Keeping Cool In Avalon

Photo courtesy of @el.brisk.

Named after the mystical island of Arthurian legend, Avalon, New Jersey, offers its own brand of magic to visitors and residents alike. With picturesque streets, charming shops and, of course, the ever-beckoning beach, it has a friendly vibe that’s relaxed and casual with a style all its own. At just a hair under 5 square miles, Avalon is eminently walkable, which means guests and locals are never more than a stone’s throw from their favorite destinations. This small town is endlessly appealing — and not just in the summertime. “It’s very welcoming in the off season,” one resident says. The Seafood Festival, usually held in October, and the Turkey Trot 5k race held over Thanksgiving weekend most years are fan favorites, with folks from miles around coming to town to participate.

Summertime activities in Avalon often include a wide variety of water sports and outdoor concerts. Photos by 7 Mile Publishing & Creative.

Town History & Amenities
Formed in 1723 as part of Middle Township and incorporated as a borough in 1892, Avalon shares Seven Mile Island with neighboring Stone Harbor. The town has a rich and colorful history: Legend has it that pirates buried treasure on the island and that Henry Hudson dropped anchor offshore during his travels. The town slogan is “Cooler by a Mile,” a phrase coined because this piece of land extends out into the Atlantic Ocean about a mile farther than nearby barrier islands. As early as 1893, Avalon was advertised as a resort town, and it continues to draw summer visitors eager to unwind on the beach, charter a fishing boat, play mini-golf or enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants.

Left: The Avalon Life Saving Station was built in 1894 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Right: Sylvester’s Fish Market & Restaurant offers an open-air dining room. Photo by 7 Mile Publishing & Creative.

Architecture and Trends in Real Estate
Avalon is an affluent community; in 2014 Forbes magazine listed Avalon among the most expensive ZIP codes in the United States. And with that prosperity comes a wide range of homes. Brian Stuart, president of D.L. Miner Construction & Property Management, says, “We are building traditional homes and some very contemporary homes, but we seem to be building a lot more transitional homes lately that blend both styles.”

This Avalon home by D.L. Miner Construction & Property Management features traditional styling with modern amenities.

Stuart adds, “Avalon is a very family-oriented town; each home we build is like a personal retreat that we customize to our clients’ tastes and needs. The sun, the beach, how can you beat it?  We feel very grateful to live and work in this area.”

Why People Live Here
That seems to be the prevailing attitude for anyone lucky enough to live or visit here. Architect Marc Asher, AIA, NCARB, of Asher Slaunwhite Architects LLC says the owners of this home, which was featured in Design NJ’s June/July 2017 issue, love living in Avalon because, “The beauty is inescapable, with constantly changing views of sky, clouds and sea. The dune grasses and vegetation change with the seasons.”


  • Traditional shingles and a peaked and gabled roofline create a friendly façade.


  • Sliding doors and floor-to-ceiling windows maximize exterior access.


Another resident notes that Avalon is the kind of place that, once visited, entices guests to return over and over. “We vacationed here for two weeks pretty much every summer for over 15 years,” she says. When they became empty nesters, she and her husband decided to sell their previous home and purchase a house in Avalon to live full time. “Our kids already had a relationship with the town. This was a place where they could always come home to roost. Going forward in our lives and our kids’ and grandkids’ lives, we wanted to ensure that, no matter where anyone went in the world, the family could always come back for a couple of weeks a year to recapture that piece of time that they loved.”