Beach Eats, Cape May, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor, Strathmere, The Wildwoods, Townsends Inlet, Uncategorized

Come for the Food, “Fall” for the View

With temps still hovering in the high 70’s over the next couple days, it is hard to think about putting an end to your shore plans. The good news is, you don’t have to – lucky for us shore lovers, many restaurants, shops and businesses will remain open well into the holiday season.

We recently published a list of our “Top 10 things To Do at the Shore This Fall” and #8 on our list was “Go Out to Eat”. While some restaurants have already closed for the season, many others will remain open on weekends. Among these are dining establishments that will continue to offer al fresco dining (weather permitting), or at least stunning views to make you feel like you’re dining outdoors. Here is a list of our favorite restaurants in each town that are still open this fall.

Ocean City – Hula Restaurant

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Hula Restaurant, Ocean City

Say Aloha! to the vibrantly colorful and unassuming Hula Restaurant, tucked back off the main boardwalk between 9th and 10th Streets. The Hula is famous for its Hawaiian Chicken, sticky rice and other tropical-inspired delights. The food is fresh, healthy and delicious and will make you feel  like you’re surfside in Maui. Take home a bottle of their famous Hula Dressing, Hawaiian Style Barbeque or Teriyaki Sauces (or all three!) Gift cards are available for purchase in the restaurant and will make a great holiday gift for Hula Restaurant fans. Outdoor seating available as weather permits; now open weekends until Thanksgiving.   940 Boardwalk.

Strathmere – Deauville Inn

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The Deauville Inn, Strathmere

Overlooking the bay between Ocean City and Sea Isle in beautiful Strathmere is the Deauville Inn, which has been delighting diners for decades. Boasting of an expansive dining room, a sports bar, an outdoor patio and bar area and, in the summer season, the bayside barefoot Beach Bar, the Deauville offers robust entertainment throughout the summer season. Their extensive menu ranges from burgers to fresh seafood and appeals to every taste. Now open weekends through December. 201 Willard Road.

Sea Isle – Carmen’s Restaurant

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Carmen’s Restaurant, Sea Isle

Noted as Sea Isle’s first waterfront restaurant, Carmen’s has been serving up delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner since 1981. Their large menus offer something for everyone, not to mention the delectable bay breezes and authentic nautical ambience. This restaurant also offers endless waterfront entertainment – watch fishing vessels come back with their catch in the morning, wave to paddle boarders in the afternoon and enjoy a beautiful sunset in the evening. While the restaurant is open air, clear shades are used when necessary to keep out the weather and cool breezes while still allowing for the beautiful view. Now open through Saturday October 20th.   343 43rd Place.

Townsends Inlet – Sunset Pier

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Sunset from Sunset Pier, Townsends Inlet

Come here any evening and you’ll see how this waterfront restaurant got its name. But the Sunset Pier doesn’t just delight in the evening – during the day, visitors can enjoy an acai bowl or freshly made smoothie from the juice bar, visit the tackle shop and rent back bay boats for crabbing, fishing, or joy riding. A 20-foot pontoon boat is also available for party rentals. If you’re just coming to eat, you’re in for a real treat – their food is delicious, their menu appeals to all tastes and the sunsets are free of charge. Indoor and outdoor seating available (weather permitting). You’ll have to wait until next year to enjoy a sunset here, though…the restaurant is now only open for breakfast and lunch on weekends (Friday – Monday) through Thanksgiving.

Avalon – Sea Grill

avseagrill
The Sea Grill, Avalon

One of three restaurants owned by the wildly popular Princeton Bar and Grille, the Sea Grill offers the finest in steak and seafood in a gorgeous romantic setting. The Sea Grill gives diners a unique experience as they walk up to a window to order or their main and side dishes, and then help themselves to a salad bar amply stocked with fresh ingredients. Although not a waterfront venue, the Sea Grill’s candle lit, cozy ambience is a perfect place for date night or to celebrate an anniversary or birthday. Looking for lunch, a casual atmosphere or some lively entertainment instead? Head next door to the Circle Tavern (or in the summer head around the corner to the Princeton Bar and Grill – sadly, it is closed for the season). The Sea Grill and Circle Tavern are open year-round; Sea Grill (225 21st Street) opens at 5:00 pm daily and the Circle Tavern (2008 Dune Drive) opens at 11:00 am daily.

Stone Harbor – Stone Harbor Bar and Grill 

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Stone Harbor Bar and Grill, Stone Harbor

The Stone Harbor Bar and Grill offers a fun and casual dining experience in the heart of the shopping district – a perfect place to take a break from shopping and have a drink or a bite to eat. Catch a game on one of 25 big screen TVs and enjoy a cool ocean breeze in summer when the large front windows are opened. Their menu offers top quality meats, freshly baked breads, locally-sourced seafood and refreshing signature cocktails. Now open Thursday through Sunday, 12:00 noon – 10:00 -m (8:00 pm on Sundays). 261 96th Street.

Wildwood – Two Mile Landing

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Two Mile Landing features the Crab House and Two Mile Restaurant and Bar, Wildwood Crest

On the way to Cape May from Wildwood, nestled back by the bay in Wildwood Crest and offering expansive waterfront dining and stunning sunset views is the Two-Mile Landing dining and entertainment complex featuring two restaurants – the Crab House and the Two Mile Restaurant and Bar. The Crab House has been specializing in All-You-Can-Eat Blue Claw Crabs since 2012 and offers a raw bar, “Crabatizers”, burgers, tacos and entrees that will appeal to both landlubbers and seafoodies alike. In 2013, Two-Mile Restaurant and Bar opened to offer upscale casual dining featuring 21 beers on tap, a wide selection of wines and delicious entrees. These waterfront establishments feature two decks with a stage and plenty of live entertainment throughout the summer. The Crab House remains open 7 days a week starting at 11:30 am, and Two-Mile Restaurant and Bar is now open Thursday – Sunday at 4:00 pm. Both restaurants will remain open through October 27 and will also be open on Thanksgiving. Gift cards are available.   1 Fish Dock Road.

