I’ve been going to Wildwood, N.J for many years now since my early childhood and have seen many changes there. This year my wife and I planned a week there with her sister, our niece and her three children ages 9, 2 and 4 months. I was curious as to what damage Wildwood endured from Sandy since it is located on the tip of New Jersey on the Atlantic Ocean.
When we go to Wildwood, we stay at a motel called The Jolly Roger which is one of the first motels built in Wildwood and quite lovely to this day. We inquired at the desk how they fared during the storm and were quite surprised that they had relatively little damage. The clerk told us they had to evacuate, but water only came up to the steps and nothing was damaged. This was surprising to us as they have tennis courts and shuffleboard courts in the front and they were not damaged. I guess the courts are water proof.
Several days later we ate at our favorite restaurant, Duffy’s, located on Sunset Lake in Wildwood where you can view the most beautiful sunsets from your table. I asked the manager there how they fared during the storm and he said Wildwood didn’t get it as bad as places north of them such as Seaside ,but he did experience some damage with the roof caving in and floor damage. He said they had to reconstruct the roof and put in new carpets and repair minor water damage all around.
Wildwood is a great place to visit and it is divided into three sections, North Wildwood, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest.”The Crest” being the nicest part. It is home to the widest, safest, cleanest beach in the world. The size of two football fields laid end to end so the walk out to the ocean is like crossing the Sahara desert. I understand they do have a service where a special truck can pick you up from your motel and drive you to where you want. I didn’t see any of that this year, but in past years I have seen people being dropped off.
Wildwood is also the home of a two mile long boardwalk that has three piers with super duper water parks with their giant swirling water slides and more rides than Disneyworld. The boardwalk features many little shops, pizza parlors and t-shirt shops, plus a small boardwalk indoor mall. The boardwalk is known for their “tramcars” that are small trains that can take you to any part of the boardwalk for $2.50 each time. Everyone is familiar with hearing the famous “Watch the tram car please” emit from them as they pass thru the crowds. I’m including a link below that shows you a tramcar ride and you can see the many shops along the way and how crowded it gets.
If the boardwalk isn’t your thing, there are more quieter things to do besides sunbathing or by your motel’s pool. There is always Hereford Lighthouse in North Wildwood with its’ beautiful, manicured, well maintained gardens, home of butterflies and birds they care for and a very nice museum history of the light and its’ former keepers and living quarters. After Hereford you can jot over to Cape May and see the famous Cape May lighthouse and visits some of their famous Victorian mansions. You can also take the Cape May Ferry over to Delaware and visit some of the shops there. That is a 70 minute ride and very safe and comfortable. You can spot dolphins along the way.
There are also sightseeing boat rides you can take that are dolphin watching, parasailing, and fabulous restaurants throughout Wildwood.
They hold fireworks on the boardwalk every Friday night which can be seen several miles away on the beach. We observed them this year and the beach was much more crowded at night than in the past, but it is so big you don’t feel claustraphobic. After the grand finale, a group of about ten college guys in back of us chanted over and over ‘Stronger than the storm” “Stronger than the storm” which has become the Jersey shore’s theme. It was humorously fitting 🙂
Here’s a good video on the tramcar ride from 2008. Wildwood is stil the same at night.
Here’s a good video of the Cape May Lighthouse which I’ve climbed many times