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May 25, 2024

Wildwood: Everything you need to know about the beaches and things to do there this summer

Do you need a beach tag? When is the Barefoot Country Music Festival? And other important information you need to know about one of the most iconic Jersey Shore towns.

Travel Jersey Shore
Wildwood sign Jon Tuleya/PhillyVoice

Wildwood officials declared a state of emergency and shut down the boardwalk early Monday morning due to "an irrepressible number of calls for service" that amounted to "civil unrest" during the weekend.

With one of the top boardwalks in New Jersey, there's no way you can head to Wildwood and skip the two miles of 'Watch the tramcar, please!' and stretchy saltwater taffy. 

But there's plenty more to the shore town than the arcade games and T-shirt stands. Wildwood is a New Jersey classic, keeping it's vintage motel feel while offering plenty of space for laying out in the sand, plus tons of festivals, concerts and events and activities.

Whether you're heading there for a specific event, a day-trip or a weeklong family vacay, here's a guide to visiting Wildwood, New Jersey. 

What are some things to do in Wildwood this summer? 

When planning your trip to Wildwood, the calendar published online by the Wildwoods Tourism Authority is a good place to start. It lists events and activities going on in Wildwood, as well as Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood. Below are some highlights:

Country music fans flock to the Barefoot Country Music Festival from June 20-23. The 2024 lineup for the four-day event includes include Keith Urban, Kane Brown, the War and Treaty, the Beach Boys and other acts. 

Fourth of July in Wildwood is stacked, kicking off the morning with a Patriotic Pooch Parade for dogs at 9:00 a.m. followed by a dance party at the Bryne Plaza in the evening (and hopefully barbeques with friends and family in-between). The day ends with fireworks at 10:00 p.m. 

The summer New Jersey Jeep Invasion, from July 12-14, on Rio Grande Avenue beach feature vendors, a beach obstacle course and over 2,500 Jeeps. Competitors from all over head to Wildwood for the largest Ultimate Frisbee beach tournament in the world on July 27 and 28

Wildwood also has a of recurring events like its weekly farmers market at Byrne Plaza and yoga on the beach

Wildwood is best know for its boardwalk with amusement parks, the tram car, arcades, stores and restaurants. Grab some fries and salt water taffy and play skee ball or mini golf or get an old timey photo. The Wildwood Boardwalk is open to bike riders until noon, though it's less crowded earlier in the morning before he boards get more crowded. 

Water parks like Morey’s Piers' Ocean Oasis and Raging Waters are options for cooling off without navigating the hot sand of Wildwood's enormous beach.

The town is full in vintage motel vibes with neon and mid-century modern designs, all of which vacationers can learn more about at theDoo Wop Preservation League's museum with its Neon Sign Garden. The museum tells the history of Wildwood in 1950s and 1960s, also leads tours around town to view Wildwood unique architecture. 

Do you need a beach tag in Wildwood? 

Wildwood beaches are free, no tags required. 

When are Wildwood's lifeguards on duty? 

Beginning Memorial Day, Wildwood Beach Patrol lifeguards will be guarding beaches on the weekends only 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through the weekend of June 8-9. That week beach patrol is expected to announce the details of the their full-time coverage plan for the rest of the summer.

What are the rules on Wildwood's beaches? 

Dogs are prohibited from Wildwood's beaches from May through October except for the dog beach on Glenwood Avenue. They must be licensed. 

Beachgoers can only use drones, kites and other airborne devices in designated areas. The lifeguards also designate certain areas for rafting and floating, ball playing and Frisbee. 

Smoking and drinking openly are prohibited, and the beaches are closed from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. according to local ordinances. 

Surfing is allowed only at the surf beach on Adams Avenue.