If you want the best public seat on Long Beach Island to view the ocean, head on over to the Long Beach Township's pavilion at 68th Street. It's the only public viewing area along the 21 miles of Long Beach Island (see why it's not 18 miles below). It's also the headquarters for the beach patrol so there are restrooms and showers. And you can watch lifeguards practicing their lifesaving skills.
Looking across from the pavilion, you'll see Bayview Park which offers just that -- a good view of the Barnegat Bay.
(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.)
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Making sense of Long Beach Township
Long Beach Township's has four separate non-contiguous sections of the island: Loveladies, North Beach, Holgate and the focus on this story -- the mid-island beaches that straight for five straight miles. From north to south, you'll find the following beaches:
Beach Haven Crest
Beach Haven Park
Beach Haven Terrace
Beach Haven Gardens
North Beach Haven
All of these beaches can be accessed with a Long Beach Township beach badge.
Beach Haven to the south is a separate community with a separate beach badge.
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 Long Beach Island gets its name
Long Beach Island's name comes from its continuous 21 miles of beaches and dates back to at least the early 1800s. The township takes its name from the island. With the coming of the Pennsylvania Railroad trestle across Barnegat Bay in 1886 to Beach Haven, communities in this part of the township including Spray Beach, Beach Haven Terrace and Brant Beach were quickly established.
Tips for Visiting Long Beach Township from Brant Beach to North Beach Haven
What's New: Nothing major to report.
Access and Parking: To reach Long Beach Township's mid-island section from Brant Beach to North Beach Haven head south on Long Beach Boulevard. Starting in Ship Bottom, the streets use a numbering system until you reach 100th Street. However, the street numbering system in Beach Haven Gardens restarts with 36th Street and counts down to 2nd street in Beach Haven. As a result, just in this section of Long Beach Township, there are two 34th streets, two 33rd streets, etc. Parking is free
Amenities: The Pavilion at 68th Street has restrooms and showers.
Beaches: Beach badges are required daily from June 19 to Labor Day for people ages 12 to 64. Full season badges are $45 for this age range and $5 for people 65 years and older. Weekly badges are $20. Daily badges are $10. 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: Beach Haven on Long Beach Island at Jersey Shore Walk Mile post 54. 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