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Dreaming of sandy beaches and endless summer vibes?
Whether you’re a beach bum, a nature lover, or simply love coastal fun, Long Beach Island, NJ has something special in store for you.
Located along the coast of South Jersey, Long Beach Island is a picturesque barrier island renowned for its pristine shores, summer cottages, and laid-back atmosphere.
Stretching for 18 miles, LBI offers a wealth of activities, from swimming and surfing in the Atlantic Ocean to fishing and boating in the bayside waters.
If you’re looking to visit, we curated some of the best things to do in LBI that will keep you entertained during your beach getaway.
And in case you want a break from the outdoors, the island has quaint shops, restaurants — even art galleries and museums waiting to be explored.
So read on as we walk you through the ultimate Long Beach Island vacation.
Fun Things to Do in Long Beach Island, NJ
Time to dive into our ultimate list of things to do on Long Beach Island, New Jersey!
There are several towns and villages in the area, so we organized our recommendations starting from the southern tip of the island (Beach Haven) all the way to the north (Barnegat Light), making it easier for you to navigate and plan your perfect itinerary.
We included a few inland activities as well, located less than an hour’s drive away from LBI in case you’re looking for more stuff to try on your way home.
Fantasy Island Amusement Park
If you are looking for a classic theme-park thrill, make sure you head to Fantasy Island Amusement Park (750 N Bay Avenue, Beach Haven).
Fantasy Island is the only amusement park on Long Beach Island, home to entertainment ranging from carnival games to rides for adults and kids, to a 12,000-square-foot arcade.
In terms of things to do in Long Beach Island NJ, Fantasy Island is a fantastic first stop for visitors.
If you love iconic beachfront amusement parks, head to Wildwood to check out Morey’s Piers.
Thundering Surf Waterpark
For a day full of thrills and adventure, come to Thundering Surf Waterpark (300 Taylor Avenue, Beach Haven).
There are six types of theme rides, including six water slides, a lazy river, and water playgrounds for older kids plus another for toddlers.
With a wide range of waterpark activities, you could easily spend a whole day at Thundering Surf.
If you are looking for the chance to dress up a little and attend a play without leaving town, head to Surflight Theatre (201 Engleside Avenue, Beach Haven).
Originally established in 1950, this theater has served professional theatrical productions in Beach Haven to tourists and local residents alike for generations.
Attend this iconic historic theater throughout the year, with plays and musicals running in all seasons.
Long Beach Island Historical Museum
For a comprehensive introduction to the rich history of Long Beach, visit the Long Beach Island Historical Museum (129 Engleside Avenue, Beach Haven).
Originally founded by volunteers in 1976, this museum contains a vast collection of archival materials that tell the story of Long Beach.
The many-storied exhibits share the experiences of different people, businesses, and historic architecture all told through professional tour guides.
Uncle Will’s Pancake House
Every now and then, you need a heaping plate of pancakes and a side of bacon, and nowhere on Long Beach is more famous for exactly that than Uncle Will’s Pancake House (3 S Bay Avenue, Beach Haven).
For over 60 years, Uncle Will’s has provided crowd-favorite breakfast specials to the Long Beach area.
A local favorite is the Jersey Blueberry Pancakes, but there are many other unique flavors as well as other breakfast specials including French Toast and Eggs Benedict.
Museum of NJ Maritime History
Long Beach Island has a rich history of boating on the Barnegat Bay or up the Atlantic coastline, and the Museum of NJ Maritime History (528 Dock Road, Beach Haven) is an ode to its many stories.
Home to a fascinating — and steadily growing — collection of shipwrecks and other nautical artifacts, this museum will guide a visitor through everything from antique diving gear to US Coast Guard exhibits to items recovered from shipwrecks along the Jersey Coast.
There is also an extensive library and postcard collection featuring the popular local beach towns over the decades.
If you’re unlucky with the weather, this museum is one of the best things to do in LBI indoors!
Black Pearl Pirate Tours
For a truly unique LBI attraction, book a trip on the Black Pearl Pirate Tours (100 Northwest Avenue, Beach Haven).
The Black Pearl is an interactive cruise featuring professional actors that are also trained captains.
There are many cruise options, the most popular being the pirate excursion featuring costumed actors guiding guests through an interactive themed cruise out into the open ocean.
