The Jersey Shore may be (in)famous for its reality TV stars, but before that it was famous for its beaches. Wildwood is one such sandy destination. It’s home to a long and winding boardwalk, a Doowop museum, and an abundance of dining and amusements —not to mention wide swathes of soft, sparkling white coastline. It all adds up to an image as spectacular as the one projected on TV, albeit one much friendlier and inviting.
The borough Wildwood Crest is extra appealing for families, as it’s a dry town. You can replace this symbolic drought with some fun in the water. Any of our choices below should suffice for beachfront delight, as they bring you nice and close to the myriad activities Wildwood can offer.
ICONA Diamond Beach
From $170/ night
ICONA is the priciest option on our list, but it promises guests plenty of luxury. First there’s the private beach, which includes fire pits to pretty much guarantee a cozy and laidback time. Then there’s on-site restaurant Coastal Blue, open for three meals a day (often yummy seafood) and occasionally backgrounded with live music. An outdoor pool and fitness center round out the basic list of amenities. Inside your room, you’ll find comfy beds, a kitchenette, and an ocean view (possibly a balcony, too). Once you’re well and rested, some nearby attractions close by are Wildwood Boardwalk and Morey’s Piers —both within three miles of the hotel.
Pan American Oceanfront Hotel
From $81/ night
You can expect cleanliness, hospitality and a private balcony at this very generously rated property. Past visitors have noted it’s one of the newer, cleaner properties in Wildwood, and there will be ample chances for you to enjoy all the atmosphere. Your room’s balcony or the rooftop terrace are ideal for morning coffee, while the on-site eatery, Alosi’s Bistro, serves more substantial fare three times daily. Of course, don’t eat too soon before swimming: it only takes six minutes to reach the beach from the Pan American. But sand isn’t the only attraction within walking distance: Wildwood Boardwalk, Splash Zone and Morey’s Piers are all within a mile of the hotel.
Adventurer Oceanfront Inn
From $55/ night
A bestseller in Wildwood Crest, the Adventurer offers quality for travelers, and possibly at a lower price point than our other picks. A one-minute walk from the beach, the hotel also features an outdoor pool and lounging area (seasonal, of course), as well as a fitness center for some light (or intense!) cardio. Couples tend to rate this property pretty highly. Maybe they enjoyed a romantic meal at the oceanfront restaurant, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Traveling in a larger group? This property offers two, three and four-room suites. One important caveat: the Adventurer has an off-season and is usually closed from mid-October through April.