Cape May – Lobster House 

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Lobster House / Schooner American, Cape May

Located on the Cape May Harbor and situated right next to the dock where freshly caught seafood is offloaded every day, the Lobster House offers a unique nautical dining experience. For decades, the Lobster House has provided elegant waterfront dining consisting of five dining rooms, casual dockside dining, a raw bar, a take-out window and a fish shop where fresh seafood can be purchased and enjoyed at home. It also includes the permanently moored Schooner American, a 130-foot long sailing vessel which provides the perfect setting for an outdoor drinking and dining experience and features a full bar, luncheon menu and specialty appetizers in the evening. The Lobster House, Take-Out Shop and Fish market are all open year-round; the Raw Bar and Schooner American are only open May – October. Hours are as follows:
Lobster House – 11:30 am – 3:00 pm and 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm. (Year-round)
Take-Out Shop 11:00 am – 7:00 pm during winter months (9:00 pm in summer) (Year-round).
Fish Market 8:00 am – 7:00 pm (9:00 pm in summer) (Year-round)
Raw Bar 11:30 am – 10:00 pm (May – October)
Schooner American 12:00 noon – 10:00 pm. (May – October)

Avalon, Cape May, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Special Events, Stone Harbor, The Wildwoods, Uncategorized

Fall…for Food and Fun!

As much as we may love summer, there’s no stopping the fact that on Saturday September 22, at precisely 9:54 p.m. Eastern Time, we will officially say goodbye to Summer 2018 and usher in Fantastic Fall. While it is always bittersweet to bid farewell to our carefree beach days and (oh!) those summer nights, fall itself can be pretty cool – in more ways than one. Especially now that shore officials, local businesses and event coordinators have planned a plethora of events to keep us coming back to the places we love the most. Foodies and wine lovers will particularly delight in knowing that, beginning this weekend and extending well into the fall, several coastal culinary events have been planned to tickle their taste buds. Here, we break down the events by category and follow up with a chronological listing of these gastric galas so that you won’t miss a chance to fall for food and fun down the shore.

Seafoodseafood
If you savor seafood, you’re in luck – several festivals featuring ocean delicacies are being held in the upcoming weeks. On Saturday, September 22, head to the Seafarer’s Celebration at Sunset Lake in Wildwood Crest. This bayfront street festival includes live music, craft vendors, food, family entertainment, and children’s activities, with a fireworks show at 9:00 pm at Centennial Park. On September 29, plan to come to the Sea Isle Harborfest at Marina Park to celebrate Sea Isle’s fishing and nautical history by featuring delicious seafood, live music, a clam eating contest, crafts and specialty vendors.

During the first weekend of October, seafood festivals will be held in Ocean City (October 6-8), Avalon (October 6-7) and Wildwood (October 7). If you’re not sure which one to attend, why not plan a cruise down the coast on Sunday October 7 and enjoy all three? Start in Ocean City at the Music Pier where the Indian Summer Weekend features seafood venders and boardwalk table sales. Then head to the Avalon Community Hall for the Avalon Chamber Seafood Festival, offering delectable treats from fresh seafood vendors, a chowder contest, live music, vendors and more. End your day at the Seafood and Music Festival hosted by the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce on Atlantic Avenue between Wildwood and Schellenger Avenues. This festival features two stages of live music, crafters, food vendors, a pie eating contest as well as a “Kids Korner” with activities including pumpkin painting, face painting and bounce houses.

internationalInternational
Several upcoming heritage fests will provide you with an opportunity to sample fare from Ireland, Italy and Germany. Wildwood’s popular Irish Weekend begins September 21 and runs through the 23rd. The Celtic city-wide event includes entertainment, Irish dance lessons, a 5k run and 1-mile walk, golf tournament, pipe exhibition, food court stage, beer garden, food and craft vendors and so much more, with bus service available to the various events throughout the weekend. While you’re in the ‘Wood this weekend, head to Mariner’s Pier to take part in Oktoberfest, where you can sample Bavarian pretzels, bratwurst, German potato salad, schnitzel and other German treats, as well as a wide selection of beers and tasting flights at an outdoor biergarten, as you enjoy live entertainment by The Oompah-Delics. If you’re just getting adjusted to September and aren’t quite ready to usher in the new season just yet, Oktoberfest at Mariner’s Pier continues on the weekends of September 28-29 and October 6-7.

But Wildwood isn’t the only place to grab a pretzel and a beer and Prost! to good times. Cape May will host an Oktoberfest on September 29 where several streets will be transformed into a German promenade with authentic music and food. Enjoy a famous Bavarian tradition by visiting the beer gardens, food courts and artisan tables selling crafts, antiques and collectibles. And on October 20, Sea Isle City will host an Oktoberfest at Excursion Park, featuring live German music, vendors, free hayrides on the beach, magic acts, pumpkin painting, children’s entertainment and a pie baking contest.

If pasta is more your thing, then you’re in for a real treat. The Olde Time Italian Festival will be held on the weekend of September 28-29 at Fox Park on Ocean Avenue between Burk and Montgomery Avenues in Wildwood. This family festival includes a Procession of the Saints, delicious Italian food favorites, merchandise vendors, games, and continuous live entertainment. A grape stomping contest and spaghetti eating contest will take place as well. On October 6, Kix McNutley’s in Sea Isle will follow up with an Italian Festival of its own, offering a variety of great Italian food, an Italian market with craft and specialty vendors, a cannoli eating contest and live musical entertainment. Finally, Avalon gets in on the fun with the Avalon Lions Club Pasta Night at the Windrift Hotel.

For a different global experience, head to Around the World Social on September 28 at the Sand Bar in Sea Isle City. This event features soft music, butlered hors d’oeuvres, a wine sampling and cash bar.
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Food…with a side of FUN!                                                                                              For those not sold on seafood or international fare specifically, several seaside events pair food with just plain fun events – and in some cases, wine and spirits as well. Let’s start with this weekend and work our way into October.

