NJ’s Wildwoods: A Wildly Different Way to Beach

Since 1895, fun-seekers have flocked to the Wildwoods, but the five-mile island truly came into its own in the 1950s and 60s. That’s when mid-century hotels with neon signs began springing up in tune with the era’s popular music—doo-wop. Today, the Wildwoods remain the Doo-Wop Capital of the World, giving these resort towns a retro flair like no other along the Eastern seaboard. Want to have a boss time in the Wildwoods? New Jersey Travel & Tourism has all the ins and outs.
The Absolute Most
Why pay for beach access? The Wildwoods beaches are free to the public! So your cost is zero to relax on the sand or play in the surf. Go ahead and boogie-board, kayak, paddle board and more. After being on the beach all day, nothing beats a night on the boardwalk, where you’ll be cautioned to “Watch the tramcar, please.” Better yet, hop aboard that tramcar for a ride to Morey’s Piers—three separate amusement piers offering 100+ rides. Need to cool off? The Wildwood boardwalk is also home to two waterparks.
Far Out Finds
Available every Tuesday – Thursday throughout the summer, a 50s-clad guide will give you the skinny on the pop culture of the era in Doo Wop Back to the 50s Neon Night Tours. If you’d rather head out on your own, hit the Avenue of the Stars to honor the performers that built the Wildwoods into the “Entertainment Capital” of the East Coast. After viewing stars of the past, catch a glimpse of future celebrities in the Wildwoods Baby Parade. A time-honored tradition since 1909, this year’s event—held July 31—will see a tide of tiny tots vying for titles including “Best Walking Themed Group,” “Fancy Children” and “Decorated on Wheels,” among others.
Unreal Adventures
Choose your adventure—one by land, two by sea or one in the sky! Climb (way) up into “AmeriCrush” or “ZombieCrusher” for a monster truck ride on the beach. Take to the water aboard the Dark Star for an authentic pirate-themed cruise or The Big Blue Sightseer in search of dolphins and whales. For guests seeking a one-of-a-kind culinary experience, Breakfast in the Sky is a must! You’ll climb aboard a Ferris Wheel that reaches 156 feet high, where you’ll dine on breakfast served on fine china with a generous side of panoramic beach and ocean views.
Crazy Good Eats
The Wildwoods is hosting a trio of food-centric events you’re sure to enjoy. It all starts with the Wildfest Food Truck & Music Festival, where you can sample fare from 15 food trucks while listening to local bands play. Wrapping it up is Wildwoods Restaurant Week, showcasing specially priced four-course menus at participating restaurants. Booked up for those dates? You can enjoy local spirits any time in wineries, breweries and distilleries located throughout the Wildwoods.
No bread? No problem!
The Wildwoods offer free weekly events throughout the summer months. Every Monday, you can join in the >Wildwood Crest Sunset Celebrations, enjoying free entertainment as you watch the sun slowly sink over (where else?) Sunset Lake. The skies light up every Friday Night with a brilliant fireworks display on the beach in Wildwood. Finally, you can get your groove on (rain or shine!) with the Concerts Under the Stars Series held in North Wildwood every Saturday night.
In New Jersey, every new day brings a brand-new destination…like the Wildwoods! Plan a day trip or stay over to experience everything the area has to offer. Go to visitnj.org for more ideas and accommodations, or to download a free NJ travel guide and sign up for e-news.