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Cape May vs Wildwood (Wildwood Crest) please advise!

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Pittsburgh...
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Cape May vs Wildwood (Wildwood Crest) please advise!

Hello,

My husband and I decided to plan a short beach trip next month. After lots of research and trying to find somewhere on the East Coast that I've not yet been to I stumbled upon Cape May. I was so impressed with the rankings on the beaches via trip advisor, the travel channel, and forbes that I couldn't believe I've never heard of it! I was totally sold on it. I am trying to stay on a budget of about $1000.00 for a 3 or 4 night trip. (we are driving - so no big expenses there) The more I looked around the more I realized that staying in Wildwood is much much less expensive. Here are my questions:

Can we stay in Wildwood and drive to the town of Cape May daily to enjoy the area and beaches, or should we stay right in Cape May?

Is there anywhere else outside of Cape May that may be a good option to stay, and make day trips in?

Is Wildwood a bigger (or better) beach? We will be traveling with our 10 month old, and 8 year old. We are not all about bells and whistles. We are beach people, laid back, and very outdoorsy. We typically choose our travel destinations based on natural beauty and unique finds. (this is our 3rd trip this year - which is why we are trying not to spend too much)

Are the beaches in Cape May easy to get to? There seem to be a few. Can we visit all of them in 4 days?

Thanks in advance for the direction. Warmest Regards!

Nutley, NJ
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1. Re: Cape May vs Wildwood (Wildwood Crest) please advise!

I am familiar with both towns, having previously owned property in the area. You can certainly drive from Wildwood Crest to Cape May for its beaches, but the Wildwood beaches are actually equal to if not superior to Cape May's. Plus, Wildwood beaches are free and Cape May charges $5 pp daily. The major difference and where Cape May exceeds Wildwood Crest are in the off beach amenities. Wildwood is basically a motel/condo resort. Cape May is more of a B&B place. Wildwood motels will be much less expensive. Beyond that, where Cape May shines is in their superior restaurants, ambiance, theater, and shopping. You can enjoy all of these if you stay in Wildwood by driving the 20 min. between the towns.

Pittsburgh...
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2. Re: Cape May vs Wildwood (Wildwood Crest) please advise!

Thank you for your insight! I am going to look at hotels in both areas today, and hopefully make a decision. We just want to spend a few days on a nice clean (not overly crowded beach). We have done so many of the Virginia Beach, Ocean City, Myrtle Beach -type of short beach trips over the past few years. I'd like to try something different. I'm partial to the Outer Banks, and Siesta Key in FL - but there has to be someplace just as great a little closer to us. We want to do a road trip (we are in Pittsburgh), and don't want to keep the kids in the car more than 6 or 7 hours on this one. Fingers crossed that this makes the grade! Thanks again so much!

Morris County, NJ
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3. Re: Cape May vs Wildwood (Wildwood Crest) please advise!

I was there last month. Cape May and Wildwood Crest are about 5 miles away from each other. What we tend to do is spend the day at Cape May and then drive to Wildwood at night. Wildwood has a great boardwalk and is a lot more active at night. A typical day for us might be to go to the beach in Cape May in the morning, have lunch at the Washington Street Mall and then head back to the beach during the afternoon and then head to Wildwood at night. The Wildwood boardwalk on a summer weekend night has a feel all to its own. There is nothing like it in the world.

One beach in Cape May that we "discovered" on our latest trip is the beach by the Cape May lighthouse. Its free, and there were very few people there. Heavily recommended.

Pittsburgh...
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4. Re: Cape May vs Wildwood (Wildwood Crest) please advise!

Thank you! That sounds great! I am so grateful for trip advisor. So many great perspectives and experience. Maybe we will stay in Wildwood Crest. This is going to sound so naive, but is Wildwood Crest the same thing as Wildwood? Are they one and the same or different beaches? Sorry for the multitude of questions on this thread :-) I appreciate every bit of help!

Be well!

Bangor, Pennsylvania
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for Lancaster
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5. Re: Cape May vs Wildwood (Wildwood Crest) please advise!

The Cape May Point state park beach (which bwco refers to)will be the most natural and is free. The lightthouse(which you can climb for a small fee) is adjacent as are the bird sanctuarys . There are several nature trails.

The last time we were there -which was a couple years ago- there were no lifeguards and you were not allowed in the water. Not sure if this is still the case.

Edited: 20 July 2011, 16:26
Pittsburgh...
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6. Re: Cape May vs Wildwood (Wildwood Crest) please advise!

Thanks, brookquarry! We will absolutely check out the lighthouse, and I love the tip about the nature trails. We are all about it.

North Cape May, Nj
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7. Re: Cape May vs Wildwood (Wildwood Crest) please advise!

The Wildwoods are comprised of three communities. They are Wildwood Crest, Wildwood and North Wildwood. The Crest is the most laid back of the three. A section of the Crest is named Diamond Beach. North Wildwood is next. It also has a section named Anglesea. Wildwood is in the middle and is the most congested. There are two amusement piers on the boardwalk. Each is named Morey's Pier. One is located in Wildwood and the other is in North Wildwood. The boardwalk starts in the northern part of the Crest and extends through Wildwood into the southern end of North Wildwood. There are no separations or barriers as you pass through one community into another.

There aren't any life guards at Cape May Point State Park. Swimming is not allowed due to very strong currents.

Staying in Wildwood Crest is a good option EXCEPT, if you drive to Cape May, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to find a parking space. If you can manage, I recommend that you find a room in Cape May and drive to Wildwood for a visit.

Edited: 20 July 2011, 18:10
Philadelphia, PA
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8. Re: Cape May vs Wildwood (Wildwood Crest) please advise!

There is a free parking lot on Lafayette St. with a trolley service that will get you around Cape May, if you plan to stay in Wildwood Crest.

www.capemay.com/gettingaround-trolley.html

I think the Wildwoods would be more fun for the kids, although Cape May has arcades and mini-golf courses which are fun. Cape May is more laid back and quiet compared to Wildwood. I also think the beaches in Cape May are way cleaner.

Pittsburgh...
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9. Re: Cape May vs Wildwood (Wildwood Crest) please advise!

Many thanks again for all the posts! I will absolutely check out that link to the trolly service as well.

I tried calling a few places in Cape May today for August 17-20th, but so far no vacancy. (I called the Camelot, the Victorian, the Capri, and another I can't remember the name of. I will say that so for the hotels are not shining in the service area. No one was very friendly on the phone - which is a little unsettling. We may actually end up having to stay in Wildwood after all anyway, and making daily trips to Cape May to enjoy the scenery & charm it looks like it has. I am going to make a few more calls, then it is off to start making Wildwood calls.

jamesville ny
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for Fort Myers
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10. Re: Cape May vs Wildwood (Wildwood Crest) please advise!

check out www.capemay.com