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Things to Do in Long Beach Island

by AshleyC
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For anyone born and raised in New Jersey, we know that summers are synonymous with going to the Jersey Shore. For most of us, we have our fave spot – the town we return to time again. Whether it’s where you went with your family as a child or where you rented a house every summer with your friends, your shore point of choice is a place that evokes good memories and holds much promise for future good times. One of those beach towns that is nostalgic but also offers fun for any age group is Long Beach Island. As an 18-mile long strip (that’s half a mile wide at its widest part), the island has a fun mix of day and night activities and feels far removed from the hustle and bustle of towns more north. Read on to see why we love Long Beach Island (or LBI, as the locals + frequent vacationers call it) as well as the best things to do in Long Beach Island.

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Where to Stay

House Rental

This is the number one choice of accommodations across the board at the shore. Whether it’s with a bunch of friends in a big place or in a small cozy cottage with a partner, renting a house is sure way to have a blast in LBI. Either way, this will allow you to grill out (a summertime favorite), sit on the porch and people watch, or just to feel at ease and like you’re at home. Rent the same place year after year and you’ll really get to know the neighborhood and more importantly, the neighbors — it’s almost like owning a place there without having to pay a mortgage or worry about damage during storms.

The Engleside | 30 Engleside Avenue, Beach Haven

With a location right on the beach, why would you look anywhere else? The Engleside is right within walking distance to all the major attractions on the island and is much quieter than the nearby Sea Shell Resort. The poolside Sand Bar has live music, and great cocktails and food. Oddly enough, there is also a full-blown sushi bar which is surprisingly very tasty.

Read More: Things to Do in Asbury Park, New Jersey

The Sea Shell Resort | 10 South Atlantic Avenue, Beach Haven

Just like the Engleside, the Sea Shell is beachfront with great restaurants but has a little bit more of a party atmosphere. Also within walking distance to all the major attractions, the hotel can’t be beaten for the combination of the vibe and the proximity to the beach. Much of the building was badly damaged during Sandy, but luckily this allowed for them to revamp the space completely which gave it an upgrade.

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Where to Eat

Black Eyed Susans | 7908 Long Beach Boulevard, Harvey Cedars

We think this is one of the best restaurants on the entire island. Husband and wife duo Christopher Sanchez and Ashley Pellagrino have created an awesome blend of casual tavern food mixed with upscale, quality dishes that make for a delicious meal after a long day on the beach. There are many fresh + flavorful options to choose from on this menu. For seafood lovers, there’s lobster gnocchi, tile fish, and grilled tuna — though we personally recommend going for the pan seared scallops, as they are an absolute must-try. This spot also serves up some delicious pizza if you’re looking for something to split with the table before your main. Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made fourteen days in advance of your desired day. You can find the menu here. Pro tip: get some of the homemade sourdough bread.

The Chicken or the Egg | 207 North Bay Avenue, Beach Haven

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If you’re a chicken-wing lover, Chicken or the Egg is your spot. Chegg {as the locals call it}, is known for their variety of wing sauces, their most popular being the Beesting sauce, which you can add to *anything* on the menu — that’s right, hot sauce on everything! Besides their famous wings, Chegg is serving up delish, but unique diner-style fare and has something for everyone on the menu. If you’re feeling daring, try their Ludacrious Wing Challenge where you must eat 12 of their hottest wings in 15 minutes. Head to Chegg for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack — they’re open 24/7 during the season.

Country Kettle Chowda | 830 N Bay Avenue, Beach Haven

long beach island new jersey shore

Folks up North might argue that they have the best clam chowder there is, but we’re willing to claim that LBI’s Country Kettle Chowda is the best. Seriously, their New England clam chowder is T.D.F. (and even better in a bread bowl — drooling). Country Kettle Chowda is located in the Bay Village shopping area, tucked away in a teeny tiny shop. There’s no room to eat inside, but there are plenty of tables, chairs, and benches outside where you can enjoy your chowder — or dare we say, chowda. They also serve Manhattan clam chowder, chili, and other soup specials — you can even mix New England + Manhattan clam chowder in one if you’re craving both.

