9 Things to Do in LBI, NJ | Fun Long Beach Island Activities


Long Beach Island, or LBI as it’s fondly known in the local lingo, is the perfect spot for a relaxing beach vacation. Whether you’re a seasoned beach bum, a busy family, or a newlywed couple, the list of things to do in LBI, NJ, is extensive. 

This beautiful barrier island off the coast of New Jersey is known for its miles of pristine white beaches, quaint seaside towns, and abundance of watersport activities. So pack your sunscreen, a towel (and don’t forget your beach etiquette), and get ready for a fun-filled holiday in the sun!

Grass growing on sand dunes on LBI beach

Long Beach Island, NJ | Things to Do 

We’ve put together a carefully curated list that encompasses all the best things to do in Long Beach Island.

Catch Some Rays on One of LBI’s Beaches

Long Beach Island is home to some of the best beaches on the east coast. There are many to choose from, so you’re guaranteed to find one that suits your individual needs. 

Looking for a tranquil spot to stretch out with a good book? Harvey Cedars Bay Beach is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of some of the island’s busier beaches. Located in a quiet residential area, this is also a great neighbourhood to consider if you are looking to rent a beach-front vacation home. 

Man relaxing on the beach reading a book

Loveladies Beach lies just north of Harvey Cedars Bay Beach and is another of the more peaceful beach areas in LBI. With vast stretches of sand and surfable waves, this is also an excellent option for surfers.

If you’re looking for a beach to take the family to, then head down to Bayview Park. With a calm surf and playground nearby, this bay is terrific for families with young kids. Other family-friendly beaches include Beach Haven Atlantic Ocean Beachfront, Surf City Bay Beach and Barnegat Bay.

Little girl wearing floaties playing in the surf

Unfortunately, like all good things, access to LBI beaches comes with a bit of a price tag. Beach-goers will need to purchase badges to gain access to all beaches from June through to September (in-season). Beach badges start at around $5 per day, but you can find all the information you need here.

Make Some Waves with a Day of Water Sports

With so many beaches around, there’s no excuse not to try your hand at some water sports activities. Embrace your inner water baby and sign up for a surfing lesson at one of the many surf schools, or rent a kayak and explore the coastline. Test your balance on a SUP (stand-up paddleboard) or simply take a leisurely dip in the refreshing water. 

If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie, then wakeboarding, waterskiing and jet skiing are also popular choices. ​​Parasailing is another way to get your adrenaline pumping and view the island from a unique perspective! Soaring 250 ft above the ocean, you’ll experience breathtaking views and maybe even spot some dolphins!

Group of people carrying surfboards over their heads on the beach

Make a Splash at The Thundering Surf Water Park

Still wondering what to do in Long Beach Island? We can think of nothing better than spending a sunny afternoon at The Thundering Surf Water Park. 

Offering a host of different water attractions and slides, this park is sure to delight kids and adults alike. Children will love the Rainbow Rapids and Cowabunga Kids area, while adults may prefer to catch some waves at the Flow House wave simulator. This is definitely one of those must-do LBI activities!

Yellow and blue water slides at a water parkFill Your Belly and Shop ‘Til You Drop at Schooner’s Wharf

After a long day spent in the surf and sand, you’re bound to work up an appetite! Head down to the bustling Schooner’s Wharf and grab a cup of the famous seafood chowder, followed by some delicious homemade fudge for dessert.

Once your belly is full, there are dozens of boutiques and souvenir shops to satisfy your inner shopaholic.

Two women eating pizza and drinking wine in a busy restaurant

Chow Down at the Annual Chowderfest Festival

Long Beach Island is the Chowder Capital of New Jersey for a reason. This annual festival is a firm favourite in the local community and is a must-do for any visiting foodie.

Watch the area’s best eateries compete for the title of Best Chowder in the Chowderfest Cook-off Classic, and sample the fruits of their labour. 

Girls making chowder at the Annual Chowder Festival in LBI

Visit Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

Standing guard over Barnegat Bay is one of the most recognisable landmarks of Long Beach Island: “Old Barney.” This beautiful lighthouse dates back to 1859 and is still a guiding navigational light today. The beam of light is visible for an astounding 22 miles (around 35 km). 

Sweeping panoramic views over the surrounding bays await visitors at the summit of the lighthouse. Get your heart rate up by climbing the 217 steps to the top, or enjoy the views being conveniently live-streamed to a display screen at the bottom. 

Red and white Barnegat Lighthouse on LBI

If you are interested in learning the history of the lighthouse, The Barnegat Lighthouse Interpretive Centre offers an in-depth look into Old Barney’s story. 

Step Back in Time at the New Jersey Maritime Museum

Another terrific outing for history-lovers is a trip to the New Jersey Maritime Museum. This hub of nautical history boasts an impressive collection of artefacts from shipwrecks, rare documents, and antique maritime navigational equipment. 

A visit to the museum is the perfect activity for a rainy day and should definitely be added to your list of LBI things to do.

Antique divers helmet in a maritime museumFind Your Sea Legs on a Black Pearl Pirate Excursion

All hands on deck for this interactive pirate-themed boat tour! This is a superb and very popular option for families with children.

Board the Black Pearl and sail off for an immersive experience, where kids can dress up in swashbuckling buccaneer gear and learn some pirate lingo. 

Red pirate ship sailing into sunsetBlack Pearl Pirate Tours also offers more relaxing, adult adventures like their Sunset Cruises. Sip on cocktails and marvel at the spectacular symphony of colours dancing in the sky. We can’t think of a better way to end off the day.

Concluding Long Beach Island | Things to Do

Speaking of ending-off, that brings us to the end of our guide. We’ve covered some of the most exciting things to do in LBI. From splashing around in the surf, to playing pirate, you’re guaranteed to have a whale of a time in Long Beach Island.

We hope it has you feeling inspired to book a trip to Long Beach Island! For another fun US destination, check out this article on the best places to visit in Wyoming.

Matt Davison
Matt has done marketing for travel and tourism for over a decade. His first love is SEO, with entrepreneurship hotter on its heels than a girlfriend. When he is not looking up flights back to his next destination, you can find him in the garden, making excuses to walk Rusty, strategizing with the team and tinkering on sites until the early morning.