Best Kept Secrets of Long Beach Island
Long Beach Island is located about 25 miles north of Atlantic City. Known as LBI to the locals, only 8500 people call this area home during all 12 months a year. During the summer, however, the population increases dramatically when nearly 100,000 people descend on the boroughs and townships that make up Long Beach Island.
While there may not be many secrets among those who know Long Beach Island well, there are some things that outsiders who are considering a visit might find fun or useful.
Keep in mind that Long Beach Island is a favorite vacation spot for people of varying tastes and budgets. There are rentals to suit most budgets and there is always plenty to do.
You do not have to go to the tropics to find white sand beaches. Long Beach Island features several beaches where the sand looks like glistening sugar. While just a short drive from some other Jersey Shore beaches, you might feel like you are a whole world away.
You can pay a small fee to visit for a day or, if you will be in the area all summer, season passes are also available.
If you cannot imagine paying to go the beach when there are so many free beaches nearby, sticking your toes in that white sand just one time will change your mind.
There are several events held at Long Beach Island throughout the year. While most are held during the summer tourist season, the off-season has some special events as well. There are dinners, community yard sales, festivals and, perhaps the yummiest of events, a Chocolate Fair held each August.
New Jersey might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of spots to do wine tasting tours, but after a visit Long Beach Island might change all of that. There are several wineries in LBI, and some have unique specialties, such as cranberry wine. You can visit wineries year round, and bring home some of the cranberry wine for your holiday celebrations.
Like every town, Long Beach Island has its share of ghost stories and legends. Learn all about the ghosts that call Long Beach Island home by participating in the Ghost Stories Tour. A knowledgeable guide will lead you to some of the most haunted spots in New Jersey while telling the tales of those who have not yet moved on to the other side.
The Long Beach Island Museum is a source of great pride for those who call LBI home. During July and August, you can stop by the museum to hear a free lecture by one of a group of distinguished speakers. The topics vary. Some examples include discussions of wildlife on Long Beach Island, the shark attacks of 1916, summer on LBI in the 1950’s and many other interesting topics.
Holgate Wildlife Refuge
The Holgate Wildlife Refuge is part of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. This is three miles of hiking opportunities. It is also a chance to spot some wildlife. Bird watchers enjoy coming to the Holgate Wildlife Refuge to see Piping Plover, Black Skimmer and other species.
The hike that takes visitors to the spot where birds are most likely to be spotted is not open during the bird’s nesting season. Because the nesting season can change from year to year, it is a good idea to check with park officials for closure dates.
As mentioned above, the summer time is when the crowds descend on Long Beach Island. So that must be the best time to visit, right? Not for everyone! While Long Beach Island is certainly a summer hot spot that does not mean that you should rule out a visit during the winter months.
The beaches will still be there and, while it will be much too cold for swimming, some enjoy dressing warmly and strolling along a mostly deserted beach.
A beach front home that rents for thousands of dollars a week during the summer may cost as little as $750 a week in the off season.
Some of the restaurants and businesses that cater to tourists do close for the winter, but there are still plenty that operate year round.
A winter vacation to Long Beach Island just might be the area’s best kept secret. The few who vacation at LBI during the off-season surely want to keep it that way.