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Wildwood Named Top Jersey Shore Beach Again
 
  by: iradiotom - Philadelphia, PA
started: 05/27/11 1:46 pm | updated: 05/27/11 1:46 pm
 
Wildwood is New Jersey's favorite beach. Make that 3 out of the last 4 years!

According to an online poll by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium/New Jersey Sea Grant and the Richard Stockton College Coastal Research Center, The Wildwoods (Wildwood and its two neighbors, Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood) took top honors.

Wildwood's beaches are large and admission to all three beaches is always free - a big part of their appeal.

"They're nice and free, and they're always clean," said Lynda Jarrett, 59, of Lewisburg, Pa. "I've been coming here since I was 5 years old. I love everything about Wildwood. This beach is my medicine; it's what keeps me coming back each year."

Second place went to Long Beach Island which placed third last year. Ocean City dropped from first in 2009 to third this year.

Here's the top 10 New Jersey beaches:
1. The Wildwoods
2. Long Beach Island
3. Ocean City
4. Sea Isle City
5. Cape May
6. Asbury Park
7. Seaside Heights
8. Island Beach State Park
9. Cape May Point
10.Sandy Hook

The winners were announced at a news conference in Sandy Hook, where Jon Miller, a coastal expert from Stevens Institute of Technology, said New Jersey's beaches came through the winter quite well.

"The beaches are in extremely good condition," he said. "This winter was relatively mild in terms of the number of storms that impact the coast. It might be surprising considering the amount of snow we got."

The Wildwoods have three of the only five beaches in New Jersey that don't require people to buy beach badges to get onto the sand and into the water. The beaches here are a half-mile from the boardwalk in many spots. Due to the prevailing ocean currents and the natural topography of the coastline, sand that washes away from other beaches piles up in Wildwood.

In fact, the walk to the water is so far that Wildwood once seriously entertained a proposal to let a vendor offer camel rides to and from the surf before deciding against it.

Wildwood also is a hotbed of '50s doo-wop culture and is home to many oldies festivals and antique car cruise nights. The three-town resort says it has the largest concentration of preserved doo-wop architecture in the country, and last year was named one of America Online's 10 Architectural Wonders of the United States. Even the Wawa convenience store and gas station on the main drag into town is done up in neon colors and angular roof lines.

Wildwood and North Wildwood share a nearly two-mile boardwalk that has its own in-your-face charm, with the usual pizza and fudge shops alongside T-shirt shacks and body piercing outlets. It has three amusement piers with a gargantuan roller coaster and a freakishly tall Ferris wheel.

"This is where I've been coming all my life," said Joan Daug of Waterford, N.J., who was visiting the resort with her husband, Andy. "I always thought it was a nice family place. That's why I liked it."

"There's car shows on the boardwalk, fireworks," Andy Daug added. "There's always something going on here."
 
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