Barnegat Light: "High-End, Kick-Ass Mini Golf" and Real fishermen at Viking Village
Barnegat Light takes its name and so many other attributes from Barnegat Light State Park that's it's easy to think of them as one and the same. Barnegat Light Borough, however, is its own beach town with unique attributes to Long Beach Island.
Widest beach on LBI
Barnegat Light's beaches benefit from the continual efforts by the state and federal governments to maintain the Barnegat Inlet that separates Long Beach Island from the Barnegat Peninsula. Over hundreds of years, the jetty was built further and further east into the ocean. Most recently in 1940, the present-day jetties were constructed with massive rocks and concrete. The materials for both the south and north jetties were trucked through what is now Barnegat Light.
The benefit of the southern jetty to locals was the creation of wide, sandy beaches, plus an extensive protected wildlife area. On LBI, the beach seems pleasantly removed from the beaches along the dunes. At low tide in particular, the beach is very walkable especially for families.
Jens Links at LBI - Best mini-golf at the Jersey Shore?
Well worth the drive to tip of the island is nautically-themed Jen’s Links at LBI. Glenn Lynn of Harris Miniature Golf, the industry leader in mini-golf design, describes it as a “high-end, kick-ass course” overlooking Barnegat Bay. The two 18-hole courses feature holes played through a shipwreck, next to rushing waterfalls and cliffs and through caves and caverns. It’s only $3 more to play 36 holes so hand around do both courses.
Viking Village where the real fishermen are
Stop over in Viking Village along the bay in Barnegat Light to see gritty commercial fishing vessels hauling in cod, monkfish, skate, tuna, swordfish and mahi mahi. Don't be surprised if the fish served in LBI restaurants was hauled directly over from Viking Village that day. Free tours are offered on Fridays at 10 am from July 9 to September 3, but it's more an ad hoc tour rather than a slick Disneyland-view of fishing.
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Don't let anyone tell you LBI is18 miles long
The conventional wisdom is that LBI is 18 miles long. But apparently this notion was begun by the road crews who paved the first road from Old Barney to Holgate to the south. As measured by the concrete road from Old Barney parking lot to Holgate, LBI is 18 miles.
In Barnegat Light, using a simple online pedometer tool, you can see that walking the beach from the jetty to 30th Street along the beach is considerably longer than driving from the northern most point to 30th Street. It's already more than 18 miles long, and that's not accounting for the three miles of the coastline at the southern tip along the Edwin Forsythe Wildlife Refuge.
Let's give LBI it's due -- it's at least 21 miles!
History of Barnegat Light
Like much of LBI, the town's growth didn't start until the 20th century. In 1904 the area known as Barnegat City seceded from Long Beach Township. The name Barnegat City remained for another 44 years until 1948, when voters approved changing the name to Barnegat Light.
Tips for Visiting Barnegat Light
What's New: Nothing major to report.
Access and Parking: The only route to the the borough is on Long Beach Boulevard. Entering the borough at 30th Street, the boulevard becomes Central Avenue. Parking is free throughout the Bureau. Cars aren't permitted to park on Central Avenue.
Amenities: On 7th Street, there are public restrooms at Borough Hall and the Pavilion.
Beaches: Beach badges are required daily from June 18 to Labor Day for people 12 years and older. Full season badges are $40 and $12 for people 65 years and older. Weekly badges are $22. Daily badges are $5. There is no cost for people 11 years of age and under. Badges can be purchased in advance with the Viply app or on site at 11 Street.
For beach patrons between 4th St. & 9th St. the Borough offers a Beach Tram service. The tram picks up beachgoers on each street end, on the beach and takes them to the lifeguarded area between 9th St. & 10th St. It operates the same hours as the lifeguards, 10:00am to 5:00pm, it does not operate from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Last pick-up to leave the beach is around 5:00pm. The tram is free, however all passengers (over 11 years-old) must have a current beach badge.
Follow Jersey Shore author and expert R.C. Staab as he recounts his 2021 walk of every beach along the 139 miles of the Jersey Shore coastline from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Read all updated stories at www.JerseyShoreWalk.com.