Other cruise options include a sunset cruise on the bay, the 4th of July fireworks cruise, and birthday packages.
Pearl Street Beach Pavillion
Whether you want to read a book, have a picnic, or simply take in the calming beach ambiance, the Pearl Street Beach Pavilion (S Beach Ave & Pearl St, Beach Haven) is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the ocean views.
You can also head here to witness the breathtaking sight of the early morning sunrise.
SBB Tiki Boat
Gather your friends and family and take a tropical vacation to the bay with SBB Tiki Boat (20 Southwest Avenue, Beach Haven).
Under the thatched-roof tiki top, there is a state-of-the-art sound system, full bar, and lighting system for sunset cruises.
This BYOB cruise is operated by certified captains and has a variety of options including the sunset cruise, brunch, and wildlife tour.
SBB Tiki Boat is one of the most unique things to do in Beach Haven, NJ, that you won’t want to miss!
For a true fine-dining experience, schedule a reservation at Stefano’s Restaurant (1814 Long Beach Boulevard, Long Beach Township).
Stefano’s is an Italian fine-dining restaurant featuring popular dishes including Chilean Sea Bass, Calamari, and Seafood Risotto.
Make sure you try their famous clam chowder, an award-winning dish deemed the best New England clam chowder in the entire world for three years!
Island Wellness Center
Sometimes, the beach scene can wear you down and what you would love most is a much-needed day of rest and relaxation.
Island Wellness Center (2 E 20th Street) provides serenity and peace, from yoga classes to massage therapists.
Give yourself the chance to unwind and refocus, and the rest of your vacation will be that much better for it.
Beach Haven Parasail
Glide through the clouds of Long Beach at Beach Haven Parasail (2702 Long Beach Boulevard, Beach Haven).
In addition to the standard thrill along the shore, there are also options for sunset cruises and dolphin tours further out from the coast.
Shore Brake Cyclery
Riding bikes along the beach is a classic Jersey Shore activity, and the best location for any and all cycling needs is Shore Brake Cyclery (3801 Long Beach Boulevard).
Shore Brake offers rentals and repairs, providing services to both newcomers looking for a ride for the week and to locals hoping for a quick fix to get them back on the boardwalk.
When you are looking for an authentic old-school dining experience, make a stop at Terrace Tavern (13201 Long Beach Boulevard).
Family-owned for over 40 years, Terrace offers a laid-back experience with acoustic live music and plenty of outdoor seating.
If you do try out Terrace Tavern, make sure to try their crab cake sandwich or lobster mac and cheese.
Bayview Park Beach
Looking for an LBI beach where you can spend a family-friendly day?
Bayview Park Beach offers a serene atmosphere and gentle waves, perfect for a relaxing swim and playful splashing.
You’ll find covered seating areas for picnics as well as a playground for kids.
If you’re up for some adventure, Bayview Park Beach also offers an array of thrilling activities like kayaking, surfing, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Prepare for an evening of high-energy entertainment at Nardi’s Tavern (Nardi’s Tavern, 11801 Long Beach Blvd), a great destination known for its good food with live music performances.
Whether you’re looking to let loose, sip on creative cocktails, enjoy delicious meals, or hang out with a friend, this is something to add to your list of things to do in LBI at night.
You can listen to a live band performing as late as 10 pm — just be sure to check performance schedules on their website to plan ahead.
But here’s the best part: when the party’s over, forget about transportation worries: Nardi’s Party Bus — the bar’s awesome courtesy service — has got your back, ensuring you get home safely while keeping the good vibes rolling.
Hartland Golf & Arcade
Hartland Golf & Arcade (2801 Long Beach Boulevard, Ship Bottom) is a must-stop visit among all the Long Beach Island activities.
With a beautifully maintained 18-hole golf course and an arcade full of carnival games and activities, Hartland has everything you need for a fun afternoon, rain or shine.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Sugar Kingdom (2210 S Long Beach Boulevard, Ship Bottom).
Sugar Kingdom is a colorful beacon along Long Beach Boulevard, offering an enormous collection of sweets including chocolates, gummies, and more.
This is an especially perfect place to be if you’re looking for things to do in Ship Bottom NJ with kids.
Let your child go wild with a big plastic scooper, or treat yourself to a well-deserved heaping bag of candy.
