New Jersey : Safety by City
- Asbury Park
- Atlantic City
- East Orange
- Hamilton Township
- Jersey City
- Long Beach Island
- Mountain Lakes
- Mt. Laurel
- New Brunswick
- Red Bank
- Seaside Heights
- Toms River
- Upper Township & Ocean City
- West Orange
Long Beach Island, New Jersey, is a barrier island on Jersey’s Shore but still 20 miles as the crow flies from the MTV version of Jersey Shore in Seaside Heights.
The island is made up of six communities, including Long Beach township, which is the largest town.
Long Beach is made up of six individual neighborhoods:
- North Beach
- Brant Beach
- Beach Haven Crest
- Brighton Beach
The other five towns on the island are:
Barnegat Light: At the northernmost tip of the island, Barnegat Light is known for its historic lighthouse, charming bayfront area, and tranquil atmosphere.
Harvey Cedars: Located just south of there, Harvey Cedars offers a quieter setting with beautiful beaches and a relaxed beach town vibe.
Surf City: Positioned in the central part of the island, Surf City is a lively town featuring a mix of residential areas, shops, restaurants, and recreational activities.
Ship Bottom: Ship Bottom is known for its iconic wooden bridge connecting the island to the mainland. It offers a range of beachfront accommodations, dining options, and recreational facilities.
Beach Haven: Beach Haven is a vibrant and bustling town at the far southern end of the island known for its lively downtown area, amusement park, historic sites, and diverse range of shops and restaurants.
Long Beach Island is a family-friendly or romantic getaway designed for relaxation spanning budget accommodations to affluent beachfront homes across 18 miles of pristine beaches.
This is a place to escape the hustle of not just the city but other busy beach options in New Jersey.
Long Beach Island is often referred to as LBI.
Warnings & Dangers in Long Beach Island
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here, but keep your guard up as you would in any beach tourist community. With several different towns to explore, you're bound to find one that fits your comfort zone.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Check the NJ Transit website for travel options to get here. It's important to know there's just one way off and on the island. You can't get to Wildwoods or Atlantic City from the island. Taxis and rideshares will be available on the island, but using the LBI Shuttle is the best option once you're there.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Any beach tourist town will have thieves looking for opportunities to steal, so keep the risk low by only carrying what you need and leaving valuables at home. Bikes are by far the most commonly stolen item on the island.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Not only is LBI susceptible to tropical storms and nor'easters, but it can be devastated by them. Superstorm Sandy in 2012 changed the landscape and layout of the island. It doesn't take much rain to flood the main roads on the island. Always stay weather aware as the pretty beach days can quickly turn dangerous.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There's rarely a robbery in any of the communities on this island, so it's a low risk. You should still use standard safety precautions.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
This is a very low risk. It's a small island with nothing that would interest an international terror group. The real terrorist here can be the weather.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
You always want to watch out for rental home scams here. The BBB and Chamber of Commerce can help you with legitimate rental agencies. Never wire money to secure a home.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk as this is one of the safest and quietest beach communities in New Jersey. However, it's not safe enough to let your safety standards slip.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The latest Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. You can always ask the town for an updated report, as they are released in June of each year. The bigger concern is water quality issues during or after a flood, which will be sent out by emergency notifications.
Safest Places to Visit in Long Beach Island
Welcome to LBI is the name of the tourism website for this region.
The website breaks down each town on the island.
You can also email info@welcometoLBI.com if you have specific questions.
It’s going to be helpful to get a map of the island, so you can see the layout of the cities.
Long Beach Township actually starts and stops throughout the island, which can be confusing.
As you cross over the causeway, you’ll come to Cedar Bonnet Island first.
Here you can explore Cedar Bonnet Island Park or take a Cruisin’ Tiki boat ride, which is a tiki bar that floats through Manahawkin Bay.
The Cedar Bonnet Island Environmental Trail spans 1.5 miles of marshland.
When you reach the island, you’ll be in Ship Bottom, known as the “Gateway to LBI.”
Here you’ll find a beach, waterfront park, pier for crabbing and fishing, and 4th Street Remembrance Park to honor the 9/11 victims.
Surf City (visitsurfcitylbi.com).
You’ll find shopping and dining here with an impressive stretch of beach.
This is a beach popular with surfers, at the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious.
Harvey Cedars is an entertaining part of the island but still quieter than other towns.
The downtown area has shops and restaurants with live music.
If you’re researching for a Christian retreat or conference, this is probably where you’ll be staying.
Barnegat Light is the northern tip of the island, and it’s not just the lighthouse that makes it special.
This is also the widest section of beach on LBI.
It is also home to Barnegat Light State Park and Barnegat Light Museum.
Beach Haven is where you go for the museums (and more excitement).
Top locations here include:
- New Jersey Maritime Museum
- Long Beach Island Museum
- Surflight Theatre
- Veteran’s Memorial Park
Since the town of Long Beach hopscotches across the island, you can visit the town website for specific activities to do there.
One piece of advice I’d give as someone who lived at the beach for several years—don’t fall so in love with the beach views that you miss the bay side of the island.
I always felt safer kayaking on intercostal waterways or bays until I felt comfortable heading out to the ocean.
You also don’t get the big surf and rip tide concerns.
