How to Vacation at Wildwood, NJ Beach

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Wildwood, New Jersey, can be a great place for a summer vacation. The Wildwoods in New Jersey combine to form a popular beach vacation location. The Wildwoods are composed of North Wildwood, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. Wildwood is the main entertainment portion of the Wildwoods, with the majority of the boardwalk and nightclubs located there. There are also great places to eat, play and relax.

Reserve a hotel room that is within walking distance of the boardwalk. Parking near the boardwalk at night during peak vacation season can cost you $20 to $30 for the evening. If you find a hotel that is within a couple blocks of the boardwalk, you can use that same $30 for a casual lunch or dinner for a family of four. If you don't want to have to cross any streets to get to the boardwalk, ask about that when you make your reservation. Some hotels claim to be on the beach block, but you have to cross a major road to get to the beach.

Enjoy the beach. Wildwood, New Jersey, has one of the widest beaches from the mid-Atlantic region up into New England. Be careful, though, since the wide beach can result in a long walk across hot sand. Walk on one of the piers on the boardwalk to avoid the hot sand. The waves in Wildwood tend to be rather tame compared with other beaches along the East Coast. Peak jellyfish season is mid-August through early September. You will also find horseshoe crabs along the beach.

Enjoy the many restaurants throughout town. The best food to be found is seafood and Italian food. Order seafood only from restaurants that serve it fresh. These tend to be found on the bay side in Wildwood, as well as in various areas of North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. Many owners of Italian restaurants in the Philadelphia area open up Italian restaurants in Wildwood. I highly recommend Little Italy Italian Restaurant, which is on the border of Wildwood and Wildwood Crest.

Visit the boardwalk for plenty of entertainment day or night. The boardwalk is over 3 miles long. It includes four piers of rides. These piers have special passes during the day that allow you to ride all the rides for one price. There are also plenty of shops to visit as well as snacks and food to purchase. Wildwood's boardwalk has plenty of games. These range from the carnival-style games along the boardwalk to indoor games such as skeeball. My favorite game in Wildwood is Fascination, in which you try to roll a ball into a 5-by-5 grid and get a bingo before as many as 80 other players do in an effort to win tickets for prizes.

Get out of town at least once during your visit to Wildwood, New Jersey. Nearby attractions include the free Cape May County Zoo and Cape May itself. Cape May is a more upscale version of Wildwood, with fewer junk shops and pricier "trinkets." The dining in Cape May tends to be expensive, though. For those who like to gamble, Atlantic City is only an hour away up the New Jersey Turnpike. Many hotels even offer to arrange transportation for their guests for an Atlantic City trip.

Tips & Warnings

  • Book a room at one of the 1950's-era "Doo-Wop Hotels." These hotels tend to have fewer amenities, but they are a trip back into the history of the famous beach town.
  • Avoid the west side of Wildwood in the evening, since it tends to attract a rougher crowd. Teenagers should not be permitted on the boardwalk without adult supervision after midnight since some seedier characters appear late at night.

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