Who loves beaches in Winter? My wife and I are two of the slightly off people that enjoy the sea and the sand in the off season. Our beach of choice is Long Beach Island, a seventeen mile jewel off the Jersey shore. We've been coming down to LBI for many years. During the summer when driving up South Atlantic Avenue, we saw the beautiful Victorian haunches of the Williams Cottage Inn. We decided a few weeks ago to book a stay during New Year's Eve. We were greeted by Bette and her husband Merle who put their midwestern charm and hospitality on display into everything they do. The Inn is divided into 8 rooms. Each room has a theme and are exquisitely appointed with lush queen and king size beds, large fluffy pillows, and the most impressive bathrooms in any B&B we've been in. We stayed in the Asian room, a room complete with a Japanese soaking tub and a separate steam shower. Nothing is more invigorating than a long walk on the beach followed by defrosting one's toes in a hot soaking tub where the water comes up to your chin as you sit, close your eyes, and relax. Other rooms are the Blue Room, the Dome room ( it's the vaulted octagonal turret of the Victorian with the best views of the ocean - one block to the East), the Aviary Room, the Garden room, the Opulent room (silly name), the Angel room, and the Rose suite. The Rose suite has additional sleeping for kids or another couple. Downstairs is an enormous guest living room replete with fireplace, a library room with a PC for guest use, a large screen TV, snacks, coffee, tea, cappuchino, and chocolates. The formal dining room has access to the wrap around porch where in the spring and summer all meals are served. There is another fire place in the formal dining room. Bette and Merle are the innkeepers and they are the best kept secret on LBI. Merle does magic with the cooking and Bette does the baking. For our breakfast we were served baked pears in a pastry shell with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, similar in taste to French toast with the wonderful taste of the pears literally melting in your mouth. The next course was a vegetable omelete with bacon, fresh fruit, coffee, orange juice, and toasted bagels and bread with butter. Get Merle talking about fishing and he'll tell you all about the striped bass surf fishing and his 'Red fish' caught during a tournament. During the spring and summer you can get bicycles to explore the island, or chairs and towels for the beach. There are wonderful restaurants within walking distance. Don't forget to go to Fantasy Island, the historic amusement park and token casino. When it's warmer you can go across the street to the water park. And at one end of the island is the Barnegat lighthouse and state park. On the other end is the wildlife preserve at Holgate. This was an exceptional experience, one that you should try.
- Also Known As:
- Williams Cottage Inn Long Beach Island, NJ - Beach Haven