There are many legends that surround the Jersey shore town of Avalon. Among them, pirates buried their treasures somewhere on the island, explorer Henry Hudson sailed by, and the Lenni Lenape lived in a juniper forest in what is present-day Avalon. No one is sure if any of these wild stories are true, but one thing is for certain. Avalon, which lies between Ocean City and the Wildwoods, was a vacationer's paradise as far back as the early 20th century. Travelers arrived by train from Philadelphia seeking a breather from the city's heat and a place to put their toes into the sand. They found it in Avalon, and the spirit of vacation never left.
A barrier island, Avalon borders Sea Isle City to the north, Stone Harbor to the south, and Middle Township to the west. As of the 2010 Census, over 1,300 people call Avalon home, although that number increases considerably come summertime when tourists and vacation property owners flock to its beaches. The borough is governed by a mayor and a council made up of five members. A recent agreement with neighboring Stone Harbor has Avalon's students in grades kindergarten through fourth attending school in Stone Harbor. Fifth through eighth grades, for both Avalon and Stone Harbor, attend Avalon Elementary School located on 32nd Street. Students in grades nine through 12 attend Middle Township High School in Cape May Court House. Like many other South Jersey towns, Avalon requires everyone from the age of 12 on up to wear a beach tag when visiting the beaches in season. Beach tags can be purchased for the season, weekly, or daily. Funds raised through the sale of beach tags are used to maintain and protect the beaches. Life guards are on patrol to ensure that bathers stay safe. Certain Avalon beaches are designated for surfing and the use of rafts. A free kayak park is available bayside at 57th Street and Ocean Drive. As a tribute to those lost in the September 11 attacks, Avalon opened its Memorial Plaza on Dune Drive at 21st Street in 2012. The plaza was financed through donations and the focus of the memorial is a 1,800 pound section of steel that was recovered from the World Trade Center. Avalon also boasts a free public library, a tennis complex, fitness activities at the community hall, and a senior center. Throughout the summer months, various sports camps are offered to youngsters, both residents and visitors alike. The town is home to many different activities throughout the year. Every June, former Philadelphia Flyer Tim Kerr (who also has a home in Avalon) hosts both the Islandman Triathlon and the Islandkids Triathlon for his charitable organization. Other summertime activities include movies on the beach, concerts, author book signings and lectures, and arts and crafts. Avalon is home to many restaurants, taverns, and eateries to comfort the tummy and tickle the taste buds. Whether it is a deli-style sandwich and chips for the beach, shrimp fra diavolo and chardonnay, or wings and a Samuel Adams during the big game, Avalon has it.