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Sep 11, 201201:40 PMCulture

Fun and Culture in the Mid-State

The Old-Fashioned Wonders of Wildwood

Sep 11, 2012 - 01:40 PM
The Old-Fashioned Wonders of Wildwood

Photography by Chelsea Hess-Moore

When we think of the beach, most of the residents of Central PA probably think of Atlantic City and Ocean City, Md. as being their go-to places. Ocean City typically attracts the high school spring breakers while Atlantic City is the “Vegas” of the east coast.  But when it’s time to take the family on a vacation, I strongly recommend taking the not-so-long drive to Wildwood, N.J. This old-fashioned town is sure to bring fun for both kids and adults. 

I had the pleasure of taking my four younger sisters to the beach this Labor Day weekend and it was something that we all will never forget. We have a fairly large gap in age between us all.  I’m the oldest at 22 years old and my youngest sisters are 7 and 8, the ages of the “can’t sit still” syndrome as I like to call it. The other two are in the hard-to-please teenage years of 17 and 19. 

But regardless of the ages and the differences in things we like to do, we all had more than enough things to keep us entertained and happy.

Wildwood offers free beaches.  The boardwalk is a high-rise over the sand, giving an incredible view of the ocean and beaches. 

The wood of the boardwalk shows its age and gives it a feel of an old-time, family setting. Although it stretches farther than the eye can see, you can catch the tramcar that goes up and down the boardwalk throughout the entire day. 

As usual on vacations, the food is always of great abundance. With so many selections, the prices weren’t unbearable and eating out didn’t require busting out the good ole piggy bank.

Or maybe for more family fun on the boardwalk, you can rent the 8-seater bicycles and put the little ones in the front while the older members of the family pedal.

The boardwalk has so many attractions; it may be hard to get to them all in just one day. 

The biggest features are the amusement parks that line the beaches.  Get your adrenaline pumping on one of the six roller coasters or cool off in one of the three water parks.  There are rides for kiddies, adults and even ones for the whole family to enjoy. 

As if three whole sections of amusement park rides weren’t enough, it wouldn’t be complete without the food, games and souvenir shops.  From throwing darts to the water-gun race and basketball shooting games, there are more than enough ways for kids to win a fun toy to showoff for being a winner. 

Down the strip, there are many souvenir shops. 

There are dollar stores where everything is truly just $1.00.

In case you forget the typical needs such as a toothbrush or soap, the dollar store is just a walk away from your hotel instead of having to drive to the nearest grocery store. 

There’s also the Boardwalk Mall, a tiny enclosed section of stores that feature sports apparel to Wildwood gifts and goodies. 

To end the night of shopping and fun, have some pizza at one of the dozens of pizza shops or some ice cream from Mr. Softee’s famous ice cream parlor. Or have a nice sit-down dinner with the family to reflect on the day. 

As usual on vacations, the food is always of great abundance. With so many selections, the prices weren’t unbearable and eating out didn’t require busting out the good ole piggy bank.

My sisters and I enjoyed the waves on the beach, the many things to do on the boardwalk and the thrills of the amusement parks the entire time we were there; but Wildwood offers a lot more things than just those. 

Visit the convention center to check out some events showing at that time, local aquarium, boating, jet-skiing and the nightlife for the adults. The fun is never ending and it will be a great time for everyone.

Wildwood has a different feel than any other beach I’ve been to. The hotels are older but much more welcoming with a home-like look and feel. The boardwalk is filled with families and sits above the sand. 

Most of all, Wildwood offers more for kids than any place I’ve visited so far. With the rides, water parks, games and food, the fun truly goes beyond the beaches in this cozy town on the boarder of New Jersey. 

I recommend Wildwood for any family looking for some good, old-fashioned family fun mixed with new attractions and thrills sure to please every one who goes along.

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