Island Hopping: Avalon

Cape May County is a treasure trove of thrills, games, specialty seafood, happy hour specials, traditional family-style restaurants, beach gear, breakfast spots, sweet treats and relaxing rituals. Yet with its 620-square-mile span, this Jersey Shore county can be quite daunting. With all this ground to cover, where should you even begin? We’re here with our 10th edition of Island Hopping for the season, offering some of our favorite places to “do the shore.” This week we’re hopping to Avalon, the north end of the Seven Mile Island.

Start your morning by satisfying your sweet tooth at Duck Donuts on 32nd Street & Dune Drive! These famous, made-to-order donuts are made fresh with a large variety of glazes and toppings, with unique options such as maple icing and bacon pieces. Grab a cup of hot or iced coffee to pair with your donut, and you have everything you need for a great breakfast!

After a delicious breakfast, it’s time to hit the water! Head to the Cornell Harbor at 14th Street & Ocean Drive for some fishing fun aboard Miss Avalon. Miss Avalon is a huge 78-foot fishing yacht powered by twin diesel engines that departs twice daily for full-day or half-day trips. If fishing isn’t your thing, Miss Avalon also offers dolphin and nature cruises, sunset cruises and private party cruises!

Relax and enjoy a delicious lunch in a warm and casually comfortable setting at the Concord Café on 78th Street & Dune Drive. It's the perfect place where great family, great friends and great food come together, and it boasts an extensive menu of burgers, pizza, pasta, Philly steaks, specialty sandwiches and more. Whatever you’re in the mood for, the Concord Cafe has it. Don’t forget to check out the daily specials!

After getting your midday fuel, it’s time to shop until you drop! Hoy’s 5 & 10 on 28th Street & Dune Drive has everything you need for your trip to the shore. Stock up on essentials for the perfect weekend at the beach like sand chairs, beach umbrellas, suncare products, beach toys, bathing suits, cover ups, hats, flip flops and more. Grab as many souvenirs as you can to remember your beach vacation forever!

For dinner, we suggest Marie Nicole’s Grill on 79th Street & Ocean Drive, redefining seashore dining with an emphasis on hospitality, style and superior cuisine. Seafood, steak and fresh pasta is served in a relaxed, yet sophisticated and stylish atmosphere. Take a seat in the intimate dining room or relish the summer breeze on the terrace. A handcrafted cocktail, glass of wine from the extensive list, specialty martini or craft beer is just what you need to complement your meal. And of course, decadent desserts complete this exceptional dining experience.

While strolling through Avalon, be sure to stop into Ocean Galleries on 22nd Street. Ocean Galleries displays many great pieces of artwork for all to enjoy, as well has hosts many shows throughout the summer. From local artists’ watercolors to nationally-recognized artists’ originals, popular beach prints and high-end reproductions, you’ll surely be inspired by Ocean Galleries’ collection!

If you happen to be in Avalon on a Thursday night, you must “hop” on over to Veterans Plaza at 21st Street & Dune Drive for Thursdays on Dune. In addition to family-fun activities, crafts, giveaways, character appearances and more from 5:30 to 7 p.m., a live band performs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to get Dune Drive rocking! This Thursday, Aug. 23, the featured musician is Robert Eric with a Billy Joel tribute.