Celebrate the first day of fall on September 22 at the 7th Annual Stone Harbor Savor September Food, Wine and Beer Festival which will be held at the 96th Street Shopping District. Enjoy the best of local wineries & breweries, food, artisans & live music. Festivities include a grape stomping competition, hay slide and more. Heading further south down the coast on the same day, you’ll find the Fall Food Truck & Music Festival at Fox Park across from the Wildwoods Convention Center. This festival features delicious and unique food trucks, music, vendors, and entertainment as well as a Kids Zone with fun and activities to keep the little ones busy. On Sunday, September 23, enjoy a Jazz Brunch at the Inn of Cape May. This Sunday morning brunch buffet features live jazz from The Great American Songbook by renowned jazz musicians.

Ocean City ushers in the first weekend of October with a fantastic Fall Block Party and Fireworks Spectacular on Asbury Avenue from 5th – 14th Streets. Here you will find crafters, food vendors, music and more. In the evening, fireworks will dazzle in the night sky over the boardwalk from 6th – 14th Streets. On October 6, legume lovers may want to head to the cape for the West Cape May Lima Bean Festival at Wilbraham Park to enjoy an array of recipes, crafts, and products featuring the lovely Lima.

On October 14, be a spicy bivalve and help out the Ocean City Firefighters Charitable Foundation by purchasing a ticket to Ocean City’s 3rd Annual Chili Chowderfest at the Music Pier, where you can partake in chili and chowder tastings while enjoying music from a DJ and watching your offspring enjoy the planned kids’ activities. For an “Evening to Die For”, come enjoy a Murder Mystery Dinner at the Inn of Cape May on October 20 and try to solve a murder mystery as you enjoy a four-course dinner.

November kicks off with the Cape May Restaurant Weekend (November 1-4; various times and locations), a four-day event that offers your choice of an appetizer, entree, and dessert for $35 per person at participating restaurants.

Wine and Chocolatewineandchocolate
Of course, no celebration of food is complete without a little wine and chocolate. This fall’s wine events include the Cape May Wine Trail on September 21 which begins at the Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom at the Emlen Physick Estate with lunch. Then hop aboard a Trolley and enjoy a brief tour and wine tasting at Willow Creek Winery, a tasting at Hawk Haven Winery, and wine tasting, cheese and crackers (complete with a souvenir glass) at Natali Vineyards. If the wine tours and tastings whet your appetite for more, join the Cape May Wine School class on October 7 at the Washington Inn to learn about wines. Of course, don’t forget to check out all the local wineries to see the events they have planned as well.

For a sweet ending to your tasty “tour de shore”, check out the Cape May Chocolate Lovers Feast on September 22 at The Blue Rose Inn where you will enjoy seven courses of delicious chocolate desserts and hear how each was created from the chef who prepared it. Can’t make it this weekend? No worries – the chocoholics among us will be happy to know that this event repeats October 27 and December 1, as well as other times during the year.

So, as you’re digesting the end of summer and considering what fall has in store for you, we hope we’ve given you enough to chew on. Bon Appetit!

Oh…but first…here’s a listing of all these wonderful events in chronological order so you won’t miss out on any of them.

September 2018
21 – Wildwood Irish Festival (runs 21st – 23rd)
21 – Cape May Wine Trail
21 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest (runs 21st – 23rd; 28-30th; October 5-7th)
22 – Wildwood Irish Festival
22 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
22 – Wildwood Crest Seafarers’ Celebration
22 – The 7th Annual Stone Harbor Savor September Food, Wine and Beer Festival
22 – Cape May Chocolate Lovers Feast at The Blue Rose Inn (repeats October 27th and December 1st)
22 – Fall Food Truck & Music Festival
23 – Wildwood Irish Festival
23 – Jazz Brunch at the Inn of Cape May
23 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
28 – Sea Isle City Around the World Social
29 – Sea Isle City Harborfest
28 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
28 – Olde Time Italian Festival
29 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
29 – Olde Time Italian Festival
29 – Cape May Oktoberfest
30 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest

October 2018
5 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
6 – West Cape May Lima Bean Festival
6 – Sea Isle City Italian Festival
6 – Avalon Chamber Seafood Festival (runs 6th – 7th)
6 – Ocean City Fall Block Party and Fireworks Spectacular
6 – Ocean City Indian Summer Weekend (runs 6th – 8th)
6 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
7 – Avalon Chamber Seafood Festival
7 – Ocean City Indian Summer Weekend
7 – Cape May Wine School
7 – Seafood and Music Festival
7 –  Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
8 –  Ocean City Indian Summer Weekend
14 – Avalon Lions Club Pasta Night
14 – Ocean City 3rd Annual Chili Chowderfest
20 – Cape may Murder Mystery Dinners
20 – Sea Isle City Octoberfest
27 – Cape May Chocolate Lovers Feast at The Blue Rose Inn

November 2018
1-4 Cape May Restaurant Weekend

 

The Wildwoods

Upcoming Events in The Wildwoods – Fall/Winter 2018

November

November 11 North Wildwood Veteran’s Day Services (10:00 am, Veterans Monument, Spruce and New York Avenues, North Wildwood).

December

December 1 Family Holiday Celebration (6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, Byrne plaza, Oak and Pacific Avenues, Wildwood). FREE admission to holiday-themed crafters and movies, photos with Santa, entertainment and much more. The festivities begin Friday evening December 1 at 6:30 pm, followed by a Tree Lighting Ceremony & Parade Awards at 7:30 pm. Rain date is December 3. This event has a second date as well, Saturday, December 9.

December 7 Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Christmas Tree Lighting (5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Courtyard, 1st and Central Avenues, North Wildwood). Christmas tree lighting event includes music, refreshments, free tour of lighthouse and Santa Claus. Free admission.

December 8 ‘Pinch the GrYnch’ Boardwalk 5K Run (9:00 am registration, Wildwoods Convention Center). This holiday boardwalk 5K run and 1 mile walk is fun for all ages! Participants are encouraged to dress in festive holiday outfits. The race route will run south on the Wildwoods Boardwalk and will wind back to the Convention Center for a Holiday Bazaar, refreshments and prizes. Registration is $30 per person or $15 if you donate a new, unwrapped toy for local children in need.

