Check out Brigantine Beach in New Jersey
Growing up my parents always took my family to the beach for a week. It was the highlight of my summer and we had so much fun together. Now that I have kids of my own we enjoy going to the beach as much as possible, too. Our family beach is Brigantine Beach in New Jersey. Have you ever heard of it? If not, you’re not alone. A lot of people that ask me where we go on vacation don’t know where Brigantine is. It’s definitely worth learning about, though. So let me introduce you to our favorite summer vacation spot!
Brigantine is a barrier island right next to Atlantic City. Though you can look across the inlet and see all the lights and casinos of AC, Brigantine itself is nothing like its neighbor. It’s not unusual for us to have the beach to ourselves especially in the mornings and evenings. If you’re sick of random strangers being in the background of all your beach pictures, you’d love the shots you can get on this beach.
The beach itself is gorgeous. The sand is soft and perfect for building castles or, as I prefer to do, you can dig your feet in and settle in for a long day with your Kindle while soaking up some sun and listening to the ocean.
Every time we go there, there’s something new and interesting to discover. One year we went in September and found ourselves in the middle of a monarch butterfly migration. Monarchs were all over the beach, in the plants in the dunes and it was really stunning. The last time we went we saw a family of foxes running through the dunes. I was quick enough to grab this shot. Isn’t he gorgeous?
We’ve found blue crabs just crawling on the beach, and we always dig up a collection of mole crabs while we’re there, too. One summer we found a bunch of starfish along the shoreline. We’ve found turtles, horseshoe crabs, seen dolphins swimming along the beach, and it’s always neat to see what the fishers catch. One time we saw quite a big sand shark come up on the line!
We have a few favorite spots we hit every time we go to Brigantine. On the south end of island is the jetty. You can get a permit to drive your 4WD car on the beach (fun!) and there are lots of people that fish off the jetty. We like to take a long walk down and sit on the rocks and watch the waves break. It’s so beautiful and there’s lots going on. The view of the fancy beach houses is pretty stellar, too! I think evening on the beach might be one of my favorite times. The sunsets are gorgeous.
We also hit the North end of the beach on each visit, too. This is one of my favorite spots for a few reasons. First, you can drive on this end with a permit. Secondly, it’s really undisturbed territory. You can always find something cool, some neat shells or sea life on this side of the island because it’s pretty isolated. But my number one reason for loving the north end is that you can bring your dog on the beach! My little doggie, Sam, loves to run on the beach! There are lots of dogs that play ball in the water and have a blast with each other and their owners. During the off season, generally Labor Day through Memorial Day, you can take your leashed dog anywhere on the beach. During peak season you can only have them on the North End.
There’s no shortage of things to do in Brigantine! There are a bunch of great restaurants, ice cream places, a fun playground called the Shark Park, a mini golf center, a golf course, you can rent surfboards and kayaks, go jet-skiing, rent bikes to explore the island and lots more. Just hanging out on the beach and exploring is our favorite thing, though.
Venture off the island for more close-by adventures. Though there’s plenty to do in Brigantine there is no boardwalk there and my kids like to ride the rides. So we venture south to Ocean City which is about a half hour away and have some fun there. If we’re on a long trip and have a day to spare we’ll drive down the coast all the way to Cape May and climb the lighthouse. We usually stop at a few beaches on our way down to check out a new place. Wildwood, Sea Isle City, and Stone Harbor are always fun to check out. The Edwin Forsyth Wildlife Refuge is only about 20 minutes away and is a beautiful place to drive through and look for some interesting wildlife. We’ve seen foxes, deer, owls, all kinds of seabirds, even a snake!
Of course my favorite thing to do in Brigantine is sit on the beach and do nothing at all. The view is gorgeous and the island is such a special place to spend time with those you love.
Topic: Brigantine Beach