Each Friday afternoon in the summer, our family takes a drive down the AC Expressway to head to our vacation home (close to Coastal Haven). It’s nothing extravagant, but it suits our family of four (and two dogs) quite well. It’s nice to get back to the simpler things and spend time as a family—no distractions. We typically arrive Friday night and stay until Monday morning and the usual weekend routine is: beach, barbecue, pickleball/mini golf/ice cream, repeat. We also spend at least a full week for vacation, but normally, it’s not much different than our summer weekends. Last year, however, we decided we’d use our week to live like true vacationers. Instead of spending the majority of the week at the beach, we kept busy with various activities in and around the island that we wouldn’t otherwise do on a weekend.
Fireworks, jet skis, Cordavari’s, LBI waterpark, Delaware Ave Oyster House, Movie on 38th Street Beach, OC Board walk, dinner at Manco and Manco, Margate Island Aqua Park, Van Gogh exhibit in AC, Chart House and more filled our week!
Our vacation kicked off on July 4th so of course, fireworks, s’mores, and time on the beach was the plan! At dusk, we grabbed some blankets and headed to the 43rd street beach. While the island of Brigantine doesn’t set off their own official fireworks, you can catch some truly spectacular shows all around you right on the beach, set off by locals! Better than any fireworks I’ve ever been to!
The next day, my oldest daughter and I stepped a bit outside our comfort zone and rented Jet Skis right on Atlantic Brigantine Boulevard, while Brian and our younger daughter rented a kayak for a relaxing ride around the bay. JetSkiAC was extremely professional and accomidating providing us safety skills and a general undersandting to driving the jet ski. We were able to rent for an hour and rode around Harrah’s in Atlantic City. Truly a fun experiance!
Shopping and dinner was the following day. The island is growing with several new shops! Some of our favorites are The Teal Tail, Brigantine Home Decor, Casale al Mare, and others! Dinner was al fresco at Cordivari’s. If you haven’t yet eaten at Cordivari’s, this Wawa-turned-restaurant will surprise you with its homemade Italian favorites, unique dishes and fabulous desserts (be sure to make a reservation!)
We also spent a full day on Long Beach Island (LBI). Our family has been visiting LBI for years. It’s an hour from Brigantine–although, fun fact, you can see LBI from the Brigantine Bird Watching Tower and it’s just a short boat ride away. The drive may be a bit long, but it’s absolutely worth adding to your vacation plans. We visited our favorite water park, Thundering Surf, and then headed to Fantasy Island Arcade & Amusement Park and shopped at Bay Village. The day was capped off with dinner at one of our favorites, Delaware Ave Oyster House (the head chef is outstanding and has been featured several times on the Food Network).
During our week at our ‘home away from home,’ we were fortunate to catch one of the movies on the beach at 38th street. We grabbed some snacks, beach chairs and blankets and headed to 38th street to watch Sing 2.
The grand finale was a photo session by Kelly and Craig Photography. If you’re a mom who has ever tried to wrangle your family for a beach photo, you know it’s a lot like herding cats. Our tradition is to do just this every summer. Well, this summer I decided we’d try something new and with the help of the incredibly talented husband and wife team, Kelly and Craig, we had a relaxed session (minus one hyper puppy) and absolutely gorgeous photos to memorialize these summers at the shore.
Of course, mini golf, pickle ball, ice cream, bike riding, and lots of paddle boarding happened during the week as well but we were delighted to experience the island from the eyes of our guests.
If you’re staying with us this year whether its for the first time or you’ve been many times, we’d be more than happy to help you plan your stay! Please reach out and let us know how we can help create the perfect shore vacation!