One summer, we landed in Wildwood because of our interest in neon signs and mid-century architecture.
The thing that attracted us to Wildwood were the dozens of mid-century motels still standing, though sadly, many have been razed to build condos.
There are three distinct towns on the barrier island: North Wildwood, Wildwood, and Wildwood Crest — where the greatest concentration of mid-century modern resorts still operate. The motels, are themed, with Vegas-like neon signs, plastic palm trees, and fantastical architecture.
Doo Wop Motels in Wildwood Crest
In Wildwood Crest, which is the family-oriented southern stretch of beach, you’ll find the Jolly Roger, the Astronaut, the Apollo, the Gondolier, the Safari, the Aztec, the Tangiers, the Viking, and many others.
The architectural style is known as Doo Wop, Googie, or Populuxe. These terms describe the kitschy style of Wildwood’s 200 motels built in the 1950s and 1960s.