Sea Glass Hunting on New Jersey’s Best Beaches: Long Beach Island

Want to know what's so special about Long Beach Island? Besides its 18 miles of sun, sand, waves and sea glass, Its free and easy parking, and its maritime history that dates back hundreds of years ago? Grab your shades and your favorite flip-flops, it's LBI time!

All About the Beach

People have enjoyed the cool ocean breezes, white beaches and friendly laid-back seaside communities of LBI for centuries. The island has been continuously settled since 1690 initially being a destination for hunters. To the north of the island is Barnegat Inlet, which was an important path for freight shipments and whaling from the 17th century through the 20th century. 

One of the many beach entrances on to Long Beach Island beaches.

Where Do You Find Sea Glass

The island is basically split into North and South (of the 72) the bridge that brings you onto the island. There is the Bay side and the Ocean side. The Island is only about a quarter of a mile wide in most spots, so you're never very far from the open sea. I visited LBI for the first time just a few months ago with my new friend Jennifer (aka Second Chances in PA on Instagram). This was our third beach that day, so we only had about 30 minutes to spend on the beach hunting for sea glass. I could have spent the whole day just taking in the history and breathing in the sea salt air, however we both had kids to pick up plus the tide was coming in.  Thankfully it was just long enough to quickly find a few nice treasures along the shore. We simply turned left (North) onto Long Beach Blvd. then made a right onto 1st. Street, parking is freeeee.

Blue sky and waves on Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

My Happy Place!

I love the fact that in the summertime you can park and take the FREE shuttle service! The shuttles run across LBI, all summer long along 18 miles of the island. No need to spend half the day looking for a new parking spot while exploring. This definitely helps with getting into 'LBI time' just find a spot, open up your chair and crack open that book. Beach badges are required during lifeguard hours and can be purchased as a daily, weekly, or seasonal badge. The daily badge goes for between $5-8 depending on what beach you decide to enter. I tend to beach comb before or after hours and during the week, cuz I'm thrifty like that.

Brown sea glass in the sand on Long Beach Island, New Jersey.
Two ladies on Long Beach Island looking for sea glass on the beach with sand and ocean in the back ground.

Fun winter day sea glass hunting on Long Beach Island

What You Need to Know

  • A beach badge is required for beach access during lifeguard hours.
  • Enjoy fishing, surfing and swimming.
  • Street parking is free on LBI just mind the street signs, also there are free and pay parking lots on the island at several locations.
  • Hop on the shuttle and explore 18 miles of the island.
  • Dogs allowed on the beach from April 30 till October.
  • Home to the annual Sea Glass & Art Festival.
  • Climb Barnegat Lighthouse!
  • Museum of New Jersey Maritim​​​​​e History and an Fantasy Island Amusement Park.
  • Restrooms and showers at certain beach locations as well as in the shopping areas. 
Sea glass hunting bags in the sand with ocean waves in back ground.

Getting to Long Beach Island

Being new to the East Coast I really appreciated how easy the drive was from my home in South Jersey to LBI. I just took Route 70 to Route 72...easy peasy. Long Beach Island is a little under two hours from New York, an hour and a half from Philadelphia, and close to three hours from Delaware.

Have you visited LBI? What mermaid treasures did you find? Share your pictures and finds here!

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