LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ
Long Beach Island (LBI) is connected to the mainland of New Jersey by a four-mile causeway; so many visitors do not realize they actually are at sea on one of the state's most popular beaches and its longest offshore island. This area loves festivals, so you might want to check out the annual calendar of events at www.OceanCountyTourism.com to see if there is something of particular interest.
DAY ONE - on the way
Visit at the estate LAURITA WINERY in New Egypt. Two massive barns have been reconstructed to house a European-type cafe, gourmet cheese bar, tasting bars, a gift shop and there are free tours on the vineyards. Next is a stop at the JACKSON PREMIUM OUTLETS and 70 stores filled with bargains.
Visit the TUCKERTON SEAPORT, a one-of-a-kind attraction that is dedicated to preserving & interpreting the rich maritime history, artistry, heritage & environment of the Jersey Shore. It offers a wide range of exhibits from lighthouses and folks art, to antique decoys to the new New Jersey Surf Museum which features antique, classic and modern surfboards and surfing paraphernalia.
Chances are there will be a festival or special activity on the schedule which can be an Antique Boat Show or a Jazz and Blues Concert or a Wine Festival.
Select your accommodations which can range from the mainland's Holiday Inn Manahawkin/LBI with its swimming pool and the Inn at Sea Oaks Country Club with its golf course or on the island at the Engleside Inn on the ocean front or B&B's which range from historic Victorian to upscale modern.
Today we'll explore the 20 miles of LONG BEACH ISLAND. At its northern tip is the majestic red and white BARNEGAT LIGHTHOUSE, among the tallest in the nation. You might climb “Old Barney,” a New Jersey icons, or if climbing is not your cup of tea, enjoy the unique “view from the top at the bottom” made possible by camcorders and a monitor at its base, walk along the ¼-mile jetty to where the ocean meets the bay and look for area waterfowl which frequently pause in the area on their flights along the one of the four major flyways in the country, stroll through the MARITIME FOREST, or learn about the lighthouse history in the interpretative center with its displays. Near-by is the one room school house that has been converted to the Barnegat Light Museum and houses the 1,000 plates of the lighthouse's original Fresnel lens. Enjoy the Edith Duff Gwinn gardens with its walkways, cozy hideways, antique pieces and prize worthy flowers.
Visit the U.S. COAST GUARD STATION to learn about SINBAD, the canine who was the most famous World War II mascot and the SURF MEN, the only unit in New Jersey of the highly skilled coasties trained in ocean rescues.
Next is VIKING VILLAGE, home to the commercial fishing fleet, some of whom have been stars on Discovery Channel's "Swords - Life on the Line," Emeril Lagasse's show, and the George Clooney movie, "Perfect Storm." Antique fishing shacks have been converted to boutique shops. Summer Fridays, a commercial fisherman will take you on a free behind-the-scenes tour of the docks which are home to one of the largest suppliers of fish and seafood on the eastern seaboard. Enjoy a fresh seafood box lunch (alternate choices available) from the on-premises restaurant & seafood market, “OFF THE HOOK." You can't get fresher seafood unless you eat it on the boat.
Return to your hotel or inn to take a short break and freshen-up for the evening’s entertainment.
Your next stop is VICTORIAN BEACH HAVEN on the southern end of the island. You’ll have time to explore, perhaps taking a walking tour of the Victorian inns, stop at the FANTASY ISLAND CASINO ARCADE where you can play games of chance for lovely prizes or shopping at the nautical Bay Village or Schooner's Wharf where you can shop in the belly of a reconstructed tall ship. Enjoy dinner at one of the island’s restaurants which range from informal fun to upscale fine dining with a water view. Then it is off to enjoy a show at the professional SURFLIGHT THEATRE. The award-winning venue is temperature controlled and every seat has an unobstructed view with plenty of legroom. Throughout the summer, they feature Broadway musicals nightly except for Mondays. Afterwards, there is time for Show Place Ice Cream Parlour where you get a musical review for the price of a sundae.
Spend all or part of your day at Six Flags in Jackson, home of the largest regional theme park in the nation with three distinctly separate parks: Great Adventure with its rides and shows, Wild Animal Drive Through Safari,the largest of its type outside of Africa and Hurrican Harbor Water Park.
ALTERNATE CHOICE #1. Spend the day on the beach at Seaside Heights with mile long boardwalk filled with shops, restauarnts and amusement rides, including one of the few remaining antique carousels, then take a luncheon cruise aboard the River Lake paddle wheeler in Toms River.
ALTERNATE CHOICE #2. Spend the day on the beach at Point Pleasant Beach with its boardwalk and the Jenkinson’s Aquarium where you will see local fish in action. Antique shops where stars and movie staffs do - at the Antique Emporium featuring 100 indepedent dealers under one roof.
BEYOND DAY THREE
Ocean County is centrally located and in an hour-and-a-half you can see a Broadway show in New York City ot visit historical Philadelphis or tour the state capitol in Trenton or take a chance at one of Atlantic City's casinos.
Enjoy a vacation in the seashore tradition.
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Jersey Shore tourism & sightseeing