We are fortunate to live just over an hour driving distance to many shore points along the Jersey coast.
As children, and long before the casinos came on the scene, our parents took us to Atlantic City or Wildwood. When our girls were growing up, we headed to family friendly, Ocean City.
I had never been to Long Beach Island and John remembers visiting only a couple times as a young boy. So early Saturday morning, we headed east to check out this 18-mile barrier island also known as LBI. The only access point to the island by land is a single causeway over the Manahawkin bay. This bridge heads right in to the center of the island. On this visit, we turned left off the bridge to explore the northern half of the island that includes the Barnegat Lighthouse as well as several trails filled with native foliage and a beautiful jetty constructed in the 1990s.
The site of Barnegat Lighthouse on the northern tip of Long Beach Island in Ocean County was regarded as one of the most crucial "change of course" points for coastal vessels. Vessels bound to and from New York along the New Jersey coastline depended on Barnegat Lighthouse to avoid the shoals extending from the shoreline. The swift currents, shifting sandbars, and the offshore shoals challenged the skills of even the most experienced sailor. The park is included as a maritime site on the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail.
The beloved Barnegat Lighthouse is shining again, as it was illuminated on January 1, 2009 - exactly 150 years to the day that it was originally lit in 1859. Thanks to the Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse, the nonprofit group dedicated to preserving and promoting the park, funds were raised to purchase a new Coast Guard-approved lens. The new light creates a single beam that can be visible for up to 22 nautical miles. In 1927, the original lens was removed, and was replaced by a lightship anchored off the coast of Barnegat light. The original lens is still on display down the road at the Barnegat Lighthouse Historical Society's Museum.
John looking out over the bay
Here by the jetty the humidity was low but it was still hot and breezy.
After strolling around the lighthouse, we drove to a pizza place for a bite and then headed to the beach.
a selfie on the beach
The island is about a half-mile wide at its widest point in Ship Bottom, and spans a fifth of a mile at its narrowest point in Harvey Cedars. The photos below show how narrow the island is, sitting on the same bench looking at the ocean and turning back to look at the bay.
We saw a really cool vehicle called Tesla Model S.
...and just before heading home, we shared a refreshing vanilla soft serve with pineapple topping!