Wildwood, New Jersey is a popular summer vacation spot for East Coasters. Especially known for its beach and boardwalk, this resort location is also special because it keeps the spirit of the 50s and 60s alive. From wall murals honoring the city’s cultural history, to the preserved motels in its historic district, and the low-cost ticket prices for many local attractions, Wildwood is often reminiscent of a simpler time. If you are a travel-loving senior from the original rock-and-roll generation, here are Wildwood's best activities for you.
Things to do in Wildwood: A Guide for Seniors
1. The Doo Wop Motel District
To satisfy your 50s and 60s nostalgia, take yourself on a tour of the Doo Wop Motel District. Along two miles of Atlantic and Ocean avenues, is the country’s largest concentration of mid-century commercial motels built in the 1950s and 1960s, and mostly preserved in their original condition. Download the map online and take the self-guided tour at your own pace. The nighttime neon glows will make you feel like you have traveled back in time.
2. Breakfast in the Sky
For the early risers, Morey’s Piers, the amusement park located on The Wildwood’s Boardwalk, offers an incredible, unique experience. Groups of two to four can make reservations to eat breakfast on the park’s Ferris wheel, as it slowly rises above the pier and the beach for a fantastic view. Each gondola has a table set with white linens and china and you can enjoy your juice, coffee, and granola on the hour-long ride. Available dates are limited to late July through late August so be sure to make your reservation well in advance if you want to enjoy your breakfast next to the other early birds.
3. Fox Park Concert Series
Every Sunday during there summer, you can enjoy a different concert at Fox Park Amphitheater and they are all completely free! Many of the performances are from throwback and cover bands that will have longtime rock-and-roll fans singing along. All you need to bring is a lawn chair or blaney to enjoy a summer evening outside, and it’s suitable for the whole family.
4. Icon Wall Murals
The city commissioned a series of ‘Icon Wall’ murals, for a mix of art, culture, and history. If you are looking for a free attraction, there are currently three murals to check out. Bobby Rydell was chosen to be the first mural because his song Wildwood Days, which you may remember from the sixties, honors the local area. The other two murals are also connected to Wildwood. Chubby Checker has a mural on Pacific Avenue because his famous hit, The Twist, was first performed live in the Wildwoods, and Bill Haley & The Comets are nearby to commemorate the first ever live performance of their fifties classic, Rock Around the Clock.
5. The Wildwoods Boardwalk Sightseer Tram Cars
Wildwood is known for its boardwalk, but walking isn’t the only way to experience it. The Tram Cars, which are mini trains that don’t require a track, have been on the there boardwalk. Several of the tramcars are even more historic than that, and were built for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Riders can get on or off at any stop, but you can also just enjoy the relaxing ride and the full tour of the boardwalk
6. Whale and Dolphin Cruises
One of the most leisurely ways to travel is by boat, and if you want to see the Wildwoods from the sea you can book a seat on a Sightseer Whale and Dolphin Cruise. These two-story boats offer a comfortable and calm ride, while you look out for ocean-dwellers. Captain Schumann is known for bringing knowledge and a personal feel to the voyage. While in season, there are three cruises daily and they last for two to three hours for a complete experience.
This article was written by Paula Ashlee Berg.