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