One of my favorite places to go to here in New Jersey during summer time is The Wildwoods. If you are not familiar with the area, The Wildwoods is a group of small municipalities, North Wildwood, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, situated on an island called Five Mile Beach in South New Jersey.
Unlike most shore (beach) towns, the Wildwoods beaches are totally free (Yup! no passes needed) to both locals and visitors. If you are looking for a laid back, small town vibe, then this is totally your place. It’s very family friendly too. In fact, when the kids were younger, we go here every first or second weekend of June. Hint, that’s when weather is nice enough to be outdoors and the summer prices haven’t kicked in yet.
Speaking of prices, now that the pandemic is under control (here in the US in general) and more people are getting comfortable traveling again, I’m sharing some tips on how to save some money when you decide to visit the Wildwoods.
Take note, this post is sponsored by Daniels Realty .
Finding a place to stay is probably the most expensive part of any out of town trip. Whether it’s just for the weekend or for a whole week, lodging costs can easily take up to 50-75% of the whole vacation budget.
With over 55 hotels, motels, inns and Bed & Breakfast in the area, it’s easy to find affordable accommodations at the Wildwoods. Right now the summer rate for a room usually costs around $250+ a night but it goes down significantly around early June and mid September. As long as you don’t book during holiday weekends.
If you have a family of 6 like ours, have extended family or a group of friends with you during the trip, it is worth checking some vacation rentals in North Wildwood, NJ. Whether it’s a beachside condo or a 5 bedroom home equipped with a swimming pool and driveway, a rental property can be more budget friendly in the long run. While there’s no one else to “tidy up” your room for you, renting a house comes with huge perks like an access to a full kitchen which is sometimes equipped with dishes and cookware, washer/dryer and a bigger space to hangout.
From the boardwalk to the little street corners, you’ll never run out of places to eat in the Wildwoods. In fact, one of my earlier posts here on the blog features some of our favorite spots. While it’s fun to dine inside the restaurants, during the summer months when the “tourists” flock in, we’ll always expect lines and wait times.
To save money and still get to enjoy good food, why not do what most locals do? Call in your order, pick it up and eat either on the benches or your vacation rental home. Not only will you save money on drinks (hello expensive bottled water), you’ll also save on parking fees and even tips.
Also, try buying from local markets. Rick’s Seafood for instance, has the best crab cakes and chowders in town! Since it’s technically a store, you’ll get the freshest catch of the day. Take note, they are only open Thursdays to Monday and they do sell out fast.
What more can you expect from the state who loves booze? If you’re not yet aware, New Jersey was the only state in the country that considered alcoholic beverages an essential during the pandemic. Yes, all our liquor stores were open at that time. Plus local pubs offered free delivery because indoor dining was still a no-no.
That being said, if you need wine, beer or any alcoholic drinks, visit one of the many liquor stores in the area. It’s way cheaper to BYOB (bring your own booze) when you dine out. Just make sure the restaurant allows it. What’s even better? Wine and dine in your motel or rental.
When it comes to souvenirs, we often tend to shop on the boardwalk. I mean that’s the reason why it’s lined with stores right? The downside of doing this is that prices of items here tend to be way more pricey.
So, how can we support local businesses, get unique gifts and keepsakes and still save some precious dollars? Simple, just refrain from buying along the boardwalk and visit the towns’ main street instead. Chances are you’ll see the same items for less. This is because most local shops rent boardwalk stalls during the summer months because there is more foot traffic in that area. How smart is that?
It’s been a while since our family last visited the Wildwoods. A big part of me would like to drive there soon and create new memories.
Have you’ve been to the Wildwoods? If you are planning to go there, make sure to keep these tips handy. Oh, and let me know how the trip went. Love to hear from you.