Wondering what to do in Surf City NJ?
If you’ve had enough body surfing for the day and want to try a more extreme water sport, rent or book a lesson at LBI Surfing (1301 Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City).
Kids and adults can rent equipment such as surfboards or paddle boards, and — for beginners — there are private and group lessons.
For newcomers who want to improve their skills and have a week of fun with fellow surfers, book a 3-day surf camp with a range of skill levels.
M.T. Burton Gallery
M.T. Burton Gallery (1819 N. Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City) is a multimedia art gallery featuring a diverse collection of art pieces made by local artists right here in Long Beach Island.
Browse and shop paintings, photography, sculptures, pottery, and jewelry all crafted by local artists.
M.T. Burton is a quiet and peaceful break from much of the noise of Long Beach, and a jewel amongst the many things to do in Surf City, NJ.
Harvey Cedars Bay Beach
Get ready to kick back and relax at Harvey Cedars Bay Beach!
With its pristine sands and tranquil surroundings, this place provides the perfect backdrop for sunbathing, leisurely walks, and taking in breathtaking ocean views.
Complete with public showers and a children’s playground nearby, this is absolutely one of the best things to do in Harvey Cedars, NJ to unwind and enjoy some quality beach time.
Black Eyed Susans
Black Eyed Susans (7908 Long Beach Boulevard, Harvey Cedars) is a high-end American eatery offering seafood dishes, pizzas, a selection of cocktails and wines, and a decadent dessert menu.
Local favorites include the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Pan-Seared Scallops, and a dessert menu that features items such as Brioche Bread Pudding and Frittelle Con Nutella.
If you are looking for the top restaurants in Harvey Cedars, Black Eyed Susans should be at the top of your list!
Viking Village, Inc
Viking Village (1801 Bayview Avenue) is a historic dock that has hosted fishermen and local vendors for over 100 years.
While still a seafood market and an active dock, Viking Village has also become a historic living museum with tours running year-round.
The space has been preserved to look and feel like a vibrant marketplace from the 1920s and offers the unique opportunity to tour and shop in a different era.
Poppy’s Ice Cream Parlor
Poppy’s Ice Cream Parlor (607 Broadway, Barnegat Light) is a hometown favorite for delicious frozen treats.
With indoor and outdoor seating that can accommodate over 40 people dining in, Poppy’s has historically been the gathering place for all things sweet.
Poppy’s menu is highlighted by local favorites like Smores and Cookie Dough, along with surprising twists like Blueberry Pie, Cinnamon Churro, and Nutter Butter.
LBI Luxury Charters
Relish in the luxury of a premier cruising option at LBI Luxury Charters (19 W 6th Street, Barnegat Light).
Book either a two-hour day cruise with a chance to swim in the bay if you like, or a BYOB sunset cruise that will guide you around Barnegat Light, making stops at Viking Village and Barnegat Light Harbor.
Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
A beacon on the northern tip of Long Beach Island, Barnegat Lighthouse State Park (208 Broadway, Barnegat Light) is a serene trip back to an older time.
Originally lit over 150 years ago in 1859, Barnegat has served a very important role as a guiding light for ships entering Barnegat Bay or navigating the coastline to and from New York City.
Stroll the protected natural beach, join a guided historic tour at the Interpretive Center, or climb the lighthouse for a beautiful panoramic view of the bay leading into the ocean.
Plus, this is also a great spot to catch the sunset in LBI.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing
For things to do near LBI, take less than an hour’s drive and have an adventure in the open water at Reel Reaction Sportfishing (106 Oregon Avenue, Waretown).
Book a fishing trip with a whole group, with nine different trips between three and six hours long depending on the destination and type of fish you’re seeking.
Living on the Veg
When you’ve had a week’s worth of Italian and seafood, Living on the Veg (657 E Bay Avenue Unit 3, Manahawkin) is the kind of low-key easy eating you need.
Living on the Veg is entirely vegan, sporting popular dishes including salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and more.
There are also many gluten-free options for you, including sandwiches and burgers on gluten-free bread.
Long Beach Island truly offers countless opportunities for a fun and memorable Jersey Shore getaway!
We hope this guide inspired you to plan your next trip — don’t forget to share your favorite experience in the comments below.
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