Although Barnegat Light is not necessarily a well-kept secret, it is a beloved town of locals and tourists alike that we all wish remain cozy. No one wants to try to maneuver through large crowds while trying to get their favorite food. I love the stillness of the nights, where only the sound of the ocean can be heard and not the loud, thumping bass of someone’s stereo system. I don’t want to wait in line to grab a coffee or ice cream. But a few years ago one of the owners of a convenience store and a gas station talked about the lack of tourists. While he loved the quietness of Barnegat Light, he also was suffering at the hands of it too. He could barely stay open and the following summer sure enough the store was closed.
My husband introduced me to Barnegat Light. It was a place his family took him and the memories or so vibrant in his heart he wanted to share it with us. And so every summer we try to scramble as much cash as possible to spend even one night down there. We watch our children gaze out at sea with Old Barney the lighthouse and the sunset behind them. We collect shells and I watch my son dig his toes into the sand and smile happily. I keep dozens of photos on my phone so when I blue, I can quickly take in my favorite place. It is more than a vacation spot. LBI is a piece of home.
So if you do live here in NJ or just passing through, I could tell you somewhere else to venture. But I want LBI to be a piece of home to you too, so my children’s children can feel the same way I do.