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Wildwood (New Jersey)

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Wildwood [7] is on the Southern Shore of New Jersey.


It is primarily a holiday town whose population swells in the summer months (June - August) with holidaymakers coming mainly from New York and Philadelphia. There are also a significant number of seasonal workers from Pennsylvania, Ireland and Eastern Europe.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

The Wildwoods are easily accessable by car, just minutes off of the Garden State Parkway, the route the majority of vacationers from the tri-state area take. Many locals use Rt. 55 South to Route 47, but in recent years this route has had serious jams that are more than 10 miles. As the Garden State Parkway traffic has toned down, but it gets bad on holiday weekends.

Many counties in New Jersey also offer Park-n-Ride, a ride sharing and van pooling system.

By bus[edit]

There are also numerous buses that run into the bus terminal in Wildwood, which is located in the center of town on Davis St. Many Greyhound buses from Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware offer services to this location, as well as New Jersey Transit buses for residents of the state of New Jersey.

By plane[edit]

Nearby Atlantic City is home to an international airport, which has several car rental distributors on site, as well as limousine companies to take tourists from the airport to Wildwood. Atlantic City International Airport is located 45 minutes north of the Wildwoods. Philadelphia International Airport is located approximately 2 hours away, as well.

Get around[edit]

Once in Wildwood, it is incredibly easy to navigate your way around. If needed, the entire island is walkable. However, many people choose to drive for time and convenience purposes. Be careful though, parking can be expensive! Many residents and tourists choose to ride their own bikes, or rent them from one of the several rental facilities in the town. You can rent singles, doubles, or even family sized bikes. It is also very common to see people on skates and skateboards.

To get from place to place on the boardwalk, which spans numerous miles, many choose to hop aboard the tram car, which is a small, trolley-like vehicle that drives solely from one end of the boardwalk to the other ($3 each way)

Taxi cabs and NJ Transit buses also operate through Wildwood, both which are cost effective, and are available constantly.

There are three different taxi services located in the Wildwoods, Carribean, Checkers, and Pink. They can pick you up anwhere in Wildwood within about 5 minutes. This is the safest way to get around at night, especially if you are drinking, for the cops in Wildwood are diligent.

See[edit][add listing]

Although Wildwood is primarily known for being a shore town, there are several historic and recreational sites.

  • Historic town hall is located in the center of Wildwood, as well as several small local museums. Many of the town's motels were built in the'Doo-Wop" era of 1950's and 1960's, which makes for some very unique looks.
  • Wildwood boasts beautiful landscapes, which can be seen by taking a helicopter ride, or a boat tour, both of which are available daily.
  • There is a miniature aquarium located on the boardwalk that often hosts interactive exhibits.
  • Wildwood is also home to one of the country's oldest wooden roller coasters and the tallest ferris wheel on the east coast, which can be seen from miles, especially at night when it is lit up with an array of neon lights.
  • The convention center, which is located at the end of the boardwalk, often has various activities, demonstations, and shows.
  • The historic Cape May Zoo is also a short drive away, which is home to more than 200 different species of animals in a quaint park setting, and is visited by more than 3 quarters of a million people annually. The Zoo features a playground, nature trails, and a pond for fishing.

A new attraction, about 2 years old, is the movies on the beach. Right in the middle of the second and third piers they set up a large screen on the beach, only at nights. They have the latest movies showing every night at 8 PM, with inexpensive tickets

Do[edit][add listing]

In the Wildwoods, there is fun for everyone.

Not well known outside the tri-state area, Wildwood is notable for being both an eclectic town and a popular family vacation spot. Located in Cape May County, on the Southern tip of New Jersey, Wildwood has long been known as one of the hot spots along the Jersey coast. Its uniqueness among shore towns is its attention to family-oriented fun and a mix of activities for people of all ages.

  • The most obvious, and most frequently utilized attraction in The Wildwoods is the miles of beautiful sandy beaches which are free. Although all of the beaches are popular with both tourists and year round residents, two of the most popular beaches on the island are The Inlet at the entrance to North Wildwood, and Diamond Beach, located in The Crest. Both of these spots are known for their seclusion. Besides sunbathing and swimming, there are numerous activities available at the beach, such as boating, parasailing, hand-gliding, jet-skiing, surfing kite surfing.
  • People who want to escape the crowds of the beach often head to the bay area to indulge in an afternoon of fishing or crabbing.

Free events include Friday night fireworks on the beach in the center of Wildwood and concerts featuring tribute bands and local talent that are held at Fox Park on Sunday evening and at the new band shell in Wildwood Crest.