December 9 Family Holiday Celebration Continues (9:00 am – 4:30 pm, Wildwoods Convention Center). The second half of the holiday celebration goes all day and includes family fun, entertainment, pictures with Santa, movies and holiday bazaar. It ends with a second tree lighting at 4:30 p.m. at the Wildwoods Convention Center.

If you own a business or belong to an organization and you have an Upcoming Event that you would like us to feature, please contact us.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a great New Year!

To learn more about The Wildwoods, please follow the links below:

“Wild, Wild Wildwood Days” – All About The Wildwoods
History of The Wildwoods
The Wildwoods Beach Information
Where to Stay in The Wildwoods
Where to Eat in The Wildwoods

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The Wildwoods

Where to Eat in The Wildwoods

The Wildwoods offer endless culinary choices for diners with different tastes. Whether it is something quick and easy or a sit down romantic dinner you are seeking, you are sure to find what you’re looking for.

The Wildwoods are comprised of three distinct communities – North Wildwood, the city of Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. There is a fourth – West Wildwood – but this tiny haven is not home to any dining establishments so we’ve left it out of the list just for this reason. Between the other three Wildwood towns, there is an abundance of dining options to suit every taste. Here are the most sought-after dining experiences at the beach and our favorites for each category. Bon Appetit!

Doughnuts

eatfpFractured Prune Doughnuts (2006 Boardwalk, North Wildwood) The Fractured Prune began in Ocean City, MD and is now a franchise, but their service is still personal and friendly. Hot fresh doughnuts are made to order, with many glazes and toppings to choose from. Open daily 7 am to 1 pm.

Breakfast

eatbreakfastinskyBreakfast in the Sky (3501 Morey’s Pier) Probably the most unique dining venue you’ll every hear about is Breakfast in the Sky, where you climb onto the giant Ferris wheel at Morey’s Piers to enjoy a gourmet breakfast complete with white linens and china, and a spectacular view of the Wildwoods. The entire event takes about an hour and is well worth the drive here to experience it. Open daily.

wildwoodUncle Bill’s Pancake House (4601 Pacific Avenue) First established in 1962 in Stone Harbor, Uncle Bill’s expanded to several locations along the South Jersey coast over the years and is a popular breakfast destination for vacationing families and locals. Awarded as being the Best Breakfast at the Jersey Shore, Uncle Bill’s serves up breakfast all day long with over 15 different types of pancakes, waffles, French toast, omelets, farm fresh eggs and meats. Several locations also serve lunch and dinner. The staff tends to return each year, which is another mark of their success. Open daily 7 am – 2 pm.

Grab-N-Go

eatmauisMaui’s Dog House (8th and Avenues, North Wildwood) Maui’s Dog House is a bright yellow shack serving fresh made hot dogs with over 29 creative toppings. Everything here is made fresh, cooked to order. Their fries and macaroni salad – also made fresh each day – are big hits as well as the many hot dog, seafood, vegetarian and vegan options they offer. Open daily 11 am – 8 pm.

BBQ

eatjamaicanJamaica Me Hungry (9501 Atlantic Avenue, Wildwood Crest) If you’re looking for ribs in Wildwood and are a fan of barbeque then Jamaica Me Hungry in Wildwood Crest is the place for you. Their ribs are slow smoked over hickory wood for hours then grilled their Smoky BBQ Sauce. Dinner is served every nite (except Tuesday). Wednesday and Sunday nights are All U Can Eat BBQ Ribs (Dine In Only). Their famous Jerk Rib Rub and Smoky BBQ Sauce are both available for purchase online or at the restaurant. Open daily 8 am – 9 pm (3 pm Tuesday).

Pizza

According to Wildwood pizza lore, as well as the Travel Channel, there is a battle for Wildwood pizza supremacy between Mack’s and Sam’s. We’ll let you decide for yourself, but here’s the slice on each one:

eatmackwsMack’s Pizza (3218 Boardwalk) Mack’s Pizza is made first with cheese – a think topping of a mozzarella/cheddar blend. Then, in their signature way, they pipe the sauce on top of the pizza using a hose. Regardless of the order, their pizza is delicious. They offer many different special pizzas, all with Wildwood-themed names. Open daily 11 am – 12 midnight.

eatsamsSam’s Pizza (2600 Boardwalk) Sam’s opened in 1957 and has been delighting pizza lovers since. Their slices are described as being light, airy, crisp, and pleasantly salty with a perfect ration of cheese to sauce. They offer traditional pizza topping choices and serve sandwiches as well. Open daily 10:30 am – 12 Midnight.

Kid-Friendly

eatduffersDuffers (5210 Pacific Avenue) There is a reason that Duffers’ motto is “A Family Place” – more than just a restaurant, it is truly a family fun experience. For more than 42 years, Duffers has offered families a fun place to dine and spend time together, with a restaurant, ice cream shop, 18 -hole miniature golf course, arcade and gift shop. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, their extensive menu includes kid-friendly, made to order breakfast options, sandwiches, burgers, platters and nightly dinner specials. Open daily 8 am – 11 pm daily (11:30 Friday and Saturday).

Seafood

eatboatBoathouse Restaurant & Marina Deck (506 W. Rio Grande Avenue) The Boathouse serves only the freshest seafood, finest meats and pasta at competitive prices in a casual, friendly, waterfront atmosphere. It has an extensive menu with offerings for both seafood and landlubber tastes. Open daily 11:30 am – 10 pm.

Romantic

eatbeachBeach Creek Oyster Bar and Grille (500 W Hand Avenue) The Beach Creek Oyster Bar and Grille is an award-winning contemporary restaurant featuring international cuisine. The décor inside is intimate, with wood and copper highlights. Outside, the waterfront deck features a tropical setting under the stars. Entertainment and sunsets are offered each evening. Open daily 3 pm – 10 pm.

