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May 23, 2016

2016 Jersey Shore beach guide: Wildwood Crest

Travel Vacations
Wildwood Crest Beach Wildwood Crest/Facebook

The beach at Wildwood Crest.

If the hustle and bustle of Wildwood isn't your scene, you may want to take a look at the town's neighbor to the south: Wildwood Crest.

Make no mistake, the two may share an island but are not the same. Wildwood Crest just spent $25,000 on a rebranding campaign to ensure that potential visitors know it's separate — and quite different — from its "noisier, news-making neighbor," as the Press of Atlantic City put it.

"It's better in the Crest," the new slogan states. Like Ocean City, the Crest is a dry town, its historic architecture steeped in the Doo Wop culture that defines much of Wildwood as a whole. Its charm may be the reason the town's being used as a shooting location for an upcoming major motion picture called "Wetlands."

If you're thinking about taking a shore trip to the Crest this summer, here are the basics you need to know:

Beach tags:

Don't need them. Wildwood Crest, like Wildwood and North Wildwood, keeps its beaches free. Enjoy.

Lifeguard hours:

The Wildwood Crest Beach Patrol is on duty from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends from Memorial Day to mid-June and daily from mid-June to Labor Day.

Swimmers are strongly encouraged to bathe only when lifeguards are working.

More information can be found by calling the Wildwood Crest Beach Patrol at 609-522-3825.

Beach rules:

The beach is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Surfing is permitted at Rambler Road Beach, located where Rambler Road meets the shore. Kites and beach sports are allowed at the back end of the beach.

The following are prohibited from the beach: animals, alcohol, fires, picnics and barbecues. Surf fishing is prohibited in swimming areas when lifeguards are on duty.

Public parking:

Meters in Wildwood Crest are operational from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. throughout the season. They cost $1.50 an hour, or a quarter for 10 minutes. Seasonal parking passes are available for $250 and for $150 in the reduced-rate zones.

For a list of streets with meters, as well as streets with reduced rates, click here.


Being a dry town, Wildwood Crest is a great spot for family fun, especially with young kids. This includes free concerts, fitness classes and sunset celebrations. A highlight this summer is a visit by a Jimmy Buffett tribute band at Centennial Park on June 25. A full calendar of events can be found here.

For history buffs, the Wildwood Crest Historical Society is your guide to tracing the town's roots, which go back to the early 20th century. Unfortunately, as Society President Kirk Hastings wrote in a recent Facebook post, the Wildwood Crest Museum is closed for this summer as officials try and find it a new home.

But there's still plenty to see, including Crest Pier and the Doo Wop architecture throughout the town. More information can be found on the Society's website.

As for dining, Bandanas serves Mexican cuisine, Jamaica Me Hungry has pretty much everything from barbecue ribs to seafood, and you can grab breakfast at Doo Wop Coffee Shop.

Oh, and, of course, there's a Primo's where you can grab your beach hoagies. More dining options can be seen here.

More information:

Wildwood Crest tourism website | Wildwood Crest municipal website | Wildwood Crest Historical Society | Wildwood Underground