Brigantine Beach, NJ is an island six miles north of Atlantic City that was once inhabited by the Lenape Indians during the summer. In 1608 it was recorded in a journal by Henry Hudson that a rumor stated Captain William Kidd might have buried treasure in Brigantine Beach. Although no record has ever been found that any buried treasure ever existed some may still believe in its authenticity.
The town started to gain notoriety as a resort destination during the early 1900’s when a railroad was built that transported visitors and new settlers from Philadelphia.
Several hotels were built to accommodate the many visitors to the island until a devastating storm all but demolished the town’s existence. It took years for the town to recover, but when it did it came back stronger than ever.
A bridge was built that connected Brigantine Beach to Atlantic City; a lighthouse was built solely as an attraction, schools and golf courses were established in hopes of keeping new residents. During the “Great Depression” Brigantine Beach experienced another set back until after the WWII when it again bounced back. Today Brigantine Beach is a thriving island with over 12,000 residents and a larger population during the summer months.
The beaches in Brigantine Beach are swarmed with activities and stunning views. During the summer they have swimming and rowing competitions and swimming clinics for the youth. They have 5 fishing areas, 32 swimming areas, surfing areas, kite flying area and even areas where 4 wheel drives can be driven on the beaches with permits. You have to purchase a beach tag between June 15th through Labor Day and you can buy them by the day, week, or season. Alternative activities include boating, sailing, riding a jet ski, and kayaking. Make sure to check with the appropriate officials about obtaining permits on certain activities that may require them.
An attraction that was once in Brigantine Beach is Brigantine Castle. This legendary haunted house had ghosts, goblins, vampires and other monsters that dwell within its walls. Although it burnt down in 1987 there is a collection of memorabilia that is on display at the Brigantine Beach Historical Museum located at 3607 Brigantine Blvd. You can also tour the Brigantine Lighthouse which stands as a centerpiece of the island. Although it was never actually used to aid vessels at sea it’s still quite a site to behold.
A restaurant on the island of Brigantine Beach includes Laguna Grill & Martini Bar. Here you can enjoy fresh seafood like mussels, clams, oysters, tuna, lobster, and scallops. They also have a wide variety of unique items on their desert menu that you should check out as well. Below is a list of hotels that you can choose from and their phone numbers to call for reservations.
Chipper Ship Motel — (609)266-7161
Celebrity Resorts — (609)266-2266
Sea Gull Motel — (609)266-7459
If you’re thinking of staying for the entire season or even a few weeks, a vacation rental might be worth checking into. Celebrity Resorts Brigantine Beach is one of the vacation rentals on the island. Here the amenities include a restaurant, health club, pool and concierge. Laguna Grill, which was mentioned above, is on site.
Directions: From New York; Take NJ Turnpike Exit 11 to the Garden State Parkway. Take Exit 38 to the Atlantic City Expressway. At the end of the Expressway, take the Marina Exit (Exit 1) to Atlantic City Connector. Follow the signs to Brigantine Beach.