Waterfront Dining

eat2Two Mile Crab House (Fish Dock Road, Wildwood Crest) Two Mile Landing consists of two restaurants; The Crab House and 2Mile Bar & Restaurant, which features 4 bars, 2 indoor dining rooms and 3 outdoor dining areas. The vibe is casual and fun and very family-friendly. Crabs at Two Mile Landing are harvested locally. Mouth-watering steaks, fresh seafood, artisan-style flatbread pizzas and upscale appetizers are offered, as well as cocktails. With over 500 feet of waterfront dining, 4 menu styles, 2 drink menus, 21 different draft beers and multiple wine selections, there truly is something for everyone here. Open daily 11:30 am – 10 pm.

Ice Cream

eatcoolscoopsCool Scoops Ice Cream Parlor (1111 New Jersey Avenue) The Fabulous 50’s are the theme in this vintage ice cream parlor. You are invited to dine in an original car booth, watch vintage television, hear juke box music and enjoy the 50’s atmosphere. They offer a daily scoop of sundaes and cones with 50’s themed names. Their signature treat – the Happy Daze Sundae – consists of a warm brownie topped with Death by Chocolate and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice creams, covered in hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry on top. Open daily 2 pm – 11:30 pm.

Where do you like to eat in The Wildwoods? If you have a recommendation or wish to share a story about your favorite eatery, please Leave A Response below or contact us. If you own a dining establishment and would like us to feature your restaurant on this blog, please contact us and give us your name, the name of your restaurant and your email address. 

To learn more about The Wildwoods, please follow the links below:

“Wild, Wild Wildwood Days” – All About The Wildwoods
History of The Wildwoods
The Wildwoods Beach Information
Where to Stay in The Wildwoods
Upcoming Events in The Wildwoods – Fall/Winter 2018

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page

 

The Wildwoods

Where to Stay in The Wildwoods

The Wildwoods offer a wide variety of lodging options including hotels, motels, inns and guesthouses, as well as  condo and home rentals for weekly, monthly and seasonal stays. Regardless of whether you wish to stay in vibrant North Wildwood, bustling Wildwood, cozy Wildwood Crest or swanky Diamond Beach, you are sure to find something to suit your tastes.8264851_3_y

Hotels/Motels

The hotels located in the Wildwoods range from large, sprawling beachfront resorts to mid-century motels built in the iconic “doo wop” style for which Wildwood is so famous. Wildwood’s hotels are scattered throughout the island, but many are concentrated around the boardwalk in Wildwood City.

hotel-icona-diamond-beachThe hotels range from higher end options such as the Icona Diamond Beach, to smaller motels that have seen better days. Most of the hotels and motels on the island offer pools and other amenities and are well within walking distance of the boardwalk, shops and restaurants.

Inns/Guesthousesseagypsy

For guests who wish to have a more intimate stay away from bustling hotels, Wildwood offers overnight travelers the option of staying in quaint bed and breakfast inns as well as privately owned apartment and guesthouses. These accommodations are located throughout the island, but many are close to the beach and boardwalk and offer a variety of amenities. The bed and breakfast lodgings tend to be in older, historic homes. Guesthouses and apartments range from large complexes with pools to smaller, more intimate B&B type houses.

Camping:CAMPER

Camping is always an option for those who wish to have a more rustic experience. Many campgrounds are located off-island along Route 9.

Home Rentals:

Most renters will go through traditional real estate agencies to rent condos and houses, however there is a growing number of options appearing online. Websites such as Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO), Home Away and even AirBNB are starting to show options for weekly and, at times, shorter stays via website.

In closing, I strongly encourage you to visit online reviews of all these lodging options to get more information and find feedback about other guests’ experiences to better make a decision about what is right for you.

Where do you stay in The Wildwoods? If you would like to make a recommendation or share information about your favorite hotel, motel, inn or rental, please leave your reply below, or contact us if you have an interesting story about where you stayed in The Wildwoods.

To learn more about The Wildwoods, please follow the links below:

“Wild, Wild Wildwood Days” – All About The Wildwoods
History of The Wildwoods
The Wildwoods Beach Information
Where to Eat in The Wildwoods
Upcoming Events in The Wildwoods – Fall/Winter 2018

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The Wildwoods

The Wildwoods Beach Information

The Wildwood beaches are a great place to be on a hot summer afternoon, a cool autumn morning or a balmy spring night. Whether you are a beachcomber, sunbather, surfer or sandcastle builder, you are sure to enjoy your time on these white sand beaches. To maximize your enjoyment, here is information you will want to know.

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North Wildwood:

Lifeguarded Beaches
Lifeguards are on duty between Memorial Day to the end of September, daily from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., with lifeguard stations at every street from Second to 26th avenues and the inlet.

Permitted Activities
Surfing – Permitted at 2nd & Ocean Avenues – 3rd Avenue & JFK Blvd. Although surfing locations during the day will be limited, after 5:30 p.m. surfing is at your own risk.

Beach Tag Information
No tags necessary – beaches in Wildwood are FREE!

Parking
There is parking at meters on the streets close to beach, and free street parking is available farther from beach and boardwalk. There are also paid parking lots.

Restrooms
Restrooms are located at 7th Avenue & Kennedy Drive, Lifeguard Headquarters at 15th Avenue & Beach, 25th Avenue & Boardwalk, Olde New Jersey Avenue & Seawall. Portable bathrooms are on beach every 3-4 blocks in season. Handicapped-accessible restrooms are located at Seventh and 15th Avenues and the beach.

Accessibility
There is a concrete ramp at 15th Avenue. parking at 15th Avenue and the beach. ADA-compliant beach access improvements and walkways are being constructed at 16th through 20th avenues, and at 23rd and 24th avenues.

Surf Chairs
The North Wildwood Beach Patrol provides 20 surf chairs for use on the beach.  The locations are at 15th Avenue Beach Patrol, 6th Avenue and Ocean Avenue in the Inlet.

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Wildwood:

Lifeguarded Beaches
Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day until September 10, 2017, daily from 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Permitted Activities
Surfing – This summer, Wildwood designated for the first time a surfing beach at Andrews Avenue.

Beach Tag Information
No tags necessary – beaches in Wildwood are FREE!

Parking
There is parking at meters on the streets close to beach, and free street parking is available farther from beach and boardwalk. There are also paid parking lots.