  • For rainy days when the beach is not an option, there are several movie theaters and rental places and a huge library for a quiet day inside. Wildwood is also a short drive away from the Atlantic City casinos.
  • For those who do not like the sand but love the water, there are 3 watermarks in this town. Ocean Oasis Waterpark & Beach Club is located on Beach & 25th Ave, Raging Water's is at the back of Surfside Pier, and Splash Zone is in town as well
  • Or spend some time parasailing with the islands only parasail company, Hang Loose Parasail, 609-522-wild the cost is reasonable at between $50 and $65 per person

During the summer months, The Wildwoods also host many festivals and special weekends. During Memorial Day weekend, there are parades and many street vendors and special activities to celebrate the beginning of the summer season. The same types of events are held at the end of the summer over Labor Day weekend. There is also Irish Weekend and Firefighters weekends in early September and fourth of July fireworks on the beach, along with countless food tasting festivals. From June until August, there are fireworks on the beach every Friday night.

Many cheerleading, dance, gymnastics, wrestling, and basketball tournaments are held in Wildwood.

There many places to rent boats and jetskis, or you can hop aboard the Thunder Cat, a huge speedboat, that takes you right along the coastline at top speed then out off the coast a couple miles to Whale watch.

Most mornings the boardwalk is full of people riding bikes, skating or walking. This has been a ritual in wildwood for many years. There are bike rentals on almost every block in all three of the wildwoods, a regular bike will cost around eight dollars for the hour.

The beaches for the most part are clean and inviting, but be aware that the ocean begins about 3 blocks after you enter the sand in some places. This can make it difficult for senior citizens. Those looking to avoid walking through the send can go to 1st street in North Wildwood, where the water stars about 100 feet from the street and features a pool like environment, with few waves and depths of about 30 feet at certain points.

  • Cape May Whale Watcher, Inc (Whale and Dolphin Watching), 890 2nd Ave (at the Miss Chris Marina,, across the street from the Lobster House), 6098845445, [1]. 10:00am-9:00pm. Large largest whale and dolphin watching outfit, claim a 99% success rate to see dolphins, and 68% for whales. Whale Watching Trips starts in March and end in December, with 3 daily tours in high season (May to September - 10AM, 1PM and 6.30PM. Price: $15-$45.  edit
  • Wildwood Daytrippers (Showers and Parking), 421 East 24Tt Avenue (Turn East on 24th Avenue), 6099723791, [2]. 24 hours. Wildwood Daytrippers is a family operated shower house and dressing rooms located a half block from the Beach and Boardwalk since 1962. One block from Moreys pier. Hot, private showers and dressing room are only 5 dollars for all day use (one shower). It is also a parking lot. If you just want to shower and leave, you don't have to pay to park. varies.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

A wide variety of things are sold in Wildwood. Numerous tourist nicknacks, food products such as world famous fudge, fried Oreos, and chocolate dipped bananas. Many vendors sell novelty clothing items and hermit crabs for the kids. Henna tattoos are popular. There are several old time photo centers throughout Wildwood where families and friends can dress up in fancy old time costumes and pick a background of their choice, and have a professional photograph taken. There are also tons and tons of arcades and games on the boardwalk.

Even if you need some toiletries or groceries, you could find that in the super markets located on the island.

You can buy almost any sports team equipment from the teams from the tri-state area (i.e. the Eagles, Giants, Phillies, Mets and Yankees.)

Supermarkets are available on the island for toiletries or groceries.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Wildwood features numerous places to sample a taste of the Jersey shore in all types of settings. If you are looking for a quick bite to eat, there is no better place to sample a tasty treat than the boardwalk. From the famous pizza shop rivals, Sam's and Mack's (everyone has a preference), to Curly's fresh fries, Laura's and Douglas's Fudge shops, to countless ice cream and funnel cake stands. You can find popcorn, gourmet pizza, cheesesteaks, hot dogs, salads, waffles and ice cream, polish water ice, Chocolate covered bananas, deep fried Oreo's, milkshakes, and every kind of candy on the boardwalk. There are also many deli's.

  • Russo's and Marrinucci's in North Wildwood have great sandwiches on the go or for sitting on the beach.
  • Bill's in Wildwood, right on Park Boulevard and Glenwood, has great wings and family packages for the whole family. Sal's is the best if you want some Philly cheesesteaks in Wildwood Crest.

If you are looking for more of a sit down meal, the island features numerous diners and family-style restaurants, such as The Star Diner and The Vegas Diner, both in North Wildwood. The Wildwoods also feature world class seafood and Italian style cuisine in such fine establishments as Gia's and Alfie's (in Wildwood), Uries and The Boat House (on Rio Grande Boulevard), and Little Italy. Several world renowned restaurants are also located in Atlantic City, such as Morton's Steakhouse, which is located at Caesar's Pier, and Buddakan.

Steak lovers may want to consider Neil's Steak and Chowder House or J.P. Primes.

In the most southern part of Wildwood Crest, located on Atlantic Ave., there is a small cafe located in the Pier 6600 hotel. The food is great and the price is very reasonable. And if you wanted to listen to live music during the day you can stay at the Pier 6600 hotel, at the Barefoot bar and grill where they have live music everyday except Sundays.

Added at the end of the 2008 summer season, a Sonic was built about 10 minutes from Wildwood on Rt. 74. This is a popular spot for younger crowds.

