Why We Chose Wildwood Crest for Our Jersey Shore Vacation

Doo Wop in Wildwood, NJEvery town on the Jersey Shore has a distinct personality.

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.

The Wildwoods
The Wildwoods — Great for a Family Beach Vacation
Photo by Joel Shprentz

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 WopGoogie, or Populuxe.  These  terms describe the kitschy style of Wildwood’s 200 motels built in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Point Lookout — Trystworthy?

Stateline Point Lookout
Stateline Point Lookout

If you are having an illicit affair, I can think of no better place to meet your lover than Point Lookout on the Palisades Parkway. It’s beautiful, romantic, easily accessible from New York City, yet quite isolated (at least on a weekday.)

We drove to New England one Tuesday in early September, to drop our daughter at  school.  Traveling north on I-95, the New Jersey Turnpike ends in Fort Lee, New Jersey.  You can continue on I-95 to New York City and beyond by taking the George Washington Bridge, or you can travel north above the Hudson River via the Palisades Parkway.

We wanted to avoid traveling through New York City because our car was loaded with stuff.

I couldn’t believe the natural beauty that awaited us just minutes from Manhattan!

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