 9th St, ☏ . Thursday Nights: 'LBI's Best Original Band Night' $1 Miller Light pints and $3 cover. Friday: $2 shots and $1 Miller Light pints all night long. Saturday: $2 shots all night long
- Sea Shell Club & Restaurant, 10 S Atlantic Ave, ☏ . Drinks are served all day. There are 2 entrances; one is right off the beach or the main entrance. Shoes are optional. Live bands play throughout the day, drinks are served at the tiki bar, drinks can be taken to the pool, or drinks can be brought to the beach. At night the bar is outside and inside. The inside has a dance floor. Thursday nights are 'Thunder Thursdays' $1 shots and $1 Coors lights.
- Spray Beach Inn, 24th St. & Ocean Ave, ☏ . 'LBI's best kept secret' right off the beach with and indoor & outdoor bar. Friendly environment. Happy Hour M-F 3-7PM.
- Terrace Tavern, 1 Long Beach Blvd, ☏ . Sports bar, with 40 types of tequila.
Many people rent a house through one of many rental agencies. Houses can be rented by the week usually and come in all kinds. Keep in mind the landlords can be very particular about their house integrity remaining uncompromised and it is not uncommon for them to drive by to see if the house is in order. You may not even notice they drove by.
- G Anderson, 12001 Long Beach Blvd, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: .
- JerSea Realty, 2815 Long Beach Blvd, ☏ .
- Mancini Realty, 13515 Long Beach Blvd, ☏ , toll-free: , Rentals@ManciniRealty.com.
- Some homeowners rent their houses without going through a realtor. For those cases, check out websites like VRBO or craigslist. If using craigslist, be very careful, talk on the phone with the homeowner to make certain that it is not a scam.
For less hassle, you can choose from many hotels or bed and breakfasts on the island:
- 1 Buccaneer Motel, 2600 N Bay Ave, ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. The Buccaneer is one of the few hotels on the bay side of the Island. It has an indoor and an outdoor pool, both heated, as well as a Jacuzzi. In addition, there is a rooftop deck for you to relax. You can also rent a boat or tie up your own at their private dock. In season: $76-275; Off season: $65-180.
- Mariner Inn, 33rd St and Long Beach Blvd. Check-in: 11AM, check-out: 3PM.
- Mariner Motel/Spray Beach Inn, 24th St and Ocean Ave, ☏ , fax: , spray@LBIinns.com. Actually two adjacent motels, the Mariner Motel and Spray Beach Inn also has a pool. $55-224.
Bed and breakfasts
- The Island Guest House, 207 Third St, ☏ , toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. In the heart of Beach Haven a few blocks from the ocean, this bed and breakfast is in a restored building that was built around 1900. Owners Mark and Joanne are helpful and provide a homemade breakfast every morning from 8:30-9:30AM. In the afternoon, there is iced tea and some home baked treat. There are 15 rooms, some of which can be used as two-room suites, and an adjacent cottage that sleeps four. Free Wi-fi. $175-349.
- MyLBIBeachRental, 19 East Wyoming Avenue Haven Beach, ☏ , email@example.com. 6 houses from the beach, this summer beach rental is a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home, that can sleep up to 13. Free WiFi. Great backyard patio, for grilling, dining, and relaxing.
Atlantic City is about 65 miles south of LBI.