Places to Avoid in Long Beach Island
I would avoid putting off a trip to LBI because it could just take one big storm to devastate and potentially leave the island underwater.
It happened in 1962, a day people still remember.
“The killer tide put the island underwater,” said Leonard Connors, 82.
“General pandemonium was going on.
Telephone poles were askew, wires were down, the wooden bridge to the mainland was underwater, and a Navy destroyer washed up on the beach.”
More hurricanes have eroded the shores, and Superstorm Sandy destroyed many of the historic beach homes.
You will never be able to visit *that Long Beach Island again.
“The old LBI is gone, and we miss that, the old houses,” said visitor Barbara Strokovsky.
Even Hurricane Ian in 2022 left 12-foot cliffs at beaches, preventing people from even getting to the beach.
The New York Times wrote a piece titled “The Long, Slow Drowning of the New Jersey Shore” in 2021.
You really need to avoid driving through flooded roads, and not just because it only takes six inches of water to carry away a car or knock a person down.
When saltwater is on the roadway, it can damage vehicles more than freshwater.
As far as dangerous neighborhoods, that’s not a concern on LBI.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Long Beach Island
- Long Beach Township has its own police department. The Facebook page is @lbtpd. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions or call (609) 494-3322. They also provide policing for Barnegat Light. The other towns have their own police departments.
- Be sure when you’re researching that you don’t end up in Long Beach, California, or Surf City, North Carolina. Huntington Beach in California is also referred to as Surf City. An easy way to know you’re in the right place is the 609 area code.
- Sign up for Nixle alerts to get updated information about incoming storms, severe weather threats, flooding, water quality issues, and any other safety concern.
- The beaches of LBI aren’t free. What’s more? There’s a beach sticker required for each one. If you want to get access to all the beaches, you must get a beach sticker for each one of them. The process is different for each city. It’s cumbersome, but you definitely should know in advance before you book your hotel. Beach badge restrictions are only in place from mid-June through early September.
- LBTBP is the Long Beach Township Beach Patrol, and they have their own website with safety information. This will only have details for Long Beach. Other towns’ websites will detail beach rules.
- You’ll notice “Guarded Beach Locations” listed at each beach. These are areas that are guarded for safety and are acceptable swimming locations. A list of those places is on each town’s website. Lifeguards are on duty from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm from mid-June through Labor Day.
- There are times of the year when you can drive on the beaches with a Beach Buggy permit. Look at the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association website to see the dates and permit information. You will need a four-wheel drive vehicle to be eligible.
- Visit the Long Beach Island Health Department website or social media pages to check the water quality conditions at the beach. These are monitored during the summer and tested once a week unless conditions require more frequent testing.
- The northern end of the island has the most deer sightings, so be sure to stick to the speed limit and watch the sides of the roads where deer might run out. Deer have even occasionally been seen on the beach. How did they get here? It turns out deer are pretty good swimmers!
- If you see any struggling marine life on the beach, do not interact with them. Seals usually show up between December and February. If you do see one on the beach, call the Marine Mammal Stranding Center at 609-266-0538.
So... How Safe Is Long Beach Island Really?
The crime data for this island and the communities hasn’t been officially released since 2020, which is a trend across New Jersey cities.
We do know that between 2011 and 2020, no more than 10 violent crimes happened in a year in Long Beach township.
A shocking double homicide in 2021 rocked the Surf City community, but it was believed to be a crime of passion and targeted attack, not a random act of violence.
We do know theft is down 60% since 2011, with 56 reported in Long Beach township.
Bicycles are the most likely to be stolen.
The bigger risks to consider are rip tides, severe weather, flash flooding, and coastal erosion.
All the risks come with plenty of safety advice and avoidance tactics, but it’s up to the visitor to use those to keep the trip “really” safe.
In September 2022, a beach full of people at Loveladies Beach watched as a man’s body was pulled from the water.
He was caught up in a rip tide and was able to rescue a younger relative before he disappeared.
That example isn’t meant to be a downer but a stark reminder of how quickly a perfect beach day can turn tragic if you don’t listen to rip tide warnings and stay in places where lifeguards are present.
Of all the Jersey Shore beaches to visit, this is just about the safest but also the most laid-back and quiet.
How Does Long Beach Island Compare?
|Long Beach Island||72|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
- Visas - All international visitors will be required to show proof of a valid passport and visa (or visa waiver) at Customs and Border Patrol when entering the country. You can travel between the states once you're done.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the only currency accepted here. You should exchange currency before you get to the island, and for the lowest fees, do that at home.
- Weather - Bring seasonally appropriate clothing, with plenty of warm weather clothing for summer days and a hoodie or two for summer nights. Buy sunscreen that is eco-friendly. If you're visiting in the off-season, plan for fluctuating temperatures. A raincoat is a good idea, and you'll need a winter coat from November through February.
- Airports - The Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) is about 40 miles south of Long Beach Island. The larger Philadelphia International Airport is 70 miles away. Newark's airport is 88 miles north.
- Travel Insurance - Before purchasing any travel insurance, read the fine print about weather-related closures or cancelations. It should appear under "Acts of Nature" or something to that effect. You want to make sure you have coverage if there's a hurricane, tropical storm, flooding, or nor'easter causing problems.
Long Beach Island Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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