Wild on Wildwoods
It takes only about 15 minutes to drive from Cape May to Wildwood, but during that period, you’ll travel through more than half a century to a destination that preserves the best of 1950s and 1960s Americana.
“We have the largest concentration of midcentury ‘Doo-Wop’ architecture in the country,” said Ben Rose, director of marketing and public relations for the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority. “What Art Deco is to South Beach, Doo-Wop is to the Wildwoods. It’s that funky ’50s and ’60s architecture with sharp angles, pastel colors and plastic palm trees. Most of the original properties have been refurbished, and even new properties are being built using the elements of Doo-Wop.”
For an overview of the area’s unique look, groups often choose to begin their visits to the Wildwoods with a Doo-Wop tour, which takes them through the heart of the midcentury architectural district. The tours last for about an hour and highlight the best of the classic buildings along the coastline.
Next, groups can take a whale-watching or sightseeing cruise, or enjoy the amusements on the 3.5-mile boardwalk, which features a log flume, an antique carousel, a wooden roller coaster, a 160-foot Ferris wheel and other diversions.
“We actually have more rides and attractions than Disney Land,” Rose said. “At nighttime, the boardwalk is a sea of neon. The lights, sounds and smells are pure sensory overload. It hasn’t changed in over 60 years — it’s a real slice of Americana.”
Most visitors don’t leave without stopping at the Wildwoods Sign. At 20 feet tall and 60 feet long, the sign is often called the “Hollywood Sign of the East”.