Wildwood, New Jersey

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Wildwood, New Jersey

Introduction to Wildwood, New Jersey

Wildwood, New Jersey, in Cape May county, is 36 miles S of Vineland, New Jersey (center to center) and 69 miles S of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Wildwood is situated on the southern shore of New Jersey and is a popular tourist resort during the summer months. It's located on a barrier island. The city is well known for its large free beach area, boardwalk and doo-wop style hotels and motels. The population swells during the summer.

It was ranked number one by New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium in the "2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest" for New Jersey. The beaches have been mentioned in the Travel Channel's "America's Best Beaches." The well known song "Rock Around the Clock" regarded as one of of the first Rock and Roll songs was first performed at the HofBrau Hotel in Wildwood by Bill Haley & His Comets. The city is known as the "Doo-wop Capital."

Wildwood History

The Lenni Lenapes Indians made trails and utilized the area. After the Indians left the region the land was used to graze horses and cattle. The animals were transported to the island by boats. In 1870 fisherman constructed shacks on the island and are regarded as the initial non-native settlers. Modern Wildwood began in 1885 when the Holly Beach Borough was incorporated.

Wildwood was incorporated in 1912. The city is known for its large number of doo-wop motels which were constructed in the 1950's and 1960's. The motels are distinctive with their neon signs and unusual architecture. However, many of the motels have been torn down and replaced with condominiums.

Wildwood Attractions

  • Ultimate Frisbee tournament
  • Boardwalk Chapel
  • Wildwood International Kite Festival
  • Wildwood Crest Memorial Museum
  • George F. Boyer Historical Museum
  • Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
  • Scoop Taylor Park
  • National Marbles Hall of Fame
  • Sunset Lake and Turtle Gut Park and Memorial
  • Wildwood Boat Show and Fishing Expo
  • Historic Town Hall
  • Convention Center
  • Cape May Zoo

Wildwood Activities

Wildwood features a wide variety of entertainment. At night the Irish pubs, saloons, sports bars, nightclubs and dance clubs are filled with people. The popular Wildwood Boardwalk includes four amusement piers and features numerous rides and attractions, including the Morey's Piers amusement complex and Raging Waters. The popular boardwalk offers a trolley for transportation. Splash Zone Water Park provides a good time for residents and visitors. Wildwood features one of the oldest wood roller coasters in the nation.

Wildwood is known for its white-sand beaches. The Inlet, located at the entrance to North Wildwood and Diamond Beach are two of the popular beaches. The town features a variety of festivals and special events that families enjoy including food festivals, craft events, doo-wop festivals, a variety of concerts, sporting events and parades. The "Fabulous 50's Weekend" attracts a large crowd. Movie nights on the beach, Irish Weekend and the Firefighters parade are popular events.

The area is well known for fishing and water sports. The western side of the island includes a large number of boat ramps located at the end of streets. Visitors enjoy taking sightseeing boat cruises. Golf enthusiasts have opportunities to play at the numerous quality courses. The doo-wop trolly tour is enjoyed by tourists. The city is home to numerous cheerleading, wrestling, gymnastics, dance and basketball tournaments.

Wildwood Transportation

The city is served by the nearby Atlantic City International Airport.

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High Points

Wildwood strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in New Jersey):

Category Trophy
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Wildwood Walking and Biking to Work
Affordability of Rents
(vs. State)
Top 2% trophy Wildwood Affordability of Rents
Short Commute Times
(vs. State)
Top 3% trophy Wildwood Short Commute Times
Racial Diversity
(vs. Peers)
Top 4% trophy Wildwood Racial Diversity
Public Transportation Use
(vs. Peers)
Top 8% Wildwood Public Transportation Use
Affordability of Property Taxes
(vs. State)
Top 10% Wildwood Affordability of Property Taxes

Comparative Profile of Wildwood, New Jersey

Comparing Wildwood to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in New Jersey (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Racial Diversity 10 10
Children Under 5 Years Old 8 9
Male Share of the Population 7 7
Senior Citizens 5 6
Age of the Population 4 2
Female Share of the Population 4 4
Well-Paid Single Men 3 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Average Household Size 3 2
Portion of People Married 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Above Poverty 1 1
People in Middle Class or Better 1 1
Median Family Income 1 1
College Educated Adults 1 1

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Walking and Biking to Work 10 10
Public Transportation Use 10 8
Short Commute Times 6 10
Working at Home 4 4


