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The borough is known as the "Gateway to Long Beach Island", as Route 72 provides the sole road access from Manahawkin in Stafford Township, ending in Ship Bottom as it crosses Manahawkin Bay via the Manahawkin Bay Bridge (formally known as the Dorland J. Henderson Memorial Bridge).

The name Ship Bottom is derived from an old ship wreck that occurred in March of 1817. A ship was found overturned in the immense fog. As the rescuer stepped onto the ship he heard the noise of someone tapping. There was one woman aboard who was saved. She spoke no english but showed her gratitude by drawing a cross in the sand.

The ship name or the women's name was never recorded but the town would become known as Ship Bottom after this event. Ship Bottom is now well populated with many shops and businesses and things to do. It is the first town you hit went entering LBI. #Wikipedia

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