Occasionally, I get a new inquiry on renting at Beach House Retreats on LBI, NJ. The prospect renter tells me they usually go to ___ Beach. They then explain, they came across the house and area and thought they would try something new.
So Why LBI?
Long Beach Island is a long-time family-oriented Island. LBI is a slower-paced community compared to many beaches. The speed limits are low, the police are friendly, and the beaches are pristine. Local activities are geared toward family events, music, food, water events, and environmental awareness. The year-round here vibe is gathering good times. The island echo’s with family laughter and squeals of delight from little ones as they pile out of cars into their homes or set out for the beach. There are no noisy bustling boardwalks with the usual t-shirt & gift shops selling vulgar slogans. Also, there is no huge groups hanging out late at night in the shadows. LBI YouTube Videos: (https://vimeo.com/211732441) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENMZkDR-V0M) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx7XnEECe6U)
If you Love Mother Nature (LoMoNa), LBI has many great outdoor activities. You will be a true water bug after one vacation here. LBI makes getting your LoMoNa on easy. You can bring your own gear or rent it. So, what’s there to do? Fish, Crab, Surf, Kayak, Stand Up Paddleboard, Boogie Board, Snorkel, Scuba, Bike Ride, Boat Ride, Jet Ski, Hike, Shell Hunt, Walk and Jog. Between the Ocean, Bay and straight flat roadway the island is perfect for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Brighton Surf Shop (https://www.brightonbeachsurfshop.com/), Acme Bike & Sport (http://acmebeachandbike.com/), (https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-jersey/barnegat-lighthouse-trail)
The island moves at a slower pace in the offseason, but don’t overlook these seasons. There are still many places open and things to do. If you like to hunt seashells this is the time to find interesting shells and sea glass. I find there are many great photo moments from October through April. Fall is delightful with the migration of the Monarch butterflies. These Halloween beauties are everywhere. To get some colorful shots of them, go to Holgate and check the beach dunes of Goldenrod flowers. They will be taking a rest before their before heading south.
The shopping is great with the last of the clearance deals to pick through. Winter can have a roar or a sense of stillness. The crisp salt air and the thunder of the winter waves is a rush. If you are lucky to catch a timeline with snow it is silent and stunning. Watching the ocean waves lapping and spilling up to the tan and white snowline is a brilliant sight. Next place on your hit list should be the Barnegat Lighthouse. You will love the powdery snow-covered pines and the mystical photos and videos that can be taken there. To see the lighthouse at night in a snowstorm is mesmerizing. You may even want to get a nice shot to use for the holidays for the years to come. Spring into summer. We love getting first dibs on clearance sales in the Spring, and the shops are brimming with new art and beach wares.
The shops on LBI are Mom & Pop businesses. The merchandise is unique with personality reflecting the shop owners’ taste. We have many art galleries filled with local artists showcasing their labors of love stunning workmanship. I find the art on LBI to be fascinating and filled with history about the artist and LBI. Check out: Firefly Gallery (http://www.fireflygallery.org/), Gifted By The Sea (https://www.facebook.com/giftedbythesealbi/), Chick’s LBI Shop ( https://chickslbi.wordpress.com/), The Haymarket (https://haymarketlbi.com/)
Let’s talk about the food on LBI! YUM! Can you believe there are over 100 places to get something to eat on this tiny 18-mile-long island? Even in the offseason, there are approximately 40 restaurants open! So, finding flavorful fresh-caught seafood, a great cheesesteak, piled high burgers, or melt in your mouth steak options is a cinch year-round. Just want a quick app and a beer? The bars have many daily happy hour options worth checking out. We have great ice cream parlors, bakeries, and candy shops to fill a sweet tooth’s’ calling. Check out: Country Kettle Fudge (http://www.countrykettlefudge.com/), Lucille’s Candies ( https://lucillescandy.business.site/), Skipper Dipper (https://www.skipperdipper.com/), Crust and Crumb (https://www.facebook.com/CrustAndCrumbLBI/) (Ferrara’s Italian Bakery (https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Bakery/Ferraras-Italian-Bakery-120236621327219/)
Music and festivals make a big scene here. There are free concerts on the island almost daily in one of 5 town parks during the summer. These are so much fun, the adults get a chance to relax while kids make friends and play on the playground. You also have a chance at 2 venues to try some watersport activities on the bay. LBI festivals and Events seem to expand every year. The island has a fantastic draw on music, food, and sports events to entertain families. There is the Hop Sauce Fest (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qvxscc09BPI), Chowderfest, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09PNT2ZqIxc) LBI FLY International Kite Fest (https://www.facebook.com/WelcomeToLBI/videos/892701194268881/) and some gnarly Surfing Competitions Dude. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E2WQfEH4Dc)
A big appeal I find of LBI is the things for kids to do with or without their parents. There are several shops, art galleries, and other locations to take kids to be creative. They can take a class or do their own thing. I have several works of art my kids made as children on display, and some I use daily! I find this a great way to teach them about gift making instead of always gift buying. They can knock out birthdays, Mother and Father’s Day, and holiday gifts in an hour or two at these shops and classes. Teaching kids that recyclable materials can be repurposed in art is an excellent environmental lesson. Encouraging children to do fun, hands-on projects will help them be more resourceful as an adult. Art is beneficial in developing thinking skills and fine motor skills. Art helps as an outlet to express emotions and give us a better outlook on life. What a charming way for kids to express their love for others.
If you like Theater, The Surflight Theater is a must! Their plays and shows are top-notch. They have weekly options for both children and adults. There is not a bad seat in the house. After the show head next door to the Showplace forice cream and some unexpected fun! Check out: Creative Minds (https://livinglbi.com/e2/), MT Burton Gallery (https://www.mtburtongallery.com/), Paint a Pot (https://paintapotlbinj.com/), Surflight Theater (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOuS6UGAbU4)
The island has several playgrounds. Encouraging outdoor activities instead of video gameplay is easy when there is a playground right around the corner, not to mention a wide-open beach. When my children were young, we would do playground crawls when they got bored and needed to burn off some energy.
Mini golf is a great way to teach sportsmanship and enjoy all aged family time together. The Thundering Surf Water Park (http://www.thunderingsurfwaterpark.com/) has areas for all ages to enjoy a cooling-off period. The Fantasy Island Amusement Park (https://www.fantasyislandlbi.com/)has some ups and downs and arounds and rounds of fun. For a mind-stretching experience with a family of all ages, try the Escape Room. ( https://www.escapelbi.com/)
If you like to learn, check out our library for daily activities and events for the entire family. They have book signings, creative workshops, speakers and movies to enjoy. Spend some time at the LBI Foundation (http://lbifoundation.org/) for classes and events that are sure to please. If you love history, LBI has a few museums that unfold its past. Check out the NJ Maritime Museum, it is chock full of LBI’s greatest moments in time. This history has been meticulously collected by the owners themselves! (https://njmaritimemuseum.org/)
Once you’ve decided to check in on LBI, be sure to get The Sandpaper! You’ll find them on the Blvd. in the bright yellow newspaper boxes and online. (https://www.thesandpaper.net/) It is your lifeline to what will be happening during your stay. This paper is a wonderful resource and small-town fun. You will get the vibe of the island instantly when you read what’s going on, on LBI. Nightlife, coupons, calendar of events and articles of local adventures will keep you in the know while relaxing on the island.
LBI is filled with a family-friendly community looking to make your vacation a great one. Now that you know more about what we have to offer we hope you pick LBI as your new family vacation destination. Try LBI!