Restrooms
Restroom buildings are located along the boardwalk and there are portable restrooms located at end of the beach ramps every other street. Handicapped-accessible restrooms are located on the boardwalk level at Glenwood, Youngs and Leaming Avenues. There is a ramp from the boardwalk to the beach for restrooms/comfort station at Schellenger Avenue.

Accessibility
Ramps from the boardwalk to the beach are available at Rio Grande Avenue and north of Lincoln Avenue. Street-to-beach access is available at the following streets: Cresse, Hildreth, Bennett, Leaming, Baker, Roberts, Garfield, Lincoln, Wildwood, Maple, Glenwood, Magnolia, Poplar Avenues, as well as 26 Street. Transport from the boardwalk to water’s edge is available daily 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (only one companion may ride along).

Surf Chairs
Surf chairs are available 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Lincoln Avenue Headquarters.

Rules and Regs

  • No pets
  • Rafts and flotation devices, ball playing, Frisbees and other games are permitted only in areas designated by lifeguards.
  • Alcohol, skimboards, watercraft, vehicles and fires/cooking are all prohibited.
  • Do not feed sea gulls.

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Wildwood Crest:

Lifeguarded Beaches
Lifeguards are on duty daily between 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Permitted Activities
Surfing – Permitted on beaches located on Cardinal Road & Rambler Road.

Beach Tag Information
No tags necessary – beaches in Wildwood are FREE!

Parking 
Metered street parking is available close to the beach with free parking on streets further away from the beach. There is a municipal lot with free parking at the recreation center at Heather Road and Ocean Avenue.

Restrooms
Permanent restrooms are located at Sunrise Park on Rambler Road and Scoop Taylor Park at Heather Road and Ocean Avenue; some portable restrooms are located along the beach.

Accessibility
The Wildwood Crest Beach Patrol offers a free handicap transportation service from July 1 through Labor Day Weekend.  The service is everyday beginning at 11:00 a.m. and ending at 4:00 p.m.  In order to receive a ride from the street end down to the beach, just call our headquarters at 609-522-3825 when you are ready to go!  When you are ready to return back to the street, call the number again and a driver will pick you up at your location. Reservations cannot be made for transports, so please call during transportation hours.

Surf Chairs
Beach wheelchairs are available at the WCBP headquarters located at Rambler Road and the beach.  Wheelchair rentals begin at 10:00 a.m. and must be returned by 5:00 p.m.  There is no charge for renting a wheelchair.

Rules and Regs

The following items are prohibited:

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Vehicles
  • Obscene Language
  • Litter
  • Animals
  • Fires
  • Surf Fishing
  • Floatation Devices Permitted in Posted Areas Only
  • Ball playing, Frisbees and kite flying are permitted in the designated recreational area located in the soft sand behind the umbrella line.

To learn more about The Wildwoods, please follow the links below:

“Wild, Wild Wildwood Days” – All About The Wildwoods
History of The Wildwoods
Where to Stay in The Wildwoods
Where to Eat in The Wildwoods
Upcoming Events in The Wildwoods – Fall/Winter 2018

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page

 

 

 

The Wildwoods

History of The Wildwoods

 

inletFor centuries, the Lenni-Lenape Indians, came to the barrier island where “Five Mile Beach” is located to fish and hunt in the summer months. They cut trails through the mainland’s coastal forest and navigated through swamplands to lead them to the island. In 1717, a group of investors acquired the island and for over a century it was used for farming, cattle grazing and fishing.

The Hereford Inlet, which hugs the northern end of the island where it meets the Atlantic, was the location of many shipwrecks and groundings as the result of strong currents and shifting sandbars at its entrance. 1848 the U.S. Lifesaving Service constructed a life-saving station on the northern tip of the island near the inlet to assist boaters in distress. The station was one of 45 built along the New Jersey coast at that time.

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In 1874 the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse was built to further prevent vessels from running aground. It operated as a lighthouse until 1964 when a tower was built on the property to accommodate a rotating modern optic and the building was closed. In 1986, after renovations, a portion of the building reopened, the light was moved back into the lighthouse lantern room and the building was once again operational. It continues to be a navigational aid today– its beacon can be seen 13 nautical miles at sea on a clear night – and the building, which now also houses a museum and gift shop, is listed on the National Registers of Historic Places.

postcardanglefishFishermen and their families began building small houses on the north end of the island in the mid- to late 1800s and became the island’s first permanent residents. They named the small community they built “Anglesea”, which would later become North Wildwood.

In 1879, an entrepreneur named Frederick Swope purchased land on Five Mile Island as a real estate venture. Three years later he formed the Anglesea Improvement Company, through which he began selling lots to investors and building summer cottages for wealthy Philadelphia families. In order to get people to the island, he built a railway spur that connected Anglesea to the main West Jersey railroad line that ran from Cape May. The train, whose tracks rested on wetlands, gained the nickname “Mud Hen” because it often became derailed at high tide, causing passengers to disembark and stand in the marshes until low tide came and the train could be corrected.

postcardhbadThree years after Swope came to town, a trio men ventured to the middle of Five Mile Island to seek land for their own seaside homes. Finding a forest of wildly growing Holly trees, they formed the Holly Beach Improvement Company and began developing the land.

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In 1883 the company’s director, Latimus Baker, brought his brother to the island topostcardbaker further explore development possibilities. They found a wild jungle of trees and vines to the north of Holly Beach, purchased a tract of 100 acres and established the Wild-wood Improvement Company.

Development in Wildwood and Holly Beach was challenging because transportation options at the time were sparse. People were forced to use a variety of modes to get there, including trains, boats and walking paths – often all three. Construction materials were brought in by flat bottom boats. Fortunately, transportation challenges did not thwart development – lots were sold and financed for payments of $10.00 a month – and soon many beach cottages and boarding houses were built.

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postcardhbrrsEventually the railroad system improved and by 1903 passengers were able to connect from Philadelphia, Cape May and other South Jersey towns to Anglesea, and then switch to a train that would travel south to stations in Wildwood and Holly Beach. Ferries were used to shuttled passengers across the harbor from Rio Grande Avenue. Also in 1903, a bridge was built across the inlet at Rio Grande Avenue.

