We just returned from a week in the Wildwood and North Wildwood area, and despite gray, cloudy days, and rainy evenings, we really enjoyed ourselves.
We have been going to this area on and off for the past 15 years. The beaches are clean and well maintained, very long and flat in Wildwood, with up to a 1/4 mile walk through dunes and sand to reach the ocean.
North Wildwood's beaches are much narrower, but also clean and well maintained. No bath houses or changing rooms were evident in either town, but rest room facilities are available every 3 or 4 blocks along the boardwalk and beach entrances.
Typical of most resort areas along the shore, there are literally hundreds of motels, large and small, within walking distance from the beach. What is unusual about this area is that it appears that the vast majority of building took place in the 1950's, with only a few large condominium projects built after that.
We normally stay oceanfront in North Wildwood, anywhere from 3 to 10 blocks from the start of the Wildwood Boardwalk. This area tends to be more family oriented, and very quiet at night.
For most visitors to the Wildwood area, a day at the beach is usually followed by a night strolling (and spending money) on the boardwalk.
Wildwood's boardwalk is 2 miles long, and has something for everyone. Food concessions range from Pizza and Hot Dogs (some of which look like they've been out in the sun with you all day) to some very nice restaurants.
We tend to like Pompeo's Restaurant for breakfast and dinner, and The Adam's Restaurant for dinner. Both offer a variety of daily specials, with normal dinners running $8-18 per plate. Both are located a block apart on the North end of the boardwalk.
There are several amusement piers, all with the usual array of rides, from kiddie rides to ferris wheels, go kart racing, and several large roller coasters. The coaster at the North end of the boardwalk is one where you hang underneath, with your feet dangling. The coaster at the South end is a great wooden coaster. I believe both of these are less then 5 years old, and well worth the cost ($7.50 each in ride tickets).
Ride tickets are sold in a variety of packages, and there are "bracelet nights" where you pay one rate for all the rides. I believe the bracelets cost about $32.00 per person. Ride costs can be a shock if you are used to amusement parks like Dorney Park and Great Adventure, where all rides are part of the admission costs.
There is one movie theatre on the boardwalk, a small shopping mall, several miniature golf courses, and many individual souvenir shops, ranging from very seedy to only moderately seedy.
Tram car service runs continuously along the boardwalk, for $2.00 a person.
I have only been to the boardwalk on weeknites, and the crowds are a mix of families and teens. I can imagine that on weekend nites the crowd would be much less family oriented.
Wildwood is a great place for a vacation, but families with several children will find it very pricey, because of the boardwalk and amusements, and should consider this when budgeting for the trip.