Weekending in Wildwood and Cape May

With the family renting a house for the week on Wildwood Crest, I spent the weekend at the Jersey Shore.  The Wildwood/Cape May area can be reached in about two hours from the South Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia for day-tripping or weekend escapes — though on any given day during the height of summer, traffic can be backed-up on both the expressway and back roads, so be patient.  While modern resort-style over-development threw-up all over the signature Doo-Wop hotels in Wildwood proper, the Crest is home to blocks upon blocks of rental houses that offer some quiet and removal from the hustle and bustle of the world famous Wildwood Boardwalk.  Meanwhile, neighboring Cape May continues to offer a more refined but no less in-your-face quasi-European Victorian Era feel for travelers.  Both “cities” (and their sprawling outliers) pride themselves on delivering different kinds of time warps while boasting some of the oldest inns and lighthouses and largest beaches along the coast of New Jersey.  But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of room for all the stereotypical Jersey Shore mainstays…the boardwalks, the rides, the tacky souvenir shops, the New Yorkers, the screaming children, salt-water taffy, fudge and the wonderful smell from the marshes that can only be produced in the Garden State. 

Side Note:  I will challenge anyone from the Carolinas to a smell test.  While Jersey is Jersey, the marshes surrounding Charleston, South Carolina are still considered by my nose to be the smelliest in the nation.

Here are some photos to prove I was there:

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Dining Recommendations while staying in the Wildwood/Cape May area:

Marie Nicole’s offers stylish dining on Wildwood Crest and was a short walk from the house where I stayed.  Reservations are recommended during the busy season.

The Crest Tavern (across the street from Marie Nicole’s) makes for a low-key, chill, cheap place to relax while staying on Wildwood Crest.  There’s a full lunch and dinner menu along with the bar open until 2am.

Aleathea’s at the Inn of Cape May boasts a Victorian dining room complete with piano player, an enclosed ocean-view veranda, live music in the bar and great food matched with impeccable service. Reservations are recommended during the busy season.

Written and Photographed by David H. Schleicher

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6 comments on “Weekending in Wildwood and Cape May

  1. Heather says:

    Wouldn’t photos to prove you were there actually include some shots of you, ummm, there?

    Hey, I’m not Alfred Hitchcock…I don’t insert my own cameos in my pictures 🙂 –DHS

  2. Sam Juliano says:

    LOL!!!! You have the right person with me to comment here! After I married in 1995, my wife Lucille and I spent a week in Wildwood/Wildwood Crest every year until 2006. We stayed as a family-operated Motel near the ocean called Town and Country, which has now been torn down for condos. As you know (lamentably) condos have taken over the area. We will be going down again for a few days in mid-August, as we now have dogs in the house, and can’t dedpend on relatives to fill in for more than a few days. In any case, those pictures of course are wonderful to see. We were at the Lighthouse numerous times, as well as in Cape May at all the shops, and dinner at the incomparable Lobster House. We also frequent the Ravioli House further up in Wildwood whenever we are there. As I look at the pictures, I can smell the ocean air and at this time of year I do yearn to go there. We’ve gone to the Cape May Zoo, played miniature golf, taken all the kids numerous times on the boardwalk, gone to the beach, etc, all the things you’d be expected to do when there.

    But I was nororious for leaving Lucille and all the kids sometimes in the day to frequent the Cape May Public Library to hang out on the PC. That’s my curse! LOL!

    Wonderful pictures and report here David.

    Sam, yes, the Lobster House is great, too, though I didn’t go there this time — though I reckon the rest of the fam will at some point this week. My grandmother and mother used to take us kids to Wildwood every year, but it’s been a long time since I’ve stayed overnight there. HA! about the library! Our house had wireless so I was on the laptop. –DHS

  3. Kim MacDonald says:

    Although I live in Charleston (and yes, the marshes can be a bit intrusive with their scent), I really miss the Jersey Shore. My family used to spend a week in Ocean City, NJ every summer when I was a kid. We would always pass the signs for Cape May/Wildwood and we knew we were getting close to OC (and getting out of the car). I bet it was at least 10 degrees cooler with half the humidity.

    Kim, remember when we first went to Charleston and how freaked out we were going over that crazy bridge? And then that wonderful smell from the marshes wafting over us! Ah, good times, good times. Strangely I have never been to Ocean City, NJ. That seems to be more popular with non-natives. Natives like their Wildwood and Cape May and people from my area like their Long Beach Island and Seaside Heights, too. –DHS

  4. Dafe! Hey Dafe! Looks like you had a good weekend, ey Dafe?

    LMAO. Hey! Hey! Pick up the phone! It might be for me! Pick up the phone, will ya?! WHAAAAT??? Gimme the phone! Yeah, yeah, yeah…this is Dafe. –DHS

  5. DeeDee says:

    Hi! D.H. Schleicher,
    I recall looking at these wonderful photograph last year…and they are still nice!

    All I can say about the 11th photograph is…Shutter Island.
    Once again, thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D

    DeeDee – ah! You’re right…the lighthouse! –DHS

  6. BookSellerNJ says:

    BEST BEACHES IN NEW JERSEY 2010!

    The results were announced at the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium/New Jersey Sea Grant’s (NJMSC/NJSG), Stevens Institute of Technology and Richard Stockton College Ocean Research Center’s annual State of the Shore Media Event on Thursday, May 27th, and the Wildwoods swept all four categories including being named overall “Best Beaches in New Jersey.”

    The Wildwoods garnered nearly 27,000 votes out of almost 60,000 total votes cast. The Wildwoods were also named “Best Beach For Tourism,” “Best Beach For Family Vacations,” “Best Beach For Events” and “Best Beach For Ecotourism.”

    ENJOY YOUR SUMMER AT THE WILDWOODS!

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