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The Baker Brothers continued developing the southern end of the island and in 1906 the first homes were built in the area now known as Wildwood Crest. In 1907 they built a dramatic arch at Cresse and Pacific Avenues to mark the beginning of the new community.

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The classification and governing structure of the Wildwood communities transformed dramatically between 1885 and 1920, each eventually becoming their own separate entities. In 1885, Anglesea became incorporated as a borough. In 1906 it was reincorporated as the borough of North Wildwood, and in 1917 it became a city. Holly Beach was incorporated as a borough in 1885 and ten years later Wildwood, too, became a borough. In 1912 Wildwood and Holly City were joined as one entity and became Wildwood City. Wildwood Crest incorporated as a borough in 1910, and ten years later West Wildwood also became a borough. The area currently known as “Diamond Head” which rests on the southernmost tip of Wildwood Crest, is an unincorporated community that is a part of Wildwood Crest, just as Townsends Inlet is a part of Sea Isle City. Together, the five communities – Wildwood, North Wildwood, West Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and Diamond Head – are what we refer to today as “The Wildwoods”.

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One of the greatest attractions of The Wildwoods has been its impressively grand boardwalk. In the early days of development, several small boardwalks were constructed in Anglesea, Holly Beach, North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest to connect hotels, guesthouses and businesses. postcardhbbw2The boards were rudimentarily placed and often rested on the sand. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that one boardwalk was expanded to stretch from North Wildwood to the beginning of Wildwood Crest. It was elevated above the sand and situated closer to the ocean, unlike the earliest boardwalks.

As the boardwalk expanded, many amusement rides, dining establishments and bandstands soon appeared. postcardoceanpier3Ocean Pier began in the early 1900s and at first was home to dances and musical acts, later becoming an amusement park. Another popular pier at the time was Blaker’s Pier, which stood at the location of the original Excursion House at Cedar Street and the beach. Blaker is credited for introducing rolling wicker chairs to the Wildwood boardwalk in 1906.

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postcardbeach2Over the next few years, the boardwalk became victim to the forces of nature and fell into disrepair. Additionally, Wildwood’s beaches were expanding at a rapid rate due to the construction of Cape May’s harbor and jetties, and later the inlet at Wildwood Crest, all of which changed the natural flow of eroded sand and forced it to build up on Wildwood’s beaches. This meant that the boardwalk, once next to the ocean’s edge, was becoming further away from the water.

One night in 1919, after a town official unsuccessfully argued to move the boardwalk closer to the ocean, he arranged for its clandestine destruction at midnight so that the town would be forced to rebuild it in accordance with his suggestion. The town was dismayed over losing its boardwalk unexpectedly, but the plan was successful – in 1921 it was rebuilt closer to the ocean. Today, as beaches continue expanding, the boardwalk is very far from the ocean in many areas, compared to the boardwalks of Ocean and Atlantic Cities that lie very close to water’s edge. This may be one reason why Wildwood’s boardwalk has not endured weather-related damage to the extent that its northern neighbors have.

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The completion of the Garden State Parkway in 1955, connecting Wildwood and other South Jersey beach towns with the mainland and the state to the north, allowed more travelers to visit the island. A building boom began in the 1950s during which over 200 motels were constructed in the Wildwood communities, built with unique architecture and flashing neon signs. Designed to attract motorists to stay, many hotels displayed themes such as space age, tropical, and other eye-catching gimmicks.

But perhaps the other reason for growth in popularity as a vacation destination was the legacy that Wildwood was developing as the “Las Vegas of the East”. In the 50s and 60s, many famous artists came to Wildwood to perform their hits, spurred on by promotion managers that promised them huge crowds. It is said that the1954 hit “Rock Around the Clock” was first performed by Bill Haley & His Comets at the HofBrau Hotel in Wildwood. Known as one of the first rock and roll hits, the fact that it was first performed in Wildwood inspired the city to claim itself as being the birthplace of rock and roll. Other famous artists that performed in various venues throughout the Wildwoods are Chubby Checker, Fats Domino, Bobby Rydell and Diana Ross. brydellThe first national broadcast of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand occurred in the Starlight Room on the Wildwood Boardwalk. “Doo Wop”, the name coined for the genre of mid-century music featuring non-sensical or “doo wop” type sounds, was a popular sound often heard wafting from clubs on this island by the sea.

postcardhuntsIn 1969, the Morey family purchased two lots on the boardwalk in North Wildwood at 25th and 26th streets and renovated the Surfside Pier to feature new and improved amusement rides. Their business expanded over the next several decades. By the end of the 20th century they owned the boardwalk’s three ride piers and two water parks. Today, Morey’s Piers are the primary attraction of the Wildwood Boardwalk.

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The most iconic symbol of the Wildwood boardwalk throughout the years has been the blue and yellow tram car whose pre-recorded warning message, “Watch the tram car, please!” is a favorite boardwalk catchphrase. Tram cars are trackless “trains” that have been running the length of the Wildwood boardwalk since 1949, from 16th Street in North Wildwood to Cresse Avenue in Wildwood Crest. Each year they shuttle millions of visitors to various places along the boardwalk. The trains run on batteries that are charged each night, and some of the cars still used today were originally built for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York.

