Want to live like a local during your next beach vacation? Do you want to enjoy the features that LBI residents love most about the island? This list will guide you to experience the authentic side of Long Beach Island and become part of the community during your stay.
Live like a local (not a tourist) when you visit LBI
1. Stay in a less touristy part of LBI
The last place in LBI you’d want to end up is a resort or other tourist destination.
Avoid the cluster of hotels at the south end of the island and pick one of the hotels in upper Beach Haven or nearby in LBI Township. The further north you go in Long Beach Island, you will find more residents and more year-round businesses.
Book your reservation at a hotel that is slightly outside of the tourism hub so you can experience the more peaceful, authentic side of LBI.
Remember: the goal is to do LBI like the locals.
2. Enjoy LBI’s local cuisine
LBI is full of delicious, locally sourced seafood and mom-and-pop breakfast spots. Most LBI eateries provide outdoor seating, so take advantage of it! Enjoy your meal in the salt air and sunshine and observe the activity around you. Take a few pictures if you want to, but try to connect deeply with your senses and take it all in.
Beer enthusiasts should drop by Ship Bottom Brewery and taste the locally made ales. Each variety is inspired by a part of Long Beach Island and is hand crafted in LBI.
3. Read LBI’s local newspaper
LBI’s local news is circulated through The Sandpaper, southern Ocean County’s newsmagazine. Pick up a copy to read opinion articles, local news, and learn about the arts and local sports teams.
4. Volunteer with the locals in LBI
Alliance for a Living Ocean (ALO) brings LBI locals and visitors together who are willing to help cleanup the community’s beaches. Groups of people are organized and placed in areas of LBI that need attention.
Volunteers may paddleboard to collect trash from the ocean or rake through sand to remove garbage. Kids and adults are encouraged to help. It’s a rewarding way to spend time in the sun and the volunteers get a free tee shirt.
Another LBI environmental organization is ReClam the Bay. ReClam the Bay focuses on educating people on the importance of water quality and the impact shellfish population has on the ecosystem.
ReClam The Bay provides volunteer opportunities for people willing to help maintain the clam nurseries. The door is also open for those who want to explore their activities and learn more about their purpose.
5. Befriend an LBI-based captain and spend the day at sea
If you enjoy boats, you could spend a very fulfilling day out at sea. Charter a boat with a captain in Long Beach Island. There are trusted, licensed captains who will take you and your family on 3-hour tour, a full day tour, or for an overnight stay in a sleeper
Whether you want to go fishing or on a sightseeing cruise, chartering a boat in LBI is affordable and makes for a very rewarding experience.
6. Catch and cook your own LBI seafood
LBI is very accessible for fishing and crabbing, because there are several places on the island to cast your nets and rods. You can use public docks on the bayside or in the ocean.
Crabbing is an easy and exciting activity to do with your kids. Crabs are most active before breakfast or in the late afternoon. Catch your own crabs or fish and cook an LBI-style meal that your family will remember.
Note: Licenses are required for crabbing, clamming, or commercial saltwater fishing. View current requirements for fishing in LBI at NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife.
7. Take a lesson from a local pro in LBI
Want to tap into your inner surfer? If you’ve always wanted to try surfing or wakeboarding, this would be your perfect opportunity.
Virtually all LBI surf shops are owned and operated by experienced watersports professionals, and many of them give private lessons upon request. Sign up for lessons and rent equipment so you can develop new skills on the water!
If you really catch on, you might even buy your own board for next summer so you’ll be ready to ride the waves just like the locals do.
8. Find a yoga studio in LBI
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an advanced yogi or if you have never tried yoga before. Yoga is a relaxing activity that helps relieve the mind and loosen up the muscles. This is a great way to begin your vacation and get you into an LBI local state of mind.
Go to Yoga Bohemia in Long Beach Island Township and drop in for a session in the studio. You can enjoy an hour of calming release for right around seventeen bucks. Some instructors host classes on the beach to observe the natural setting while practicing your poses and improving your posture.
9. Visit the docks in Viking Village, LBI
Commercial fishing is a big industry in Long Beach Island. Tour the docks at Viking Village and learn how the residents make their living. Viking Village is located in Barnegat Light- the northernmost part of the island. Tours are free and they will give you an appreciation for the hard work and dedication of a fisherman.
The docks are also a nice place to hang out for the seascapes and the sunsets. You might want to sketch or paint and explore the nautical inspirations. Stretch your artistic side to create a personal keepsake inspired by the water, horizon or aquatic animals.
10. Browse some LBI houses for sale
If you love feeling like a local in Long Beach Island, the island may be a good place for you. Drive around your favorite parts of the island and locate sale signs. You can find realty information online if you are thinking about moving to LBI. When living like a local feels so good, you might want to make a long-term transition.
Even if moving is out of the question, consider going to an open house and get in touch with your inner Long Beach Island local side. It doesn’t hurt to daydream and it’s YOUR vacation!
Insider Tip: You can find more local-friendly things to do in LBI, and explore the nonprofits and historical parts of the island. For ideas, pick up your Passport to LBI at the Chamber of Commerce, LBIF or one of the museums.
Become a Long Beach Island local for the duration of your stay
LBI’s beach town residents are generally easygoing and the culture of LBI has a relaxed, carefree personality.
Ditch the busy itinerary before you start your trip and enjoy Long Beach Island by becoming one with the island and one with the local community. Let yourself evolve into an LBI local and enjoy your beach vacation to the fullest extent!