  • Antique Images (Old Time Photos), Boardwalk Mall (3800 Boardwalk, Wildwood), 609-522-4716, [3]. Original Home of Old Time Photos on the Jersey Shore. In Continuous operation by the same owners since 1977. Professional Service, Portrairs not snapshots.  edit
  • The Ravioli House, 102 E Bennett Ave, Wildwood, NJ 08260, (609) 522-7894, [4]. 4 PM- Closing. If you are in the mood for delicious home cooked Italian food this is the place to go! The Lobster Ravioli are a shore favorite. $0- $30.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Wildwood is certainly not a dry town. There are numerous places for adults to indulge in a night out on the town in Wildwood. Some of the town's most popular bars are Keenan's Irish Pub, the Anglesey Pub, Westy's Irish Pub, Echoes, Owen's Pub, and Flip Flopz which are primarily located at the enterance of North Wildwood. Juan Pablos is a great upscale Mexican restaurant located in the heart of wildwood with lots of sexy women and awesome drinks. Both locals and tourists alike mingle in this hip setting where drinks and light appetizers are served. Clubs such as Shakers and The Ship and Shore, Sportsman's Tavern and the Fireman's Tavern are very scary night time spots for the alcoholics and drug smoking locals. At local bar Shamrocks, Wednesdays are Quizzo night, where anyone can compete in a series of Jeopardy-like questions for prizes, also very popular are: Sunset Bay, La Piazza, A and L P,(A great sandwich shop), Angry Jack's in North Wildwood and Boardwalk Bar and Grill on Atlantic Ave.

Wildwood's nightlife is incredibly diverse. The main attraction for families is the boardwalk, which features miles of novelty shops, eateries, and the three famous amusement piers, Surfside Pier, formerly Morey's Pier, Mariners Landing Pier, and Adventure Pier, formerly Wild Wheels Pier located a few blocks apart from each other. Both of these amusement parks can be enjoyed by either buying tickets or purchasing an all day pass for a discounted price. The rides range from kiddie go-carts and merry-go-rounds, to log flumes to sky-high roller coasters and bungee jumping. The boardwalk is lined with games of all kinds and prizes galore. If you are a gambler and do not want to drive all the way to Atlantic City, there are tons of casino arcades on the boardwalk. There are also dozens of miniature golf centers, many with ice cream parlors attached. If you are up for it, it is also possible to get your palms and tarot cards read or even get a tattoo and something pierced.

  • Sam's Pizza Palace, 2600 Boardwalk Wildwood, 609) 522-6017. Family owned and operated since 1957. Tasty pizza, great service. Pizza has a nice thin crust the perfect sauce. better then that not only is the service great but they are quick.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

The Wildwoods are broken down into four main towns: North Wildwood, Wildwood, West Wildwood, and Wildwood Crest. The Wildwoods are world reknowned for having the largest concentration of Mid-Century Modern or "Doo-Wop" motels and other commercial buidlings anywhere in the world. The vast majority of vacationers choose to stay in these "Doo-Wop" motels during the summer months. Prime examples of "Doo-Wop" motels can be found throughout the Wildwoods, including the Daytona Motor Inn on Atlantic and Youngs Avenue, The Starlux Motel on Rio Grande and Atlantic, and The Carribean Motel on Ocean Ave. and Buttercup. Often times families vacation at the same motels and hotels for multiple generations. Still other vacationers like to rent houses by either the week, the month, or the season. The most popular month to rent is July, which is consequently the month when housing is most expensive. Many residents of the surrounding states have second homes in Wildwood, and utilize their vacation homes for all or most of the summer. These people are known as "Shoobies".

  • Pier 6600. Located at the southern end of Wildwood Crest offers the "Doo-Wop" look and mood. The Hotel itself is older with the offic drapped in older carpets and fixtures. However the pool and bar area is brand new, it had a warm sunny day feel with good drinks and live music, by Greg Davis, who plays good classic rock.  edit
  • The Oceanview Motel. Located in Wildwood Crest, this newer motel still keeps the older look. It has a large miniature golf area located on the property, as well as a Beach Grill that serves hamburgers and hot dogs.  edit
  • The Royal Court, 4301 Atlantic Ave, 609-522-5398, [5]. This family-owned motel is located a block from the boardwalk, making it quieter than hotels directly on the boardwalk. Rooms are a good size and extremely clean.  edit
  • Seapointe Village Rentals by Owner, 9901 Seapointe Blvd, [6]. These individually owned condos and townhomes are located oceanfront in a 17 acre resort. Each home is decorated and maintained by the owners. Find a rental by owner and save.  edit

Stay Safe[edit]

During the day, the highly visited beaches and boardwalk are very safe. However, Wildwood has its fair share of social problems, including poverty and violent crime. At night, stay in groups on the boardwalk and do NOT wander around the town alone. Also be aware of pickpockets during the day. As long as you stay in a group, however, you should be more than okay.

Get out[edit]

Routes through Wildwood
ENDCape May  S noframe N  Stone HarborAtlantic City

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