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In 1997, after a university study concluded that Wildwood had the largest collection of mid-century commercial architecture in the nation, the Doo Wop Preservation League was formed. Comprised of Wildwood business owners and community members, the League is committed to preserving the 1950s era diners and motels that made Wildwood the “Doo Wop Capital of the World”.

postcardsurfsideSpecifically, in 2002 the League and its partners raised funds to save an iconic 1960 restaurant called the “Surfside” from demolition. The restaurant was built in the traditional doo wop fashion with a space-age look. The money was used to disassemble the restaurant. Its pieces were stored until 2007 when it was resurrected on property across from the Wildwood Convention Center and became the “Doo Wop Museum”. The museum features a 50’s style bandshell, a retro malt shop, a neon sign garden, furniture, and other mid-century memorabilia. Housed on the museum’s property is a Wawa and Acme purposely built in the 50’s style. Other preservation efforts resulted in two of Wildwood’s most iconic 50s hotels, the Caribbean Motel in Wildwood Crest and the Chateau Bleu Motel in North Wildwoods, being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over 9 million visitors travel to The Wildwoods each summer to enjoy the expansive beaches, massive boardwalk and endless entertainment – the very things that have led these communities to become the recipients of numerous “best” awards over the years. But if you listen beyond the shrieks of delighted children, you’ll hear the symphonic crashing of ocean waves. If you look beyond the flashy neon lights and throngs of vacationers, you’ll see a beautiful natural barrier island that, in some places, still looks as it did when its earliest residents settled in. The Wildwood’s success as a treasured vacation destination is directly the result of these early pioneers – men and women who were willing to endure arduous travel conditions, challenging terrain, a shifting oceanfront and natural disasters so that future generations could enjoy the seaside amusement mecca it is today.postcardvintage1

Do you, or does your family or business, have a history in The Wildwoods? We’re interested in hearing from people whose families were original or early settlers, or who own or owned a business, or who have other historical information to share such as living or working here in past summers, meeting your significant others, getting engaged or married here or any other human interest story. If so, and if you would like to share your story, please contact us by clicking here. The information you provide us is  through this link is confidential and we will contact you to gain more information, as well as your full permission, before we disclose any information you provide.  Thank you, and please don’t hesitate to contact us (Note: for your privacy, do not include your information in the Leave A Reply box below unless you wish others to see your information).

To learn more about The Wildwoods, please follow the links below:

“Wild, Wild Wildwood Days” – All About The Wildwoods
The Wildwoods Beach Information
Where to Stay in The Wildwoods
Where to Eat in The Wildwoods
Upcoming Events in The Wildwoods – Fall/Winter 2018

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page

The Wildwoods

Wild, Wild, Wildwood Days

The Wildwoods are located a barrier island known as “Five-Mile Island” which lies 30 miles south of Atlantic City. The term “The Wildwoods” refers to the four communities that are found Wildwood Island: the boroughs of Wildwood Crest and West Wildwood, and the cities of North Wildwood and Wildwood City. It also includes a portion of Lower Township known as Diamond Beach. The area derives its name from the wild vegetation once found on this island.

However, don’t confuse the similarity in name with personality – each of the Wildwood communities have a very different vibe. Wildwood City and North Wildwood are known for their shared wooden boardwalk and abundant nightlife, although North Wildwood is more of a modest residential beach town at its northern tip. Wildwood City is more populated and lively. To the south lies Wildwood Crest, a quiet seaside town with no boardwalk and where the sale of alcohol is prohibited within its jurisdiction. Like North Wildwood, Crest promises visitors that “It’s Better in the Crest”. Even further south is Diamond Beach which is part of Lower Township. Diamond Beach is another upscale and quiet community with large hotels and condominiums lining the beachfront. 800px-Wildwood_Crest_archFinally, tiny West Wildwood is known for its “Small Town Charm on the Back Bay”. It is an island unto itself, connected to the other Wildwood communities by a bridge. It is quiet and laid back here with no commercial center and most homes have beautiful views of Grassy Sound.o

The Wildwoods began developing as a resort in the last decade of the 19th century when a railroad track was added from Cape May to Anglesea. The completion of the Garden State Parkway in 1955 led to a building boom when over 200 motels were built in the area, causing it to become an iconic venue for mid-century architecture and giving it the title of “Doo Wop Capital of the World.”

As a matter of fact, the Doo Wop museum, located across from Wildwood’s expansive convention center, exhibits neon signs and furniture salvaged from motels that were demolished in more recent years so that larger, more contemporary hotels, homes and condominiums could be built in their place. mariner-s-landing-pierA world-famous boardwalk runs through part of North Wildwood and Wildwood. Built at the turn of the century, it consists of more than 70,000 planks of wood and stretches for 37 city blocks. It is the hub of activity for the Wildwoods in the summertime, as it features five ride piers, two water parks and hundreds of shops and restaurants. tramFor visitors who wish to rush to the next ride pier or who are too tired to walk after a night of frivolity, a trolley called the “Tram Car” runs the length of the boardwalk.

Wildwood beaches are, by far, some of the largest on the East Coast – as wide as 500 yards in some places. The reason these beaches are so large is due in part to their fortuitous location, as well as man-made changes to the coastline that caused a disruption of natural ebb and flow of sand movement along the coast. As a result, sand that erodes from Avalon and Stone Harbor tends to gather here and grow bigger beaches. The upside to larger beaches is that the town, boardwalk and beaches are well-protected from damage caused by storms such as Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Jonas. Unlike other northern boardwalks, the Wildwood boardwalk has never been destroyed by a storm and, in fact, was twice moved closer to the beach.213333082_27b989663fThe downside of having such large beaches is that the walk to the ocean from the boardwalk can be tiresome and grueling on a hot summer day. Thanks to an all-terrain beach taxi service, beachgoers can be driven out to the waterfront so they don’t have lug 20161115-not-a-jokeall their gear through hot sand. Another perk: Wildwood can play host to many beach sports activities, such as volleyball tournaments and soccer camps. Perhaps the best part of Wildwood’s beaches are that they are free, unlike its neighboring beach towns that require beach tags to be purchased and worn. Wildwood’s beaches have appeared on many “best of” lists, including the Travel Channel’s “Best Beaches” show and Conde Naste’s “Best Sports Beach” list.100_2217
The Wildwoods are a popular destination for vacationers, as well as day trippers vacationing in neighboring beach towns who seek a night of excitement on the boards. In fact, at the height of the summer tourist season, the population swells to as many as 250,000 or more, compared to the year-round population of just over 5,300. With so much to see and do here, it is no wonder that the Wildwoods are so visited and so well-loved.

To learn more about The Wildwoods, please follow the links below:

History of The Wildwoods
The Wildwoods Beach Information
Where to Stay in The Wildwoods
Where to Eat in The Wildwoods
Upcoming Events in The Wildwoods – Fall/Winter 2018

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page