New Jersey has plenty of gorgeous beaches along its lengthy coastline. Some are small, sleepy beaches tucked away down a sandy path. Others are made for the masses with so much to enjoy. Island Beach falls somewhere in between. Located within a state park that has the same name, Island Beach is not small or tucked away, but it is a stunning natural oasis that all visitors love. Regardless, it sometimes gets passed by in favor of nearby beaches such as Seaside Park, which features numerous boardwalk attractions and therefore draws more tourists. But here's everything you should know about Island Beach and the surrounding park.
Island Beach State Park is a narrow barrier island spanning 10 miles and located between Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches on the north Atlantic coast. Once you step onto this pristine beach, you'll find over 3,000 acres of coastal sand dunes that remain virtually unchanged since they were first described by explorer Henry Hudson in 1609. You can see a perfect example of this in the photo below.
In addition to the fantastic natural sand dunes, the park is home to a variety of landscapes including thicket, freshwater wetlands, maritime forest and tidal marshes.
But while the soft white sand is sure to impress anyone who visits, there are also more than 400 plant species at Island Beach State Park. Among them is the largest expanse of beach heather in New Jersey and the state's largest Osprey colony. You can see some of the plants along the sides of the entrance path to the beach.