Day Trip: Avalon

From boating and fishing to eating and drinking, life in Avalon is more than just a day at the beach. Here are just some of the experiences you can have in this quaint, little beach town.

From boating and fishing to eating and drinking, life in Avalon is more than just a day at the beach.

More than tasty waves: In the “did you know” category, the borough’s slogan, “Cooler by a mile,” is more than just hype. The island actually juts one mile farther into the ocean than any other East Coast shore community. For other tidbits or as a rainy-day alternative, visit the Avalon Museum and Historical Society (215 39th St, 609-967-0090).

Go fish: Moran’s Dockside and the Avalon Sportfishing Center (14th St and Ocean Dr, 609-368-1321, can provide everything from angling supplies and off-coast fishing excursions to the Miss Avalon II party boat, kayak rentals, and tours—and lunch in a rustic setting.

High chair: Bobby Dee’s Rock ’n Chair (2409 Dune Dr, 609-967-3300, serves up an eclectic menu, feeding the early birds as well as the late-nighters who come to hear the bands play Thursday to Sunday nights.

Gill seekers: The Sea Grill (225 21st St, 609-967-5511, is a fine-dining experience in choices—steak or seafood, late or early (they don’t take reservations, so either extreme will allow you to have the shortest wait).

Shell game: Armadillo Ltd (2761 Dune Dr, 609-368-3000, is a one-stop shopping marvel. Art? Check. Home decor? You betcha. Bridal registry? Custom furniture? Done and done. Just make sure you pack light on the trip to the Shore so you’ll have room in the SUV to haul some of your finds back home.

Snack attack: At BJ’s Pizza (2259 Dune Dr, 609-967-3020), the pies are saucy, the toppings bountiful; the cheese steaks are sublime. There’s a casual dining room inside and picnic tables on the sidewalk.

Pillage and plunder: Miniature golf aboard the faux two-master at Pirate Island (27th St and Dune Dr, 609-368-8344, is fun for all. The nineteenth hole offers a legitimate shot at winning a free round (beware the surprise as you wait for your prize).

Princeton “grads”: At the Princeton Bar & Grill (2008 Dune Dr, 609-967-3457), the live bands might not be playing your music anymore, but this Avalon legend has spawned many summer flings and lasting relationships (I got soused and met my spouse at The Princeton boasts the T-shirt sold by the bushel to baby boomers making their annual visits)—and a new generation of barhoppers.

Au naturel: Neighboring Stone Harbor boasts the Wetlands Institute, (1075 Stone Harbor Blvd, 609-368-1211,, which has more than 6,000 acres of natural wonders. Trails, exhibits, and an aquarium make for a cool experience—just don’t tell the kids they’re learning.

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