If your dream vacation includes a landscape of sun, sand and ocean fun, Beach Haven vacation rentals put you in the hub of family-oriented adventures. The entire island offers classic beach vacations where you can unwind with your family. Picture going to sleep to the rhythmic sound of the waves breaking on the shore and waking up to breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean at sunrise. This big little town is a slice of the 18 miles of paradise that is Long Beach Island with arts, shops, restaurants and fun for the whole family. To help you stage an epic vacation your way, here’s a list of the nine best Beach Haven vacation rental locations.

1. Beach Haven

water park surfing area

When you get to Beach Haven, feel free to drop the luggage just inside the door of your vacation rental and get the party started. There’s always the beach at your doorstep for surfing, sunbathing and swimming, but when the kids want some excitement, two amusement parks sit a block apart. Thundering Surf Waterpark features water rides, a mini golf course, and artificial waves that guests can ride on boogie boards. In early morning and evening hours, guests can participate in stand up flow boarding. Fantasy Island Amusement Park features amusement park rides, an arcade, finger foods and ice cream. The casino arcade features hundreds of games with prizes, including electronics and stuffed animals. Kids can get a beach bucket and shovel that holds their meal from Chef Gator’s Grill where the menu includes burgers and fries. There’s also an ice cream parlor that serves funnel cakes and ice cream.

2. Beach Haven West

jumping jet ski rider

Before you even reach the shore, the charm and friendliness of Beach Haven West draw you right in with it’s gorgeous Manahawkin Lake Park. Locals and visitors enjoy swimming, fishing, and kayaking in the lake, which employs lifeguards during the summer. The park includes picnic facilities under the pine trees and a children’s playground. When it’s time to rev up the action, you can head over to Route 72 Waverunner and Kayak to rent a wave runner for a wet and wild adventure. If you take the kids over to Beach Haven for a Black Pearl pirate ship cruise, they can dress up as pirates. The swashbucklers teach them how to talk, sing and dance like pirates. When you return to your vacation rental, they may talk like pirates well into the night.

3. Long Beach Township

gray dolphin

More than a stretch of coastline, Long Beach Township can be your personal vacation paradise. Picture yourself splashing in the surf, beachcombing or kicking back in a beach chair while those jangled nerves unknot. You can shower off the sand when it’s time to go shopping or set out for Atlantic City, less than an hour away. To get out on the water, take the family on a memorable dolphin-watching tour aboard one of the Black Whale passenger vessels, which also make Atlantic City casino excursions and offer private charter cruises.

4. Surf City

jumping scuba diver

LBI Parasail offers you a chance to soar high above Surf City for an adrenaline-packed thrill ride and panoramic views of gorgeous Long Beach Island, the ocean and sometimes even Atlantic City. To find out what’s underwater, pick up some gear and go scuba diving to explore the San Saba wreck. In 1918, she hit a German mine and sank within five minutes. Although the wreckage is scattered, divers can recognize the propeller and the boiler. For your convenience in getting around on the island, Surf Buggy Bike Shop rents bikes and buggies. You can stash yours in the garage of your vacation rental between uses.

5. Harvey Cedars

boat with blue sail

Harvey Cedars let you take outdoor adventures as far as you want with surfing, jet skiing, and parasailing. When it’s time to just hang out, you can always find a spot to bask in the sunshine, gather seashells or quietly collect your own thoughts. If sailing is your passion, Brant Beach Yacht Club offers sailing opportunities for beginners to experts, from learning to sail to participating in regattas. To relax with the kids closer to your vacation rental, Sunset Park by Manahawkin Bay includes picnic tables, a tennis court, a playground, a basketball court and public restrooms.

6. Loveladies

tall grasses beside the pathway

Loveladies is a small neighborhood located in the northernmost part of Long Beach Township, just south of Barnegat Light. Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences features concerts, adult classes in the arts, programs for children, and a nature trail. Art exhibits include photography, paintings, drawings, and ceramics.

7. Barnegat Light

blue sky and lighthouse

If finding a vacation rental that gives you easy access to wide streets for biking and walking, uncrowded beaches and a peaceful environment appeals to you, Barnegat Light fits the bill. One of New Jersey’s most popular destinations is Barnegat Lighthouse, State Park. Visitors can climb the lighthouse for panoramic views of the area, and night climbs occur during clear weather. The park also features picnic facilities, tennis courts, a skate park and a dog park. Viking Village is a collection of fishing shacks in which merchants offer gifts and collectibles, clothing, coffee, food and ice cream.

8. Ship Bottom

wind surfers at the sea

While windsurfing, focus on the board, sail, wind, waves and your body, which pushes stressful thoughts aside, leaving you mentally refreshed. Island Surf and Sail offers the surfboards, sails, masts and accessories you choose for your wet and wild adventure on the water. If your kids want to learn how to surf, LBI Surf Guru instructors offer lessons on the beach closest to your vacation rental. They teach beginners how to surf the gentle waves of the Atlantic.

9. Bonnet Island

pretty sand castle

Your vacation rental on Bonnet Island is about a 15-minute walk to the beach at Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island. Look for seashells, swim and help the kids build a sandcastle, or stretch out on your beach towel and work on your tan. For some boating adventures, head over to Causeway Boat Rentals for boats, skiffs or pontoons. Rentals include seat cushions, life jackets, fuel and crabbing scoop nets.