I spent every summer for 15 years of my childhood in one place before my grandparents sold their summerhouse, and it took me seven years to make it back to the island, despite it only being a short hour and a half drive from my hometown. For 15 summers, Long Beach Island in New Jersey was my home away from home, and it seemed fitting to share my favorite places with you at the start of their summer season.
We’ve already established that I’m a little bit of a ranting person, so I’ll be splitting this information again into a post on entertaining things to do and another on places to eat or, thanks to my sweet tooth, places where you can get all the summer cavities your little heart desires. You can just tell your dentist it was my fault.
The first thing that I adore about the entire island is the fact that the only places you’d recognize are about two CVS’s and a Ron Jon Surf Shop, since the rest of the island is composed of small restaurants and businesses, ranging from several pancake houses to even more fudge and candy shops.
The second thing I adore, and let’s keep in mind that I spent most of my childhood on the island, is a small amusement park and arcade named Fantasy Island.
The rides themselves are rather small, as they cater to the younger demographic of the island. In fact, most rides that you find in the park can be found at the local fairs and carnivals that tend to appear throughout the summer across the country., such as that frequently spotted small dragon rollercoaster. I conquered that baby when I was about nine. I’m still afraid of heights and didn’t ride an actual rollercoaster until I was 17, so that was a pretty big day for me. Almost unrelated, I’ll be traveling to the rollercoaster park Cedar Point in early August. Stay tuned for the terror I’m about to experience.
Moving on, Fantasy Island is also home to a large arcade, featuring all of the favorite arcade games of arcade-lovers everywhere, such as Skee-Ball and wall-to-wall crane machines.
I won a Yo Gabba Gabba! doll for my baby cousin. It has one eye. There’s a chance I might still keep it.
Overall Fantasy Island is in no way a high-thrill destination for you adrenaline junkies out there, but if you spend a weekend on Long Beach Island this summer, I highly recommend at least giving your inner child one ride on the Ferris Wheel. Maybe even buy that kid an ice cream, if he or she has been good.