Wildwood’s Beaches Named Top 10 for Families

Family Vacation Critic ranked the beaches in the Wildwoods in its top-10 family vacation destinations this year.

Wildwood beach

Photo | Dan McQuade

It is a long walk to the ocean in the Wildwoods. At the beach’s most expansive points, expect to walk about 10 minutes from the boardwalk to the Atlantic Ocean. On hot days it seems even longer. It can be a pretty tough trek when you’re carrying loads of beach gear.

But the Wildwood beaches are also pretty nice: Their size means there’s never a problem finding a spot to soak in the sun, a place to play beach games or a deserted area to dig a giant hole in the sand. They’re clean. And they stretch for five miles along North Wildwood, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest; there’s actually a lot of variety in the beach in different places. Also, it’s free.

Wildwood’s beaches do have detractors, however. An Asbury Park Press reader survey voted them the third worst. But those are North Jersey haters. A recent ranking by Family Vacation Critic put the Wildwoods in the top-10 best beaches for families in the country.

“It’s a tremendous honor for the Wildwoods to be named among the best beaches for families in the USA by one of the top websites for information on family vacations,” John Siciliano, executive director of the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority, said in a release. “This award is truly a tribute to everyone here who works tirelessly to keep our beaches clean and safe, and to make the Wildwoods the go-to place for visitors to make lifelong memories with their families.”

Some may scoff at this. Obviously, Wildwood has a reputation for being pretty trashy. But isn’t that what kids like? As a person who went to Wildwood every year as a kid, it was certainly the case for me. The primary downside to Wildwood’s beaches is a long walk back to the bathroom. But you can hold it in for a few extra minutes.

“Choosing an ideal beach for families can be quite difficult,” Lissa Poirot, editor-in-chief of Family Vacation Critic, said in a statement. “Families are looking for beaches that are not only safe and clean, but also those that offer a level of convenience that meet the needs of those traveling with various age groups. Nearby accommodations, restaurants and exciting attractions — as well as cost — all add to a beach’s appeal for families.”

And, yeah, the Wildwood beaches come complete with a 2.5-mile boardwalk attached to them, with a variety of great activities for kids: Rides, games, greasy pizza. If you can handle your kids seeing offensive t-shirts, then the Wildwoods really are a great place for families.

The Wildwoods were the only New Jersey beach on Family Vacation Critic’s list. The beaches were not ranked.

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