Nathan Colmer | The Van Dyk Group
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Long Beach Island, or "LBI" as it is known by the locals, is a beautiful barrier island off the southern coast of New Jersey. The area is known for its white sandy beaches, family friendly environment and close proximity to major population centers such as New York and Philadelphia. LBI is divided into 6 municipalities and further divided into small sections. Each area offers something different so it is important to know About Long Beach Island New Jersey LBI NJ before buying, selling or renting in the LBI NJ real estate market.
There is much to see and do on Long Beach Island New Jersey. Be sure to explore the area and all the local stores, restaurants and activities that are here for your enjoyment. Even in the offseason LBI has a lot going on from the annual Chowderfest to "Celebrate the Season" and a host of spring and summer events!
Most famous for the lighthouse that bears its name, Barnegat Light is the northern most town on LBI. You will find Viking Village, a collection of shops and the docking area for the LBI fishing fleet, large, almost untouched dunes and, of course, the famous lighthouse. Barnegat Light is one of the most peaceful areas on Long Beach Island and offered some of the best views in the area.
Once considered to be a worthless swamp area, Loveladies is home to some of the most expensive real estate on LBI. Loveladies offers many semi-private beaches, large estate type homes and exclusive living. The are gets its name from the original owner of the area, Thomas Lovelady and retains much of the original charm that first drew Mr. Lovelady to the area. Loveladies is one of the only areas left on Long Beach Island that can still offer entire tracts of unspoiled land from either Long Beach Blvd to the bay or Long Beach Blvd to the beach!
Harvey Cedars gets its name from the shortening of the original name "Harvest Cedars" named for the vast cedar swamps and trees that originally dominated the area. Here you will find one of the two US Life Saving Service stations, now home to the LBI Fishing Club, that still exist on Long Beach Island. Harvey Cedars was the second town on Long Beach Island to benefit from beach restoration which proved to be a worthwhile investment after Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the end of October 2012.
North Beach is home to a quiet and commercial undeveloped area of LBI. You will find many quiet streets and wide beaches in North Beach. North Beach has exclusive lanes that offer private access to the beaches and the bay with limited access by the general public. Many of the lots are larger than normal on LBI with the average size being about 100x100 adding to the charm and privacy of the area.
Surf City is a popular destination for summer visitors. It is the widest developed section of Long Beach Island with a point of land stretching into Barnegat Bay. Surf City was also the first beach to receive beach replenishment on LBI making for some of the widest beaches on the entire Island. Surf City showed its strength during Hurricane Sandy thanks in part to the natural width and the large beaches. The northern section of Surf City tends to be more residential whereas the southern end has more stores and attractions. Dogs are not permitted on the beaches of Surf City at anything throughout the year.
Ship Bottom is the first town you enter on LBI when coming over the Barnegat Bay Bridge and therefore earns the distinction of being the gateway to LBI. There is much speculation as to where Ship Bottom earned its name however two popular stories prevail. The first states that an unknown ship capsized just off the shore. When rescuers got to the wreck, they found that all were lost except for an immigrant woman who was heard banging on the bottom of the doomed ship. The story goes that the town took its name from here miracle of survival. The second story says the town name came from the Italian bark Fortuna which was wrecked on the shore of Ship Bottom. An image of this ship is found on the official town seal and the anchor is in front of town hall. Ship Bottom has many local attractions such as golf, ice cream and shopping. Ship Bottom is a wide section of LBI with a somewhat higher density of homes in the area.
Brant Beach is the most narrow section of Long Beach Island however it offers some of the widest beaches thanks to a recent beach replenishment. Some bayside homes are, in fact, closer to the beach then some Oceanside homes in other parts of the Island! Brant Beach is mostly residential with a few restaurants and hotels scattered throughout. Brant Beach is a must see by those looking to have a home close to the beach yet still within their budget!
Beach Haven Crest is a small section of Long Beach Township modeled closely after Brant Beach. There are a few small stores and restaurants in this 8 block section. The overall elevation of Beach Haven Crest tends to be lower and the area is therefore subject to local street flooding during heavy rains. Beach Haven Crest offers some very affordable homes within walking distance to the beach and many attractions!
Peahala Park takes its name from the old Peahala Gunning Club, a old social establishment for visitors to LBI from Philadelphia and surrounding areas who enjoyed hunting and fishing. The name "Peahala" is an old Native American term whose meaning has been lost for generations.
