Updated: May 28, 2021
Walking south along the beach or the promenade from Bradley Beach, you're quickly aware you've arrived in Avon-by-the-Sea. The Boardwalk is elevated and makes a dog-leg toward the ocean so walkers and runners are faced with the Avon Pavilion -- a handsome structure built in 2014 after its predecessor was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy.
Welcome to Avon-by-the-Sea or Avon by the Sea or simply Avon.
(From the vantage point of the beachfront or boardwalk, this is a breezy overview of what you see, where to park and beach access, plus a bit or history and the latest happenings. See map below.)
The Avon Pavilion houses the Avon Boutique and The Avon Pavilion restaurant which opened Mother's Day and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner daily through the end of the season. The restaurant doesn't take reservations, and, rain or shine, there is almost always a line.
Also with a view of the beach but on the west side of Ocean is The Columns which started serving libations in 1883 before Avon was officially a town. The restaurant, bar and night club are housed in a Colonial Revival mansion with a wrap-around porch.
Small beach town
Avon's birth as a town in 1900 springs from the success of Ocean and Grove and Asbury Park which began attracting crowds in 1880s. The original developer Edward Batchelor had envisioned bringing his successful tobacco business from Philadelphia to the area, but it was soon apparent there was more money in using the land for residences and vacation homes.
Like its northern neighbors, Avon is small with an area of about four-tenths of a square mile. Along Ocean Avenue, the condos and apartments on the northern section give way to single-family homes. The town's southern border is clearly delineated by the Shark River Inlet and the operating drawbridge that connects Avon to Belmar. The main commercial activities are away from the beach on Main Street/Route 71.
And there's the name
It's not produced "AYY-von" like in the famous commercial "Avon calling" for the cosmetic company of the same name. It's pronounced "ave-on" with a "a" sound similar to when the doctor asks you to stick your tongue about and say "ahhhhhh."
When looking at the Borough's website, the town is most referenced as Avon by the Sea without the hyphens. But a call to the town's clerks confirms that officially it's Avon-by-the-Sea.
The best option -- just write Avon.
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Tips for Visiting Avon-by-the-Sea
What's New: No events scheduled for the beachfront this summer.
Road Access & Parking: The main entry to Avon is along Route 71/Main Street. Parking is free.
Amenities: There are restrooms along the promenade at Norwood and Lincoln Avenues.
Beaches: Beach badges are required weekends from May 29 through June 18 and then daily from June 19 to September 5 although the opening date may change. Daily beach badges for people 12 and older are $12 and can only be purchased at the beach from 9am to 5:15pm which may mean long lines. Plan ahead. Seasonal beach badges are $100 for people 19 and older, $55 for seniors 65 or older and $55 for people 12 to 18 years old.
This spring, summer and fall, follow Jersey Shore author and expert R.C. Staab as he walks the entire 139 miles of the Jersey Shore from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park, from Old Barney to Beach Haven, from Brigantine to Cape May.
Next stop: Belmar at Jersey Shore Walk Mile post 20.5 See all the Jersey Shore Walk stories at www.jerseyshorewalk.com