Long Beach Island
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Long Beach Island Brief History:
Situated about 4- 6 miles out from the mainland, Long Beach Island is an 18-mile long Barrier Island that was happened upon by Captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey in 1614. As Captain Mey sailed the Northern end of Long Beach Island, he noted very rough tides through the northern inlet. He named the inlet “Barendegat”, which means “Inlet of the Breakers”. This name has since been Anglicized to “Barnegat”. Because of the length of the island and the lovely beaches, island has been called Long Beach for the last several hundred years.
The tides of Long Beach Island were so strong that even today, the coast is dotted with many shipwrecks. A lighthouse was constructed in 1835, but its proximity to the water combined with storms and erosion caused it to fall into the sea in 1855. A new lighthouse at Barnegat, “Old Barney” as it is locally known, was constructed in 1859 and is still standing today. In the summer months, visitors can climb to the top for a vantage view of the island and further.
Back before there were roads, the only way to visit Long Beach Island was by boat. In 1886, a railway was constructed across the bay, which was subsequently destroyed by a storm. Today visitors without a boat can drive the causeway over Barnegat Bay to reach Long Beach Island. There is no public transportation to Long Beach Island.
Although Long Beach Island has over twenty separate communities, there are only about 20,000 year round residents. Both Beach Haven and Barnegat Light were developed as resort towns, other areas remained simply a place to relax and enjoy the ocean.
Long Beach Island remains the premier spot in New Jersey for quiet relaxation by the ocean. Since it is only a quarter mile wide, visitors are close to both the sea and the bay. Only one town on the island has an amusement area, and there is no boardwalk. Long Beach Island boasts some of the most naturally beautiful beaches on the east coast, as well as hundreds of boutiques and fine restaurants.