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 sixth 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!

Take a break from the sun and surf at the Avalon Free Public Library. With free and open access to first class collections, you can find your next beach read! Check out the Avalon Free Public Library’s online calendar to find many free events for the whole family!

When lunchtime rolls around, check out Circle Pizza on 21st Street & Dune Drive, a staple on the Seven Mile Island for over 40 years. With an extensive menu filled with Italian flavors, there’s something for everyone. If Circle Pizza’s specialties aren’t enough, the Garden of Eat’n at the Avalon Food Court features multiple food venues to satisfy everyone’s cravings. This means your entire family can choose different cuisine, but still sit down and eat your meals together in this lively outdoor area!

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. Don’t forget to grab souvenirs to remember your beach vacation forever!

Take your shopping over to The Spot on 26th Street & Dune Drive, specializing in men’s, women’s and children’s clothing that will meet your needs both on and off the water, along with everything you need to hit the surf. The store uses organic cottons and well-known brands such as Patagonia, Volcom, Robert Graham and Bugatchi. Although the store carries these known brands, it also showcases brands such as Faherty, Bolt and many more that cannot be found elsewhere at the Jersey Shore. New clothes and products arrive at The Spot daily!

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!

Multiple options await you and your family for dinner. The SeaGrill on 21st Street is a casual and hip eatery offering the best steaks and seafood in Avalon! At The SeaGrill, you’ll find top-quality steaks and fresh seafood, as well as delicious sides such as homemade onion rings or fresh asparagus to accompany your entrée with. Choose to dine at the intimate bar on lighter fare from the scrumptious bar menu. The bar offers a large selection of upscale wines by the glass, as well as classic martinis and everything in between. Wherever you dine, The SeaGrill’s experienced and friendly staff will make you feel right at home!

A second dinner option is The Circle Tavern at The Princeton, a rustic corner pub located on the corner of Dune Drive & 21st Street. The Circle Tavern’s menu offers favorites like burgers, nachos, wings, salads, tacos, Reubens, mac and cheese, pizza, meatloaf sandwich, hand-cut fries and more, all made with love by Chef Jeff Staino and crew. Choose to eat outside on the dog friendly patio, or hang inside at a table or the bar. Inside, you’ll find TVs, a pool table and the ever-popular Golden Tee Golf game to entertain you, as well as a DJ on Fridays and live music every Saturday.

The Princeton is another dinner option, offering everything from burgers, salads and fish tacos to shrimp cocktail, seared scallops and filet mignon. But, you might want to make The Princeton your late night stop. After dinner hours, The Princeton becomes a hopping nightclub with a DJ. On weekends, there’s nothing like doing The Princeton loop! Go from The Princeton to the Rock Room and check out the live band, then head to The Circle Tavern for a more mellow vibe. Visit your favorite bartender, or meet friends at your favorite bar!