Beach Haven Park is a mostly residential area with the exception of the Acme super market and the Happy Skipper ice cream parlor. The area has wide beaches and saw the bulk of its development in the 1960's. Prior to Hurricane Sandy, Beach Haven Park was home to countless Cape Cod style homes, many of which have now been raised or rebuilt. The area offers a "beach" feel and is a charming area to live on Long Beach Island.
Haven Beach was developed during the 1950's and is know as one of the best areas on LBI. The area has very wide beaches, wide streets and a bulkhead under the dunes for protection against storms. There are a few local stores and restaurants as well as the Haven Beach Yacht Club which offers its members activities and a pool!
Development in The Dunes took two stages. The Oceanside was developed during the 1950's/1960's while the bayside was developed during the 1980's. The area is highly sough after and shares many attributes of Haven Beach. There are wide, beautiful beaches in The Dunes and a lovely bayfront area to watch the sunsets over the island.
Beach Haven Terrace is home to many stores, restaurants, ice cream parlors and a The Terrace Tavern bar. It offers a nice mix of quiet and relaxation with the option of having activities within walking distance. There is a life guarded bay beach with a gazebo to watch the beautiful LBI sunsets.
Beach Haven Gardens is a very residential area with a few restaurants and rental stores mixed in. It is a popular rental location due to the proximity of Beach Haven while still being removed from the activities themselves.
Spray Beach, like Beach Haven Gardens, is another popular rental destination as it too is located near Beach Haven while still offering a removed setting from all the excitement! The Spray Beach Inn and Restaurant area located here right on the beach which helps add to the attraction of the area.
Despite the name, North Beach Haven is actually a part of Long Beach Township. It borders with Beach Haven and jointly shares a life guarded beach with Beach Haven. The area has a few small stores but is mostly a residential area.
Beach Haven is the attraction hot spot on Long Beach Island. Beach Haven is home to Schooner's Wharf, Bay Village, Fantasy Island and countless stores, restaurants, bars miniature golf, a water park and family fun! There are a number of hotels, motels and rental properties as well as private homes. Beach Haven is known as the "hot spot" for fun and excitement on Long Beach Island but still offers many quiet, residential areas especially in the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club section of Beach Haven.
Holgate is the southernmost area of development on Long Beach Island. It is a part of Long Beach Township and is known for its quiet and laid back surroundings. There are large sections that have escaped development and therefore, Holgate is one of the most picturesque areas on LBI. These large, unspoiled areas can produce issues with flies that use these areas as a breeding ground so it is important to know the different areas of Holgate when looking to buy, sell or rent in the area. Holgate was particularly hard hit by Hurricane Sandy with major destruction however the area has made a great comeback!
The Forsythe Wildlife Refuge is located on the Southern extreme of LBI. This is a beautiful preserve and shows what LBI used to be 200 years ago. There are many varieties of birds and wildlife as well as seasonal fishing, walking pats and spectacular views of Atlantic City across the bay!
Beach Haven West is located directly across the beach from Long Beach Island. The area was developed predominately during the 1960's with houses very similar to those being built on Long Beach Island during this time period. Just about every house in Beach Haven West is situated on a lagoon making it popular for boaters. With the proximity to LBI and the cheaper prices, Beach Haven West is an excellent investment opportunity. Beach Haven West was hard hit in Hurricane Sandy but has shown amazing speed with rebuilding. The area is poised for major increases in value thanks to the overall improvement to the area.
Manahawkin takes its name from an old Native American term whose meaning has to do with the area being know for "good corn". Manahawkin is a year-round residential area that has exploded in recent years. The area has grown to incorporate new developments such as Ocean Acres and a variety of new stores such as Costco, BJ's and Best Buy to name a few.
Long Beach Island was first scouted during the late 1600's by Dutch explorers. The area was of special interest to them due to the intense wave activity and rough inlet in what is now Barnegat Light. In fact, the name "Barnegat" traces its roots back to this Dutch explorers as the word "Barnegat" is a rough translation to "inlet of the breakers."
LBI was a popular hotspot for the Philadelphia and New York elite during the 19th Century and only great in popularity with the installation of a direct rail line. The railroad still has its mark on LBI with the old cut outs for train stations visible in Brighton Beach, Brant Beach and Ship Bottom. This is why houses and businesses in these areas are set off the main road, Long Beach Blvd.
LBI continues to be a very popular resort with about 200,000 visitors annually during the warm summer months. This population explosion is makes the Island very different then the normal 15,000-25,000 residents who call LBI home all year long!