Great Small Towns in New Jersey: Avalon
It's no surprise that the Washingtonian named Avalon the "chicest beach in the Mid-Atlantic". Occupying the North end of Seven Mile Island in Cape May County, Avalon is known for its quiet, upscale atmosphere. Perfect for families, Avalon and the entire barrier island sit a mile seaward than any other shore towns, making it the perfect place to enjoy cool ocean breezes on those hot summer days. Below we have highlighted a few great reasons to visit this beautiful small town. For more small towns on the Jersey Shore, check out our posts on Stone Harbor and Cape May.
Things To Do
Visit the Avalon History Center to learn all about Avalon's past, present and future. The Center features exciting exhibits and public programs. Check out their collections which include historic documents, photographs and a variety of items that tell the history of Avalon and Southern New Jersey. Visiting hours are Monday thru Saturday, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Climb aboard the Miss Avalon for a Dolphin and Nature Cruise. This boat cruise is perfectly timed to coincide with the active feeding times of the local wildlife. Join a naturalist on this near coast adventure and wetlands tour. Cruises run on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm. The Miss Avalon also runs fishing trips twice a day during the summer months. Visit their website or call 609-967-7455 for more information.
The Avalon beaches are some of the cleanest and most family friendly on the East Coast. Enjoy the day building sand castles, sunbathing and swimming at one of the town's protected beaches. Beach tags are required for those older than 12. Cost is $6 per day, but a weekly $12 pass is also available. Tags can be purchased at the Beach Tag Booth at Community Hall, or from inspectors on the beach. On Tuesday evenings, you can head to the 30th Street beach for the Big Beach Movie, a free event featuring a screening of a family-friendly film. This years movies include Frozen, The Lego Movie and Planes.
In addition to its great beaches, Avalon boasts plenty of open space for the kids to play. The towns facilities include the 39th Street tennis courts, recreational fields, a skate park and playgrounds.
Places to Eat
Start your day at the Pudgie Pelican Cafe. This family owned eatery is open daily from 7 am to 2 pm and offers affordable and kid friendly breakfast and lunch options. Delicious daily specials have included eggs benedict with Jersey fresh asparagus and the hearty Seven Mile Special. Take out is also available. Another great option is Uncle Bill's Pancake House. This popular destination serves breakfast all day with 15 different types of pancakes as well as waffles, French toast, omelets, farm fresh eggs and meats.
Avalon has tons of dining options for lunch and dinner. Family friendly eateries include the newly renovated Bobby Dee's Rock N Chair. Parents will be thrilled with the raw bar and expansive menu that includes steaks, seafood and salads, while the kids will love their pizza and kids menu. Seafood loving families will be thrilled with Sylvester's Fish Market and Restaurant. Established in 1978, Sylvester's offers award winning seafood dishes for the entire family. The casual atmosphere is great for families with kids. Visit on Tuesdays and kids receive a free t-shirt with their meal.
Save room for dessert! Avalon is full of great places that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Grab a sticky, delicious cinnamon bun at Mallon's Homemade Sticky Bun's. This establishment has been producing these sweet treats along the Jersey Shore since 1988. They are open from 7 am to 1 pm during the summer. There are several great ice cream parlors in Avalon. Check out Sundae Best for a great selection of homemade ice cream flavors. They have something for everyone, including gluten and sugar free options. They even offer a "doggie dip" for your four legged family members. Buccaneer Ice Cream & Candies is another great option for the family. Along with their delicious menu options, which include sundaes, cones and floats, they have weekly entertainment for the kids. Magic Shows, juggling acts and music hours are offered all throughout the summer. Check their schedule for details.
Take a drive down Seven Mile Island and visit the neighboring town of Stone Harbor. The town is home to some great restaurants as well as the family friendly Wetlands Institute. The Cape May Zoo, just across the bridge, is a great day trip for families. The Zoo is home to more than 550 animals and is open year round. For more family fun, Morey's Piers & Beachfront Waterpark (Wildwood, NJ) is just a short ride away.