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May 24, 2024

Avalon: What you need to know about the beaches and things to do there this summer

Where are the raft beaches in Avalon? Can you still get a discounted seasonal beach tag? And answers to other questions about the shore town that calls itself 'cooler by a mile.'

Travel Jersey Shore
avalon shore guide Jon Tuleya/PhillyVoice

Avalon is 'cooler by a mile,' with its beaches, boardwalk, water sports and family-friendly activities. Above, the sun sets over the bay in Avalon as a boat floats on the inlet.

Avalon is situated on the northern end of the Seven Mile Island beside Stone Harbor, and the borough's motto, "cooler by a mile," is a reference to the Jersey Shore town's geography on that barrier island: Avalon juts eastward about a mile further into the Atlantic Ocean than the  neighboring shore towns.

Avalon has beaches, bayfront areas and a boardwalk, but it does not have first street through fifth street. This may sound odd for town known for its grid of roadways with numbered streets that run east-west from Sixth Street to 80th Street where Avalon meets Stone Harbor. Early developers of the town had plans to build those first five streets but they never became reality due to erosion on the north end of Seven Mile Island.

Here's what you need to know about Avalon before heading there this summer:

What are some things to do in Avalon this summer?

To find things to do and special events happening in Avalon this summer, check out the calendar published by the Avalon Chamber of Commerce and visit the borough's municipal website. Summer 2024 unofficially begins Memorial Day weekend, and Avalon will again celebrate the holiday with its annual Memorial Day Parade. The parade begins at 32nd Street at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 27, and proceeds south to 21st Street and Dune Drive where there will be a ceremony at Veterans Plaza.

Avalon's Surfside Park, 2901 Avalon Ave., will be the site of several concerts, outdoor movies and other kid-friendly events this summer, like the celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the Philadelphia Flyers' 1974 Stanley Cup win on Saturday, June 15, featuring players from the team. A week later on Saturday, June 22, the Summer Solstice Festival will take place at Surfside Park on Saturday, headlined by a Beach Boys tribute concert. 

Learn about horseshoe crabs on Thursday, June 20, at the Avalon Free Public Library, at 235 32nd St. The library also holds weekly story-time events and crafting sessions. The Avalon Garden Club's 40th Flower Show takes place Saturday, June 8, at Community Hall. And the Avalon Library and History Center hold a Community Scavenger Hunt from Friday, June 7, through Thursday, June 13, offering prizes to the winners.

What are some attractions in Avalon?

For those who like to get around at the shore via two wheels, check out the borough's bicycle path. Bike's are also permitted on Avalon's 1/2-mile long boardwalk until 10 a.m., and it's a nice place for a stroll at anytime of day. At Surfside Park, 2901 Avalon Ave., there is a playground for children's, tennis courts and an amphitheater.

The Avalon History Center is a local history museum that houses photos, artifacts and other items, including a lifeboat from 1925. Visitors can play mini golf at Go Fish Mini Golf or Pirate Island Golf, and unwind at Spa Avalon. There are also multiple popular restaurants, breweries, bars and ice cream spots in Avalon where visitors can dine and imbibe. The mainstays that Avalon regulars return to year after year include the Princeton, Windrift, Rocking Chair, Circle Pizza and Avalon Freeze

Do you need a beach tag in Avalon?

Yes, beach tags are required for everyone 12 and older on Avalon's beaches. Avalon and Stone Harbor have a reciprocal agreement and Avalon beachgoers can also use their tags in Stone Harbor and vice cersa. Seasonal tags purchased before May 31 will have a discounted $32 price. Starting June 1, the price of tags increases to $40. For the 2024 season, daily beach tags cost $8 and weekly tags cost $17. 

Seasonal beach tags can be purchased in person at the Avalon Beach Tag Booth adjacent to Community Hall at 30th Street. Beach tags can also be ordered online and received by mail.

When are Avalons lifeguards on duty?

Lifeguards with the Avalon Beach Patrol will be on duty daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day at the beaches on the following streets (The use of raft is only permitted at the beaches in bold): 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 35, 38, 40, 43, 50, 57, 61, 65, 69, 73, 76, 79.

What are the rules on Avalon'ds beaches?

Beachgoers are urged to only swim at protected beaches when lifeguards are on duty. Kayaks, stand-up pad­dle­boards, body­boards and belly­boards with skegs are pro­hib­ited on any beaches Avalon between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Smoking, fires/open flames, alcoholic beverages, bottles, glass, sharp objects, loud noise and indecent language or actions are also prohibited on the beach. The beach is closed to the public between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. Dogs are not permitted on Avalon's beach, boardwalk or dunes in the summer. 

Surfing is allowed at designated beaches, including 30th Street, between 16-17th Streets, 20th Street, on either side of the 12th Street life­guard stand and 63rd Street. Volleyball and frisbee can be played on the beach between 38th Street and 76th Street, and also at 31st Street behind Community Hall.

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