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Travel & Outdoors

Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip To Wildwood

August 18, 2012 4:00 AM

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Wildwoods

Known for its two-mile boardwalk, Bill Haley and the Comets, Chubby Checker and the American Bandstand, the island of the Wildwoods, which is composed of three municipalities, offers one of the largest stretches of free, public beaches in New Jersey. The Wildwoods also features the nation’s largest collection of doo wop architecture in the country, as well as three waterparks guaranteed to make this an exciting weekend getaway for anyone.

Getting There

The 90-mile trip takes about 1.5 hours. From Philadelphia, take the Atlantic City Expressway to exit 7 south to the Garden State Parkway. Travel south to exit 4B. If you prefer a more scenic, leisurely drive, take Route 55 to Route 47 and follow the coast south. Other seaside escapes along the coast include Atlantic City, Ocean City, N.J., and Cape May, as well as wild areas such as the Pine Barrens.

What To Do

Doo Wop Experience and Neon Sign Garden
3201 Pacific Ave.
Wildwood, NJ 08260
(609) 532-1958
www.doowopusa.org

Price: free

Wildwood is considered by many as the birthplace of rock and roll. American Bandstand, hosted by Dick Clark, broadcast its first national show at the Starlight Ballroom in 1957. Bill Haley and His Comets performed “Rock Around the Clock,” considered the first rock and roll record, at the HofBrau Hotel in 1954. In 1960, Chubby Checker introduced the world to the “Twist at the Rainbow Club.” The museum sits on the beach of Wildwood Crest. Called the Surfside, it features the distinctive ’50s and ’60s space-age inspired architectural style known as doo wop. Its collection includes iconic pop culture items and musical memorabilia as well as a period malt shop. Take a walking tour of the downtown area or catch one of the famous boardwalk tram cars.

Related: Orr-at-the-Shore

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
111 N. Central Ave.
Wildwood, NJ 08260
(609) 522-4520
www.herefordlighthouse.org

Price: $4 sdults 12 years and older/ $1 11 years and younger

Surrounded by a Victorian-style garden, the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse still operates to warn ships at sea that they’re near land. Inside the lighthouse, a museum depicts the life and routine of lighthouse keepers during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Self-guided and guided tours are available. The gardens in the park surrounding the lighthouse extend out to the famous ocean seawall. Throughout the year, the lighthouse hosts events, including National Lighthouse Day in August.

Casba Comedy Club
3810 Atlantic Ave.
Wildwood, NJ 08260
(600) 522-8444
www.casbacomedyclub.com

Just for the laughs, the Casba Comedy Club is the place to be. Known for its A-list comedians, Tin Can Cafe signature martinis and a large choice of beers and ales, it is a great place to go to tickle your funny bone. The stage features some of the most hilarious talents in the business, including Bag Lady Sue, Eric McMahon, Joey Kola and Tim Krumpier.

Dining

Sam’s Pizza Palace
26th and Boardwalk
Wildwood, NJ 08260
(609) 522-6017
www.samspizzawildwood.com

A battle for the title of best pizza on the boardwalk has raged since the 1950s. Ask people strolling along the Wildwood boardwalk which pizzas are best, and you are likely to hear Sam’s or Mack’s. A family owned and operated business, Sam’s Pizza Palace opened in 1957 and has maintained a reputation as one of the best places for pizza found on the boardwalk.

Mack’s Pizza
3218 Boardwalk
Wildwood, NJ 08260
(609) 522-6166
www.facebook.com/

Mack’s tomato pie dates back about 60 years, when the owners served their first pizza pie on Nottingham Way in Trenton, N.J. In 1953, Mack’s opened shop along the boardwalk and started competing with Sam’s. The restaurant uses a traditional pizza dough recipe and some of the freshest ingredients around. Whether it’s better than Sam’s, though, is entirely up to you to decide.

Lodging

Lollipop Motel
23rd and Atlantic Avenue
North Wildwood, NJ 08260
(609) 729-2800
www.lollipopmotel.com/

Prices: from $142

The Lollipop Motel is one of the historic doo wop-style motels for which the Wildwoods are famous. Its brightly colored facade makes it an easily recognized landmark. Though built in the 1950s, the hotel was renovated in 2004 – a project that managed to retain its unique image and updated its accommodations. The hotel offers a heated pool, sundecks and patios that are perfect for enjoying the beautiful weather.

Related: Best Roller Coaster Rides in the Country

Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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