North Wildwood. New Jersey – North Wildwood is Wildwood’s quieter sister to the north. They share the same five mile stretch of barrier island, but much of the action and excitement lives in Wildwood. If you’re looking for a lot of the same things — beach, boardwalk, family activities — without the crowds, North Wildwood is a great choice.
Yes, North Wildwood does have its own boardwalk. It’s smaller than the Wildwood boardwalk, and a little more sedate. But you’ll still find all the things that make boardwalks special — concession stands, gift shops, arcades, miniature golf, and games of chance. Like Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, the beaches in North Wildwood are broad, clean, and totally free. A lot of New Jersey beaches require you to purchase beach badges, but you do not need a beach badge in North Wildwood.
North Wildwood is also home to an interesting piece of New Jersey history — the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse. You can tour the lighthouse museum and the award-winning butterfly gardens that surround the 1874 Victorian lighthouse. The Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, at the northernmost point of the island, is considered the best looking lighthouse in New Jersey.
During the summer, you’ll find that North Wildwood has a pretty full calendar of family entertainment. Lifeguard races, free concerts on the beach, activities for the kids, and more. And if you’re looking for nightlife, you may be pleasantly surprised. North Wildwood has no shortage of great food and fun bars. The Wildwoods are home to several five star seafood and Italian restaurants, if you’re looking for fine dining. Look for live local entertainment at the bars and clubs, with musical selections ranging from strings and jazz to rock and covers.
If you’re an angler, you’ll be pleased to know that more than a hundred boats leave the five mile long barrier island daily for fishing, sightseeing, and more. You’ll also find lots of places to rent boats, jet skis, rafts, or fishing equipment. North Wildwood is known as a great destination for salt-water fishing; whether you do it from the shore or on a charter boat is up to you!
Interested in a romantic getaway? North Wildwood is home to the Candlelight Inn, a romantic Victorian mansion in a quiet, residential area. Looking for something a little more playful? You may want to stay at Summer Nites, a 1950s themed bed and breakfast complete with juke boxes and pinball machines. And don’t worry, you’ll find plenty of more family oriented hotels and motels in North Wildwood.
You may even spot a celebrity during your visit — Cool Scoops Ice Cream in North Wildwood has hosted music legends like Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, and Buddy Holly’s original Crickets! Even if you don’t have a brush with fame, you should still stop in for a cool cone and a trip back in time to the 1950s.
All in all, North Wildwood is a lot like Wildwood proper, just without the crowds and commercialism. You’ll still have the beach and boardwalk, the unforgettable seafood and active nightlife, the history and the shopping. North Wildwood is a great destination for families that don’t want to spend their whole vacation right in the middle of the action. It’s also a nice, peaceful, romantic getaway for couples with bed and breakfasts nestled in residential areas.