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:
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