Longing to go to the Jersey Shore for vacation? Start by booking an Avalon vacation rental in this beautiful town that is awash with century-old beach vacation charm and an eclectic culture. Let the seven-mile stretch of Atlantic shoreline surprise you with options for things to do. You can spend hours swimming, surfing, boating, and fishing. Amusement parks, golf courses, zoos, wildlife centers, museums, and so many other activities are yours to enjoy. Think of the area as a blank page waiting for you to fill it with adventures and memories. While you mull that over, here is a list of the top 12 Avalon vacation rental locations.

1. Avalon, New Jersey

Can you believe your boss pays you to visit Avalon? That thought makes it sweeter when you embark upon fishing cruises, hit the beach for sunning yourself, take the kids to play miniature golf, or rustle up an impromptu beach volleyball game. Be sure to check out the historic Avalon Life Saving Station, which was used to save sailors from shipwrecks in the 1800s. Sample various cuisines at local restaurants, and challenge the kids to taste some new dishes.

2. Cape May Courthouse, New Jersey

Pause your daily routine, regain a sense of adventure in your life, and lose yourself in wonderful moments when you vacation in Cape May Courthouse. The free zoo features over 500 animals, including stunningly beautiful snow leopards. Explore the beaches to find seashells, rent some bikes to tour the island, or visit local shops to browse for beach-themed collectibles.

3. Ocean City, New Jersey

Reconnect with your kids and establish some new family traditions when you make Ocean City your vacation destination. Show the kids your youthful side and have a ball with them at the boardwalk amusement park. Teach snorkeling to the younger kids, and take your older kids kite boarding or windsurfing to add a new level of excitement to your vacation.

4. Stone Harbor, New Jersey

Slow down, catch your breath, and adapt to a different pace in laid-back Stone Harbor. For some intellectual stimulation, tour the bird sanctuary and visit area museums. Teach the kids how to dig clams, and enjoy a family clambake at your vacation rental beach house. In the quiet hours, stroll along the beach listening to the sounds of the surf and let it soothe your mind.

5. Wildwood, New Jersey

You work hard all year and look forward to a vacation time when you can unwind in a special place. Wildwood gives you access to lots of family-based activities and adventures. Get out there and build sand castles with the kids, or just relax in the sun while they frolic in the surf. Take Fido to the dog beach, experience the exciting Morey’s Pier amusement park, or play disc golf at the park.

6. Cape May, New Jersey

Make your vacation one remember in Cape May. Enjoy trolley tours of the historic district as well as the haunted district. Participate in a guided tour of a Victorian house museum and partake in a lovely afternoon tea. Check out the Cape May Lighthouse and get some great photos for the family album. Experience the awesome ferry ride to Lewes, Delaware for shopping and dining.

7. Cape May Point, New Jersey

Satisfy your inner history buff with a vacation at Cape May Point where you can see the sunken remains of the concrete ship USS Atlantus. Later, be sure to scoot over to Historic Cold Springs Village, which is a living, open-air museum. It recreates a rural southern New Jersey town of what they call the “home spun era.” Enjoy interspersing your historical pursuits with ocean cruises, swimming, and sand castles to design your personal vacation paradise.

8. Villas, New Jersey

Put the zippety doo dah into your vacation days in Villas. Tour the Hawkhaven Vineyard and Winery where you can pick up a bottle or two of delicious wine for later. Take the kids to the aviation museum to see the historic aircraft and interactive displays that are set up in a restored WWII training site, and feed your adrenaline junkies with a parasailing adventure, flying way up there with the seagulls.

9. West Cape May, New Jersey

Introduce your family to a whale of a time in West Cape May. Check out the Cape May County Historical Museum and Genealogical Society to browse toy, medical, military, maritime, and Native American displays, or take a cruise on a whale-watching boat tour to look for humpback whales.

10. Woodbine, New Jersey

Nestled between Belleplain State Forest and Cape May National Wildlife Refuge is the little town of Woodbine. It’s 15 miles from the shore and light years from the hustle and bustle of urban living. Explore local antique and collectibles shops, or take the kids and Fido to Woodbine Custard Ranch to have lunch and frozen custard outdoors. Visit the museum, go hiking or kayaking in the state forest, or explore the wildlife refuge.

11. South Dennis, New Jersey

What would it take to put miles between you and the daily grind? Try a vacation rental in South Dennis where you can hit the beach in a matter of minutes. Think of how much fun the kids can have boogie boarding and be splashing around in the waves, and if you’re up for some adventure, you can try wind surfing. The whole family can explore the nearby wildlife management area to look for eagles and owls.

12. Ocean View, New Jersey

Can’t decide between a lake vacation and a seashore vacation? You can have both at Ocean View. Enjoy fresh water fishing, tubing, and paddle boarding on Magnolia Lake. Your vacation rental is just minutes from the Atlantic Ocean for all the beach fun and salt-water fishing you can stand.