Wildwood Crest: Doo-Wop Family Town for Mid-Century Modern.What's Up at Pier. Most Motels. Dry Town.
Updated: Aug 31, 2021
If you're looking for Boardwalk rides or nightclubs, stay up "north" in Wildwood. But if your family just wants to hang at the beach and you want a wide range of motel options, then Wildwood Crest is your spot on The Wildwoods. Wildwood Crest offers the same wide, hard-packed beach as its neighbors and a bike path that connects to the Wildwood Boardwalk. The town has gained national recognition for its so-called Doo Wop architecture reflected in mid-century modern motels.
As befits its image as a family resort, Wildwood Crest is a dry town, where you can not purchase liquor at any store or buy a drink in a restaurant, although most restaurants are BYOB.
Do the Doo-Wop
Taking its name from music of the late 1950s and early ’60s that was popularized in the Wildwoods by performers such as Chubby Checker and Bobby Rydell, the Doo Wop Motel District in the Wildwoods celebrates the mid-century or space-age architectural style of that era.
With Vegas-like neon signs and giant plastic palm trees, these still- operating motels feature exotic names such as the Caribbean Motel, The Starlux and the Bel Air Motel with more than 50 in Wildwood Crest alone. Drive or walk along Ocean and Atlantic Avenues, especially at night with the neon lights, or stop at the Doo-Wop Drive-In at 6200 New Jersey Avenue for breakfast or lunch.
In all fairness, the Doo Wop experience requires a stop in Wildwood. Start with The Wildwoods welcome sign at the foot of the Route 47 bridge. Immediately east of the sign, the mid-century vibe is picked up by redesigned WaWa, McDonald's, TD Bank and Walgreens franchises. Continue to the beach to see the Starlux Mini Golf and Kohr Brothers ice cream stand. Four blocks north along Ocean Avenue across from the Wildwood Convention Center is a Neon Sign Garden with fully-restored and re-assembled neon signs from motels that have been demolished or remodeled.
Most motels and hotels at the Shore
Like Myrtle Beach, Wildwood Crest has a dense strip of motels and hotels along the beach blocks. With 69 motels and hotels with about 3000 rooms, there are more options for places to stay than anywhere at the Jersey Shore. While none of them are rated 4- or 5-star motels by hotels.com, there are a wide range of 3-star options from $100 to $300 a night.
As a comparison, Atlantic City has 15 major hotels -- gaming and non-gaming properties -- with more than with than 17,600 rooms.
(From the vantage point of the beachfront or boardwalk, this is a breezy overview of what you see, where to park and beach access, plus a bit or history and the latest happenings. See map below.)