The tides of Surf City were so strong
that even today, the coast is dotted with many shipwrecks. A lighthouse
was constructed in 1835, but its proximity to the water combined with
storms and erosion caused it to fall into the sea in 1855. A new lighthouse
at Barnegat, “Old Barney” as it is locally known, was constructed
in 1859 and is still standing today. In the summer months, visitors
can climb to the top for a vantage view of the island and further.
Back before there were roads, the only way to visit Surf City was
by boat. In 1886, a railway was constructed across the bay, which was
subsequently destroyed by a storm. Today visitors without a boat can
drive the causeway over Barnegat Bay to reach Surf City. There is no
public transportation to Surf City, NJ.
Although Surf City has over twenty separate communities, there are
only about 20,000 year round residents. Both Surf City and Barnegat
Light were developed as resort towns, other areas remained simply a
place to relax and enjoy the ocean.
Surf City, NJ remains the premier spot on the New
Jersey Shore for quiet relaxation by the ocean. Since it is only a quarter
mile wide, visitors are close to both the sea and the bay. Only one town
on the island has an amusement area, and there is no boardwalk. Surf City
boasts some of the most naturally beautiful beaches on the east coast,
as well as hundreds of boutiques and fine restaurants.