Updated: Jul 13, 2021
On the northern section of Long Beach Island, Harvey Cedars is more like a village than any other area. It's one of the few northern areas beyond Surf City where a person can stop, park and have a choice of a half dozen restaurants. The Harvey Cedars dining and shopping area is only three blocks long from 78th to 81st Streets, but it beats having to get in the car and travel through LBI's slow summer traffic.
(From the vantage point of the beachfront or boardwalk, this is a breezy overview of what you see, where to park and beach access, plus a bit or history and the latest happenings. See map below.)
Long Beach Island Fishing Club
Driving or walking along Long Beach Boulevard, a person can't help but notice a half-acre lot on which sits a squat building with a tall tower. It's easy to imagine that the structure must have been built to capture a perfect view of boating activity on the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay. In 1901, this simple white building was built as the second Life Saving Service, the forerunner for the U.S. Coast Guard. Even with Old Barney standing guard at the Barnegat Inlet, the government built six lifesaving stations on Long Beach Island, focused more on fishermen and boaters than families jumping around in the surf.
With more modern equipment in the mid 1900s, the building was decommissioned and was bought by the Long Beach Island Fishing Club. The building's maritime tradition continues.
The Fishing Club sponsors a major surf-fishing tournament in the fall.
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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 set the record straight and let people know LBI is 21 miles!
Where Harvey Cedars gets its name
When you first read or hear of Harvey Cedars, you might image the community is named after a person like Loveladies is named for Thomas Lovelady. But Harvey Cedars' name is derived from the description of an activity related to the cedars that once grew on the island rather owing to the European or American settler who helped 'found' the area. A 1751 deed of the area references "harvest quarters." The assumption is that some of the first settlers harvested cedars. Eventually the area became know as Harvey Cedars.
Tips for Visiting Harvey Cedars
What's New: Nothing major to report.
Access and Parking: To reach Harvey Cedars head north on Long Beach Boulevard. Don't try to make any sense of the numbered streets. Going north from Route 72, the streets start around 9th Street, skip up to 124th Street and then rebound to numbered streets from 68th to 87th streets in Harvey Cedars. Parking is free.
Amenities: No restrooms are at the beach but are available at Sunset Beach and Borough Hall.
Beaches: Beach badges are required daily from June 26 to Labor Day for people 12 years and older. Full season badges are $45 for this age range and $12 for people 65 years and older. Weekly badges are $20. Daily badges are $7. There is no cost for people 11 years of age and under.
This spring, summer and fall, follow Jersey Shore author and expert R.C. Staab as he walks the entire 139 miles of the Jersey Shore coastline from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park, the length of Long Beach Island from Old Barney to the Edwin Forsythe Wildlife Refuge, from Brigantine to Cape May.
Next stop: Surf City on Long Beach Island at Jersey Shore Walk Mile post 57. See profiles of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, Island Beach State Park and every beach and town on the northern part of the Jersey Shore at www.jerseyshorewalk.com