The Gables | 212 Centre Street, Beach Haven


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One in a while it’s fun to put the flip-flops away and break out a fancier sandal. For those nights, The Gables is just the place. It’s whimsical and romantic with candles everywhere you turn, beautiful hanging flower baskets, and intimate Victorian dining rooms. The food is fresh and local, with only what’s freshest that day being served up. It’s a meal for a special occasion or when you’re wanting to blow dry your hair and put on more than just a sundress (which is a special occasion unto itself).

How You Brewin Coffee Company | 8 Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City + 14 W 19th St, Barnegat Light

We love — and we mean love — How you Brewin. It’s one of our favorite coffee places on the island, and we’re a little mad we don’t have one locally. How you Brewin makes delicious coffee drinks and also has a big menu with bagels, breakfast items, sandwiches, pastries, and more. It can get really crowded during the summer, so we recommend ordering online and going to pick up rather than waiting in the long line.

Pearl Street Market | 229 Pearl Street, Beach Haven

PSM brings a Hamptons feel to LBI and their daily offerings are impressive. Crab cakes, lobster rolls, deli sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, and fresh seafood are all available every day. Bonus: they will deliver your lunch to the beach!

Poppy’s Ice Cream Parlor | 607 Broadway, Barnegat Light

It’s a beach town – we had to include an ice cream shop, and this is a local gem on the island. With a huge list of flavors, everything at Poppy’s is delicious. Be warned: this is one of the most popular spots on the island and often has a line out the door and wrapped around the white porch. We recommend going on a nice evening when you’re not in a rush, because trust us, it’s worth the wait.

Seashell Tiki Bar | 10 South Atlantic Avenue, Beach Haven

Imagine feeling instantly transported to the Caribbean islands without having to go too far. The Tiki Bar is located within The Seashell Resort and has two large thatched hut tiki roof bars located right on the beach that serve up creative cocktails or good old-fashioned beer in a can. On the weekends, live music around the pool offers up a pool party feel at happy hour. Beachside bar fare will fuel your afternoon all the while, the waves crash nearby.

Ship Bottom Brewery | 830 N Bay Avenue, Beach Haven

Relatively new to town, the Ship Bottom Brewery’s tasting room is a fun break from the normal bar scene. Live music and their clever beer names (Beach Patrol Hefeweizen Ale and Shoobie American Pale Ale to name a few) lend to a laid-back atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to change up your regular spots!

Uncle Will’s Pancake House | 3 S Bay Avenue, Beach Haven

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Uncle Will’s Pancake House is your ultimate spot for a good LBI breakfast. They’re whipping up classics like eggs benedict and biscuits and gravy (and doing a damn good job at it). Uncle Will’s also wins in the decor department, too, as the entire restaurant is covered in pig art — literally, everywhere you turn there’s a pig, and it’s awesome.

What to Do

Bay Activities

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While laying on the beach is no doubt the thing to do, LBI has more than the ocean to play in. Being a barrier island, you are afforded both the beach and the bay where such activities as paddle boarding, kayaking, and pontoon boat rentals are made possible. Surf shops pepper the island and all have equipment available for daily or weekly rentals.

Fantasy Island | 750 North Bay Avenue

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Located next to Bay Village is the famous Fantasy Island, a small amusement park and arcade, which is legendary among those that grew up visiting the island. Strands of tickets that seemed to go on for miles and that held the promise of a cool prize are something those who frequented Fantasy Island will never forget. It’s fun to go back and feel like a child again, whether at the arcade games or riding the Ferris wheel or the swinging pirate ship.

Thundering Surf Water Park | 300 Taylor Avenue, Beach Haven

After so many days of laying on the beach, it’s nice to change it up and hit up the pool. Thundering Surf Water Park is LBI’s only waterpark and has eight slides, a giant tipping bucket, a lazy river, and FlowRider.

