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 Wildwood, New Jersey - Is it worth going to?

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repartee

  • Total Posts: 111
  • Joined: 7/11/2003
  • Location: Boise, ID
Wildwood, New Jersey - Is it worth going to? Tue, 02/21/06 6:02 AM (permalink)
As I've been posting in the Candy forum for Salt Water Taffy, so might as well keep it to that side of the States.

I am crazy about retro and it seems Wildwood is the place to go. Has anybody been and is it as great as it's purported to be?

They say the seafood is great. I'm wondering if it's worth it to organize a trip there.
 
#1
    brookquarry

    • Total Posts: 277
    • Joined: 2/27/2003
    • Location: bangor, PA
    RE: Wildwood, New Jersey - Is it worth going to? Tue, 02/21/06 7:17 AM (permalink)
    If you haven't already done so check the Doo Wop preservation leagues website www.doowopusa.org for news on Wildwood preservation efforts.
    We go to nearby Cape May on vacation every year, so I've watched the progress of the Wildwood preservation efforts.
    It's a race against time to create a market for these '50s era motels more of which fall to the wrecking ball each year (converted to Condos). So yes, its worth seeing while its still there. Go
    to the Doo-Wop museum. Take the trolley tour. Stay in one of the (still small) number of upgraded motels>
    Cape May (the countrys largest victorian historic district) is not far with wonderful restaurants.

    Wildwood also has a large (though crowded) beach, a
    wonderfully cheesy boardwalk and Morey's Piers, a true old fashioned Amusement park
     
    #2
      The Travelin Man

      • Total Posts: 3698
      • Joined: 3/25/2003
      • Location: Central FL
      RE: Wildwood, New Jersey - Is it worth going to? Tue, 02/21/06 9:18 AM (permalink)
      I have not been to Wildwood in nearly 15 years, but my family used to (maybe some of them still do?) go every summer for a week.

      My recollections are that Wildwood is (was) the classic Italian-American Jersey Shore vacation spot for people who grew up in the 50's. Looking at some of the links provided above, it seems that my intuition as a young'un was about dead on.

      From a kid's perspective, having all-day access to great fair food was wonderful. Most of the meals we ate involved some sort of pizza, boardwalk pretzels and fries, funnel cakes (OK, funnel cakes were never a meal -- a side dish, maybe, but never a meal), etc.

      The amusement piers were great (again, from a kid/teenagers POV). Wildwood was the first place I ever went on bumper boats.

      I don't know how much of it has changed. My memories involve the amusements, the food, the t-shirt shops (everything $5 - we always went the week before Labor Day, so it was end of season), crowded beaches, etc. A few years ago, I ended up at Seaside Heights (a little farther north on the Jersey Shore) and it seemed like all the t-shirt shops were replaced with head shops and most of the food vendors were now tattoo artists. I am sure that there were some of those things at Wildwood when I was a kid, but not so prevelant that it would dominate my memories.

      I started dating a girl a few years ago, who mentioned that she spent part of her summers growing up at Wildwood. Simultaneously, we both uttered the famous Wildwood phrase "Watch the tram car, please!"

      If you go, I'd be curious to know how much the place has "(d)evolved."
       
      #3
        brookquarry

        • Total Posts: 277
        • Joined: 2/27/2003
        • Location: bangor, PA
        RE: Wildwood, New Jersey - Is it worth going to? Tue, 02/21/06 9:48 AM (permalink)
        Actually you wpould be surprised at how much has not changed. Until recently Wildwood was not much differant from what I remember as a teenager in the '70s - just a long slow decline as once "modern" motels began to look outdated, then old-fashioned and finally- to some- chic.

        In the last 10 years there has been a tension between refurbishment and re-development as some motel owners- their clientele moving relentlessly downmarket-sold owt to condo builders and others remodeled to emphasize the previously neglected elements of doo-wop architecture and woo an upper income crowd interested in classic '50s and early '60s design. Wildwoods model is next door Cape May which in the last 25 years has capitalized on it's victorian architecture to become an upscale resort.

        But so far, the number of people interested in postwar chic is less than those attracted to victorian gingerbread. The jury is still out.
         
        #4
          dreamzpainter

          • Total Posts: 1609
          • Joined: 2/6/2005
          • Location: jacksonville, FL
          RE: Wildwood, New Jersey - Is it worth going to? Tue, 02/21/06 2:53 PM (permalink)
          Like Steve, it's been around 15 yrs since I've visited Wildwood. I was born and raised (until teen yrs) in the "Seasides" (heights and park) Where there are 2 piers of amusements and miles of shop lined boardwalk. The few trips to Wildwood were usually for car events or the daughters cheerleading compatitions(sp)Typical broadwalk food but the misses always had to buy a couple boxes of fresh saltwater taffy
           
          #5
            BT

            • Total Posts: 3589
            • Joined: 7/3/2004
            • Location: San Francisco, CA
            RE: Wildwood, New Jersey - Is it worth going to? Tue, 02/21/06 6:07 PM (permalink)
            It was nice in 1957. That's about the last time I was there. Good taffy, though.
             
            #6
              joanie41

              • Total Posts: 401
              • Joined: 7/7/2002
              • Location: Columbia, MD
              RE: Wildwood, New Jersey - Is it worth going to? Tue, 02/21/06 6:08 PM (permalink)
              I used to live in that area of NJ, and I always found Wildwood to be kind of "seedy" compared to the Ocean City (NJ, not MD) and Cape May. One thing Wildwood does have is very large beaches. But their boardwalk isn't as clean as OC. To me, it's a lot like Atlantic City without the casinos. But to each his own. That's what makes the Jersey shore so great -- there is something for everyone!
               
              #7
                Oneiron339

                • Total Posts: 2075
                • Joined: 2/13/2002
                • Location: Marietta, GA
                RE: Wildwood, New Jersey - Is it worth going to? Wed, 02/22/06 7:38 AM (permalink)
                Wildwood was a neat place in the 50's and 60's. The hippie population and punks took over after that. Now the re-gentrification seems to be in force. I hope the 50's deco survives. Little roadfood to comment on. Latimer's Bakery had the best cinnamon twists, and Tauber's restaurant on the boardwalk specialized in waffles made right in the window. Laura's Fudge and Douglass salt wter taffy are still there. The best part for me (roadfood wise) was going to and from Lancaster, PA. We always stopped at the Dairy King in Bridgeton/Salem for the best hamburgers and shakes.
                 
                #8
                  RubyRose

                  • Total Posts: 2187
                  • Joined: 5/7/2003
                  • Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
                  RE: Wildwood, New Jersey - Is it worth going to? Wed, 02/22/06 8:38 AM (permalink)
                  No mention of the Starlight Ballroom?
                   
                  #9
                    repartee

                    • Total Posts: 111
                    • Joined: 7/11/2003
                    • Location: Boise, ID
                    RE: Wildwood, New Jersey - Is it worth going to? Thu, 02/23/06 9:17 AM (permalink)
                    Thanks, all for this info.

                    I'm really dying to go. I wonder if there are any tours as I don't have a car.

                    I did see the doowop site - great way to spend an evening on the net.
                     
                    #10
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