Is Wildwood NJ a good beach vacation?

Old Feb 27th, 2004, 04:51 AM
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Is Wildwood NJ a good beach vacation?

We're planning a vacation to an Atlantic beach for late July. Driving from Buffalo, NY with a 5 year old and an 8 year old. Looking for a beachfront hotel.
jannjohnf is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2004, 05:16 AM
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I personally don't like Wildwood. The beach is very big, and the kids will enjoy the boardwalk and all the games and rides. Pt. Pleasant, NJ has a much nicer boardwalk and Ocean City seems to be the place to go with kids (I've never been). My favorite beach in NJ is Island Beach State Park - the water is very clear for a NJ beach; in Wildwood the water looks green. But here you won't find a beachfront hotel.

Have you considered Cape Cod? I don't know if it would save you any driving, but it has a much nicer family atmoshere and there's a lot more to do than at the Jersey shore. If it rains in NJ, you're stuck with either going to the movies or bowling. In Cape Cod, there are interesting small towns with interesting shops, a few childrens museums.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 05:34 AM
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I am not a huge fan of Wildwood either. I prefer Stone Harbor and Avalon which are much quieter towns with some fun shops on their main streets and beautiful, quiet beaches. We know the kids like boardwalk atmospheres too so we make a point of going to Ocean City or Wildwood for the afternoon, just to enjoy the rides.
There is a hotel in Avalon called the Windrift which is right on the beach. You might want to see what they have. Another great option is to rent a house for the week. It ends up being much less expensive and you don't have to dine out for every meal either.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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We aren't necessarily looking for quiet. We're not into "quaint little shops". We will spend most of our time on the beach. Probably breakfast and lunch in the hotel room - frig required. We'll probably go out to dinner every night, play some miniature golf, ride bikes.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 05:56 AM
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I would try Ocean City, NJ which combines nice family beaches with a lot of activity and a great boardwalk for kids. You are also close to Atlantic City (about 15 minutes), golf, etc. Plenty of beachfront hotels there.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 06:05 AM
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I also recommend OC for families with young children. Great boardwalk, and OC is "dry", so it doesn't attract young adult "rowdys".
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 06:30 AM
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We have stayed in Cape May and gone to Wildwood for the day/night several times. It is pretty laid back but w/the boardwalk and rides there for the kids. As other poster said, the beach is W-I-D-E so it's a long walk down to the water. We liked Cape May when the kids were little like yours, as the water is calm. But Cape May is a little congested in summer, hotels are close together and it is full and somewhat clautrophobic for me. If you go to Wildwood you could take a day to go to Cape may and see the neat Victorian homes (even your kids will like those, they are like gingerbread houses) and there is a lighthouse close by that we climbed w/the kids too, and I think a small zoo or animal refuge type place. SO you could visit there on a day off from the beach from Wildwood. Wildwood is an old resort area, very 50s ish, but my kids like it, a reflection of earlier times when life was a bit more laid back and so were vacations.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 07:08 AM
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We were disappointed in Wildwood. The beach itself could be great, but we found the crowd a little rough ( I was a little shocked when the 14 year old next to us bummed cigarettes from his mother. I was also one of the few adult females without a tatoo). The hotels are really close to each other (the exterior walls are only a couple of feet away from each other).
I live outside of buffalo, and for just a little more time you can get to Ocean City Maryland and the Delaware beaches (Bethany Beach, Fenwick, Rehoboth) which are much nicer than Wildwood.
If you must go to New Jersey, folow the other posters advice as to better alternative towns.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 07:48 AM
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I'll reiterate my vote for Stone Harbor/Avalon and maybe I can clarify a few things as well: there are several mini-golf courses in the area, they have a good mix of stores, an arcade, ice cream place, candy store, 5 and dime, surf shop, toy store, book store...just to name a few. Some great playgrounds (one right off the beach) and it's midway between Wildwood and Ocean City (about 20 minutes to each one) so it's an easy trip either direction. There's also the Cape May Courthouse Zoo which is cute and free. The beach is great and because it's residential (you have to have tags) it never gets too crowded.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 07:55 AM
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Wildwood IS the ultimate New Jersey 'rides and boardwalk' town. Your kids will love it, but it is honkey tonk. Point Pleasant is a little smaller than Wildwood and just a little less rowdy - nice rides & boardwalk, nice beach, and the inlet, where people go to fish and watch the boats go in and out. There are lots of accomodations on or near the beach.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 08:03 AM
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i grew up in nj and have been going to the shore for 40 yrs. wildwood,imo, is more a teen-twenties does have a wide,free beach,..reaaly big boardwalk,lots of rides. pt.pleasant has a nice beach, great boardwalk for younger kids,and you're still only 15 minutes from seaside if you want to do the really big boardwalk thing. ocean city,nj has great beaches and boardwalk and is definitely more of a family atmosphere,probably because the town serves no alcohol. we had a condo right on the end of the boardwalk and my older kids 12,14) were find walking on the boardwalk alone for ice cream or stuff ddduring the day. the beaches in maryland and delaware are also beautiful...lots to do. goof luck.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 11:37 AM
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Rachel - I laughed when I read your post about the "rough" crowd at Wildwood. We sometimes go to Seaside Heights to do the boardwalk thing with our kids, and I think it has a lot of the same honky-tonk atmosphere as Wildwood (We go b/c it's really close to Island Beach SP). My husband has noted on many occasions that we appear to be the only ones on the boardwalk without tatoos.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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I like Point Pleasant for the beach, little town, and smaller boardwalk, but keep a very close eye on your children if they go swimming there. The water is known to have pretty dangerous undertows, and can be quite rough at times.
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