Best of the Shore 2010
CLOUDY-DAY ACTIVITY LBI doesn’t have a Boardwalk. But it does have Viking Village, a charming inlet of historic cedar-shake fishing shacks made over into tiny shops, where there are by–reservation-only Friday–morning dock tours—and more seaside memories than at all those amusement parks to the north or south. 19th Street and the Bay, 609-494-7211, visitlbiregion.com.
TAKEOUT SEAFOOD When there’s two feet of snow on the ground, when we’ve been stranded inside for what feels like eternity, we dream of the dockside picnic tables outside Off the Hook, and of one massive, two-hand-assisted bite of fresh flounder sandwich, followed by a fistful of fresh-from-the-fryer fries. A little farther into the summer, we’re just as happy to call in an order for quick pickup, and dine at home in our bathing suits. Get extra onion rings for the ride home. 1905 Bayview Avenue (in Viking Village), 609-361-8900, vikingoffthehook.com.
GROCER Little, summer-only White’s Barnegat Light Market packs in a mind-blowing array of vacation must-haves (prime rib, bagels, olive oil, SPF 50) along its narrow aisles, making this our first stop once we get to the island’s north end. Insiders know to request the triple-smoked bacon at the deli counter —- heaven. 1507 Central Avenue, 609-494-2752.
DINER Now that Debbie and Bill Smith have their James Beard “America’s Classic” award, we’re more hopeful than ever that they’ll never, ever leave Mustache Bill’s Diner. We’re glad to know our kids will be ordering Bill’s famous animal-shaped pancakes—and we can count on the coleslaw, roast beef, mac-and-cheese and eggs over light—for years to come. West 8th Street at Broadway, 609-494-0155.
SOCIAL SCENE A tennis club, day camp, art gallery, yoga studio, indie cinema and art workshop rolled into one, the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences (LBIF) is an end-all be-all that’s the see-and-be-seen scene for the island’s upper half. 120 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-494-1241, lbifoundation.org.
CATERER Years after she left the Four Seasons Nevis to open Foodies in, of all places, South Jersey, outrageous Peggy Feudi is still working the over-the-top spreads. Her gourmet-to-go shop packs in endless options for four-star picnics and her catered feasts remain absolutely de rigueur among the lagoon-manse set. 8010 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-494-4212.
SURF COMPETITION This August, the East Coast’s shreddingest wahines will compete in Jetty Coquina Jam, the “sister” event to LBI’s all-male, later-in-the-fall, super-hyped Jetty Clam Jam. Named for the tiny, vibrantly colored bivalves that wash up along the waterline each summer, the Jam starts with some super-hot heats and concludes with the awarding of a -surfboard-shaped, shell-inlaid, super-coveted trophy by local artist Joel -Dramis—and the summer’s best beach top-clam-and-beer party. August 11th, Hudson Avenue Beach, 800-900-6435, jettylife.com.