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Long Beach Island: Get More on the Jersey Shore   by Jennifer Weiss

Resting peacefully off the coast of New Jersey, Long Beach Island is composed of quant, quiet, and close-knit communities that offer a diverse selection of attractions to the summertime crowds. Whether you want to relax along some of the best beaches the Jersey Shore has to offer or simply explore the nature wonders of this enticing barrier island, this 18-mile stretch of pure bliss is sure to have you coming back year after year.

Although the towns on the northern tip of Long Beach Island are smaller and less populated compared to their southern counterparts, it is here that you will find the best attraction. At the forty-foot Barnegat Lighthouse, the second tallest lighthouse in the country, a climb up the 217 steps is always worth the effort for the breathtaking, panoramic views of Barnegat Bay, Island Beach, and Long Beach Island. While you are in the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, be sure to enjoy the fishing for striped bass, summer flounder, and numerous other species or a relaxing hike around the remnants of the last maritime forest on the island.

While a stop by the Barnegat Lighthouse should be at the top of every itinerary, the highly-rated Long Beach Island beaches are the main calling card of the area and simply cannot be missed. Since the Island is only a half-mile wide at the widest point, a visit to a town such as Harvey Cedars, Ship Bottom, and Surf City means you can enjoy either the Atlantic Ocean or the bay without much hassle. Swim, sunbathe, or surf in the ocean for a few hours and when you need a change of pace, a short walk across town will lead you to the fishing, swimming, and sailboarding opportunities of the bay.

For family fun and amusement away from the sandy shore, the Fantasy Island Amusement Park in Beach Haven is an excellent option with its arcade games, rides, games of chance, and live entertainment. The Ferris Wheel is a popular pastime and the nightly entertainment, which can include magicians and live reptile shows, is certainly worth coming back for. At the nearby Thundering Surf Water Park, you can enjoy more water-filled fun on the eight waterslides and the lazy river, or play a round of mini-golf on your favorite of the two available 18-hole courses.

On the southernmost tip of Long Beach Island lies Holgate and part of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, a 40,000 acre refuge that protects New Jersey coastal habitats and tidal wetlands along with designated wilderness areas. The Holgate Division spans two-and-a-half miles and is a protected wilderness area, meaning visitors can only view the amazing plant life and animal communities outside of the endangered piping plovers nesting season. Although it is only open from September to the end of March, the amazing wildlife viewing opportunities along one of only two remaining undeveloped barrier beaches in the state is an unforgettable adventure.

Long Beach Island is a natural wonder that is overflowing with gorgeous beaches and stunningly different communities. Whether you choose the busy town of Beach Haven with its entertainment options and bustling boardwalk or prefer the solitude and serenity of Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Island vacation rentals are conveniently located along this strip of paradise for a waterfront getaway to remember. Your Jersey Shore vacation is meant to be a relaxing affair, centered around the pristine sands and refreshing waters of the ocean and bay, and when you stay in Long Beach Island rentals, you get everything you always wanted and more.

To experience a vacation in a breathtakingly beautiful destination without giving up any of the amenities of home you are accustomed to, look into the many Long Beach Island vacation rentals that offer wireless internet, a washer and dryer, a fully-equipped kitchen, and plenty of space and bedrooms. After you stay in a cozy home away from home, you'll wonder how you ever considered a cramped and unwelcoming hotel room an ideal lodging option.

About the Author

GreatRentals.com has the most comprehensive selection of vacation rental homes on the Internet. For an alternative lodging option, consider Long Beach Island vacation rentals for your next trip to the Jersey Shore.

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