Island Life

Where I spend my time on "the island."

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For almost two decades, my family has been fortunate enough to have a beach house along the New Jersey coast. Quiet and known mostly for being a family destination, Long Beach Island easily became a second home to me with many of my childhood summers spent soaking in the sun. Now, with a little more control over my schedule I still find myself on the island at least two weekends out of the month.

Between the people and the places, the restaurants and mom-and-pop retail – it’s hard to find an imperfection along the fifteen mile island.

Here are my usual haunts while I’m on the island:

Ron Jon Surf Shop

You’re probably familiar with the name as locations sweep the east coast – as far down as Florida, and as far west as Alabama. But the one we’ve got is the first one (ever!) and it’s one of the first things you see after crossing the only bridge onto the island.

The Surf City Bay

Lucky me! The shore house faces north in a relatively clustered pocket of houses in a borough known as Surf City of the island. It’s quiet and couldn’t be any more packed with family getaway homes; most of which have found themselves passed down generation-to-generation. Out the door and just a few steps westward there’s an open lot of land and a small sitting area where people gather every night to watch the sunset – like the one above. (You’re probably familiar with the view from my Instagram stories.)

Scojo’s Restaurant

Scojo’s has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was twelve years-old when my grandparents moved into the Surf City house but for years my grandmother and I had been visiting the island to visit one of her closest friends. Each time we’d wrap our trip with a stop at the family-owned restaurant. Now it’s our favorite breakfast spot – if we can get a table. (Hour-long waits during the peak season? Eek!)

Daddy O’s

Daddy O’s is famous for …just about everything. While I’ve never {personally} stayed at the 22-room hotel, the restaurant and bar is a always a must-visit for me. I might get a little too excited every time I hear a trip to the bar is on the day’s itinerary. If you’re coming from the north end of the island you’ll find it on your way to our next destination…

Tucker Island Beach

On the very south end of the island there is a stretch of beach known as Tucker Island. More than a mile long, there are no roads or houses; just you, the sand, and the ocean. If you walk out far enough – like I usually do – it begins to feel like you’re stranded on an island all your own. (So make sure you’re in good company.) You can actually see Atlantic City in all its glory; at night the glow of the city lights are much more beautiful sight than daytime.

Barnegat Light

Iconically nestled on the northern tip of the island, Barnegat Light is a lighthouse that has been keeping captains safe since 1835. More than once I’ve met visitors who had come from outside the country just to see the lighthouse; each time being reminded of the spectacular things I tend to take for granted. (One came all the way from Australia!)

 

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