Long Beach Island sits along New Jersey’s Atlantic coastline and is home to several small townships, including historic Manahawkin and Beach Haven. This cozy barrier island is a popular family getaway destination that offers many Long Beach Island vacation rentals situated within minutes of the beach. Enjoy the numerous nature and wildlife areas, as well as amusement parks, museums, and more. Check out this top 15 list of fun activities to do in Long Beach Island.
1. Barnegat Lighthouse
The Barnegat Lighthouse is one of Long Beach Island’s most popular landmark attractions, located in Barnegat Bay State Park. Built in 1957, the lighthouse is open for tourists between April and October, and visitors are welcome to walk up to the top to take in the amazing views of the bay. The lighthouse sits 217 feet above sea level, and visitors climb 217 steps to reach the top.
2. Fantasy Island Amusement Park
For a fun day of roller coasters, big slides, bumper cars, and some of the “finest ice cream in all of New Jersey,” take the family to Fantasy Island Amusement Park. Located in Beach Haven, this family fun park has everything you need for a great day. Ride the rides, then enjoy a family pinball competition in the arcade. When you’re ready to recharge, head over to the snack bar for an ice cream cone and some good old-fashioned carnival food.
3. Tuckerton Seaport Maritime Village and Museum
Tuckerton Seaport is home to the Tuckerton Seaport Maritime Village and Museum, a working maritime village with historic buildings, exhibits, aquatic shows, and more. Take a five-mile trip across the bridge from Manahawkin and sign up for a walking tour of this amazing little town that’s rich in tradition and home to some of the friendliest folks in New Jersey.
4. Island Beach State Park
Island Beach State Park offers 10 miles of sandy shoreline, salt marshes, sand dunes, and lush forest areas. Pack up some fishing gear and do a little fishing along the shoreline with the family, enjoy an al fresco meal at the picnic shelter, or hunt for seashells along the sand.
5. Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
Enjoy a day among nature’s most beautiful creatures at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. Pack some water and snacks before leaving your vacation rental, and take a family hike along the nature trails, Bring a camera along to capture photos of whitetail deer, squirrels, wild turkeys, and an abundance of wild birds you may pass along your way.
6. Thundering Surf Waterpark
If your kids are up for a little adventure, have some fun at Thundering Surf Waterpark in Beach Haven. In addition to multiple twisty water slides, this attraction also offers a mini-golf course and a Flowrider surf station, where your kids can learn to surf in a high-powered wave machine.
7. Little Egg Harbor
Little Egg Harbor is a quaint and cozy township on Long Beach Island that was founded in 1614 and named for the eggs visiting Dutch sailors found in gull nests. Head into town to peruse the thrift stores and specialty shops along Mathistown Road, then stop for a sweet treat at Kohr’s Ice Cream.
8. Manahawkin Wildlife Management Area
For a fun day in nature, spend some time at the Manahawkin Wildlife Management Area. The area consists of miles of salt marshland and wooded areas along the coast, and it’s the perfect spot for birdwatching. Bring along some binoculars and try to spot osprey, seaside sparrows, American black ducks, and more.
9. Eagleswood Amusement Park
Eagleswood Amusement Park is located across the Manahawkin Bay in West Creek, so a quick trip over the bay bridge gets you there in under 20 minutes. Ride go-karts, play some mini-golf, or have a friendly competition in the batting cages. Kids have a blast on the Spin Zone bumper cars, and the park offers a full-service snack bar to keep you fueled up.
10. Forked River Beach Bay Front Park
For a fun day at the beach, head over to Forked River Beach Bayfront Park. Pack a beach bag and some snacks for the day, and relax in the sand while the kids play on the playground and splash around in the waters of the Manahawkin Bay.
11. Manahawkin Train Station Museum
Learn about railroad history with a visit to the Manahawkin Train Station Museum. Once a fully operating 19th-century train station, the building was relocated to Heritage Park in Manahawkin to preserve its architecture and history. The railroad tracks traveled through Beach Haven to Manahawkin and connected to the Pennsylvania line. Take the bridge from Beach Haven into Manahawkin and visit the museum, then enjoy a picnic or a leisurely stroll in Heritage Park.
12. Surflight Theater
For a fun night on the town with a touch of Broadway mixed in, take in a show at the Surflight Theater in Beach Haven. Past shows include “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Footloose,” and “Newsies,” and you can check the online schedule for current shows during your stay.
13. Black Pearl Pirate Adventure
If your kids are into pirates or you’ve got a grown-up pirate fan in the family, sign up for a Black Pearl Pirate Adventure boat tour. Board the Black Pearl ship with your family and enjoy an hour-long interactive cruise complete with games and costumes. Enjoy a cool drink while your little ones learn to talk and sing like pirates, and take part in a water gun battle when the crew spots their nemesis, Pirate Pete.
14. Long Beach Island Whale-Watching Tours
For some amazing views of the Atlantic and the opportunity to spot whales frolicking in their natural habitat, sign up for a whale-watching tour with LBI Boat Tours. The tour launches from Beach Haven, and the knowledgeable captain provides passengers with information about the local area, points of interest, and the whales that call the waters home.
15. Sweet Haven Candy Shop
For a sweet treat after a long day of beach fun, stop by the Sweet Haven Candy Shop in Beach Haven. With colorful candy options lining the walls and some of the sweetest staff members on the shore, Sweet Haven is definitely worth a stop. Browse the wide selection of candy, ranging from old-school circus peanuts to gourmet chocolates, and fill up a bag to snack on at your vacation rental. Have a seat and take in the festive atmosphere while you enjoy a chocolate-dipped waffle or a chocolate cinnamon bun.
Ready to go? Check out these amazing Long Beach Island vacation rentals on Tripping.com.