Dog Beach

Of course, we can’t forget about the pups. LBI has strict rules on dogs being on the beach from May until September, but year-round the beach on the bayside just adjacent to Bay Village allows your pup to run free and take a cooling dip in the bay. During certain times of the day, like early morning, there are many dogs here for maximum playtime. If that’s too much on you and your pup, opt for the afternoon hours when most are on the ocean side. Launch your kayak or SUP from here and take your dog along for the ride.


long beach island new jersey shore

If there’s one thing you’ll notice when driving, walking, or biking down Long Beach Boulevard, it’s all of the mini-golf options there are. While LBI is a kid-friendly town and there are often families that enjoy the mini-golf spots, we all know it’s a fun activity for adults, too. Check out Sand Trap Mini Golf, Flamingo Miniature Golf Course, Surf City Island Golf, Hartland Golf + Arcade, and more. We rounded up some of our favorite down the shore mini-golf courses here.

Barnegat Lighthouse | 208 Broadway, Barnegat Light

When you’ve head enough sitting around on the beach, head north to stretch your legs at Barnegat Lighthouse where you can climb the stairs all the way to the lightkeepers catwalk. On a clear day, you can see Atlantic City from the top.

Where to Shop

Bay Village | 830 N Bay Avenue, Beach Haven

Right across from Schooner’s Ward is Bay Village with all your seaside shop favorites: fudge, saltwater taffy, logoed apparel, a bakery, a brewery, Country Kettle Chowda, and ice cream. It’s great for a rainy day or when you’re looking for a break from the sun.

The Dune Market | 414 N Bay Avenue Unit D, Beach Haven

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The Dune Market just opened this summer and is actually owned and operated by former Hobokenites. The Dune Market sells books, home decor items, and self-care apothecary products. Be sure to say a hello from Hoboken if you visit.

Island Gypsy | 901 N Bay Avenue, Beach Haven


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Boho chic clothing and accessories literally fill this store to the brim! You almost need to go back every few days in order to take it all in and see the things that you may have missed on the previous visit.

Schooner’s Warf | Schooner’s Wharf, 325 9th Street Unit 24, Beach Haven

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Schooner’s Warf is your ultimate LBI shopping destination with a wide variety of shops that include LBI-themed apparel, Yuletide Christmas shop, surf shops, home decor, jewelry, coffee, sweets, and more. You can easily spot this shopping destination by the large boat that’s part of it.

See More: Top Things to Do in Belmar, New Jersey

Surf City 5 and 10 | 411 Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City

We love a good 5 and 10. This shop in Surf City has practically everything. Any beach apparel, LBI gear, souvenirs, games, books, some household necessities, and hilarious practical joke gag gifts can be found here.

Viking Village | 1801 Bayview Avenue, Barnegat Light

Viking Village is an adorable little outdoor shopping area up on the north end of the island. Not only is there a little market to shop for groceries as well as a fresh fish market, but there’s also a lot of local shops + boutiques to shop for clothes and souvenirs. Plus, there’s a How You Brewin for some delicious coffee while you browse (just be careful not to drop a coffee while in a shop… we speak from experience!).

How to Get Around


Biking here is super easy with most of the quiet back streets offering bike lanes. There’s no shortage of bike shops and with the ease and convenience of biking, you almost don’t need a car (except to get from Hudson County to LBI).


Pretty much everything on the island is accessible via Long Beach Boulevard. There’s a lot of street parking in main towns (just be sure to look out for signs in general). The island is super strict about following the speed limit, so just be careful to abide by the limit (it’s usually 35 mph in most places).

LBI Shuttle

Minibusses cruise the boulevard from day to night, going from one end of the island to the other. The coolest part about the shuttle is that it’s free to riders and there is even a mobile app that will tell you if another shuttle is nearby. This greatly alleviates the hassle of parking during the high season.

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