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 10 10
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 10 9
People Living Alone 10 10
Affordability of Rents 6 10
Affordability of Property Taxes 3 10
Housing Recently Built 2 3


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Violent Crime 1 1
Low Property Crime 1 1

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Wildwood Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 36 miles S of Vineland, New Jersey (center to center)
Nearest Large City 69 miles S of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
County Cape May
Standard Zip Codes 08260
Phone Area Codes 609
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 38.991
Longitude -74.815

Wildwood Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Station CAPE MAY 2 NW
Distance 7 miles
Jan Temp 27 to 42 F
Apr Temp 43 to 60 F
Jul Temp 67 to 84 F
Oct Temp 49 to 66 F
Annual Precip 41.3 inches
Distance 18.1 miles
Jan Temp 22 to 44 F
Apr Temp 38 to 66 F
Jul Temp 63 to 88 F
Oct Temp 43 to 70 F
Annual Precip 44.5 inches
Distance 34.4 miles
Jan Temp 23 to 41 F
Apr Temp 40 to 61 F
Jul Temp 65 to 85 F
Oct Temp 44 to 66 F
Annual Precip 40.5 inches
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Wildwood Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 5,436 100%
Male 2,657 48.9%
Female 2,779 51.1%
Under 18 1,398 25.7%
18+ 4,038 74.3%
65+ 770 14.2%
Median Age 35.5
Average Family Size 3.06
White 3,835 70.5%
African-American 905 16.6%
Asian 26 0.5%
American Indian & Alaskan 21 0.4%
Other 481 8.8%
Mixed Race 160 2.9%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 958 17.6%

Estimated Wildwood Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 5,291
Growth -145
Growth % -2.7%

Wildwood Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 35%
Irish 18.3%
Italian 16.3%
German 8.4%
English 4.4%
Polish 3.6%
US/American 2.4%
African 1.5%
Scotch-Irish 1.3%
Dutch 1%
French (except Basque) 1%
French Canadian 0.9%
Ukrainian 0.8%
Scottish 0.6%
Norwegian 0.6%
Jamaican 0.5%
Swedish 0.5%
Ghanian 0.4%
Russian 0.4%
Lithuanian 0.3%
Hungarian 0.3%
Other Arab 0.3%
Welsh 0.2%
Pennsylvania German 0.2%
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Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Wildwood, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Anglesea (08260)
Grassy Sound (08260)
Shaw Crest (08260)
Wildwood City (08260)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Wildwood 5,436 $28,288
Cape May 4,034 $46,250
North Wildwood 4,935 $46,250
Stone Harbor 1,128 $67,250
West Cape May 1,095 $47,031
West Wildwood 448 $50,625
Wildwood Crest 3,980 $47,462

Wildwood Public Libraries

Wildwood Crest
Wildwood, New Jersey
(609) 522-0564

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Wildwood High Schools (2004)

Serves 315 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11.2

Wildwood Colleges

(List of New Jersey Colleges)

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City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Crisfield, Maryland 83.7   33.4% 18.1% 4.7% 23 $23,929 8.2% 41.5% 2,723 34.2% 67.6 3.2% 6.2
2. Three Rivers, Michigan 81.5   31.7% 12.8% 9.7% 21 $36,272 8.1% 15.6% 7,328 19.3% 82.6 1.2% 10
3. Palatka, Florida 80.3   35.6% 17.7% 10.6% 20 $26,076 8% 51.1% 10,033 33.1% 120.7 1.2% 19.6
4. Tabor City, North Carolina 74.7   35% 18.6% 12.8% 23 $30,720 6.9% 35.4% 2,509 26% 93.7 1% 10.4
5. Chadbourn, North Carolina 74.5   34.3% 15.4% 10.2% 25 $30,574 7.4% 58.1% 2,129 31.4% 117.4 1% 10.3
6. Bennettsville, South Carolina 74.3   31% 14.5% 10.9% 21 $29,272 6.6% 65.2% 9,425 27.2% 59 1.3% 17.5
7. Mexia, Texas 73.7   31.3% 16.4% 11.4% 17 $29,375 8.2% 44.1% 6,563 22.1% 67 1.6% 6.3
8. Calhoun Falls, South Carolina 70.5   31% 13.9% 3.8% 24 $30,573 7.3% 54.8% 2,303 23.5% 43 0.9% 16.1
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Historic Wildwood


Wildwood (Hotel Seaside) between 1900 and 1910

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Wildwood (Hotel Seaside) between 1900 and 1910

Sheldon Hotel between 1900 and 1915

Edgeton Inn between 1900 and 1915

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