This Coastal State Has An Underrated State Park Known For Its Stunning Surfing Spots

If you like to catch waves while in a scenic and wildlife-packed spot then New Jersey's Island Beach State Park is the place for you. Located on a narrow barrier island between Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, this is a destination that adventure lovers will appreciate. According to Surf Forecast, the beauty of the state park is that it has an "exposed beach break that has consistent surf."

While your window for riding waves is limited to the summer months, this East Coast beach is a must-visit for surfers. For the rest of the year, the 10 miles of white sand are the perfect backdrop for all kinds of outdoor activities. When you visit make sure to stay overnight so you can watch the sunset over the ocean. Local website proclaimed the neighboring Barnegat Lighthouse State Park as having one of the "most spectacular spots to watch the sunset" in the state, and you can find the same dreamy views from Island Beach.

What to do at Island Beach State Park

If you love water and wildlife, then you will find it difficult to get bored in this state park. Combine the two by taking a canoe or kayak trip with a guide to the Sedge Islands Marine Conservation Zone. Here you can see the biggest colony of ospreys in New Jersey, a fish-loving bird of prey. Paddleboarding is also available in Barnegat Bay but none of these vessels can be taken to the oceanside. Surfing, windsurfing, and swimming are the sea activities you can enjoy in the summer when lifeguards are present.

There are eight trails to explore, but as they're each less than one mile long, you may want to join some of them together for a longer walk. Horseback riding is allowed from October to April along the equestrian access trails and it is possible to bike along the 8-mile road that runs through the state park. After all of this adventuring, you will require peaceful lodgings to get some rest.

Where to stay at Island Beach State Park

While there is nowhere to stay inside the boundary of the state park, there are plenty of options at Seaside Heights, just a 20-minute drive north along the Shore Road which traverses the peninsula. According to traveler reviews on Tripadvisor, the Seaside Colony Motel and Sunburst Motels I & II are both top-rated places to stay. Sunburst is popular because of its friendly staff, clean rooms, and proximity to the beach. It also has an outdoor pool and free breakfast to get you in the holiday mood.

The Seaside Colony Motel has a pool and an outdoor grill, and travelers like it because it is in a quieter area and close to the boardwalk. It was also praised for having tidy rooms. An option that is within walking distance of the state park entrance and visitor center is the Belvedere Motel in South Seaside Park. It has a pool, a location close to the beach, and excellent reviews. Once you've been to Island Beach State Park, make sure to visit more of the beautiful national parks on the East Coast.