Wild at heart in The Wildwoods
Music lovers and thrill seekers will feel right at home in The Wildwoods of New Jersey
No family trip to Wildwoods is complete without spending time at the entertainment juggernaut known as Morey's Piers and Beachfront Waterparks, with more than 100 rides and attractions on three piers. Founded by brothers Bill and Will Morey in 1969, Morey's Piers keeps getting better. In 2010, a walk-through haunted attraction called "Ghost Ship" was added, and this year marks the debut of "it," a ride with a rotating center and 120-degree swinging motion.
Board the Sightseer Tram Cars The trams have been ferrying passengers up and down the boardwalk since 1949. The original five, built between 1949 and 1963, are still in use, and still run on environmentally friendly electric batteries. Eight trams in all carry about 500,000 passengers a year, warning boardwalk pedestrians as they have for decades: "Watch the tram car, please."
Strike a pose Take a family picture at the 20-foot-high, 80-foot-long brushed aluminum Wildwoods sign at Rio Grande and Boardwalk.
Ride, ride, ride Head to Morey's for an afternoon of rides and water attractions appropriate for all ages. You'll find plenty of places for lunch, from corn dogs at Mama's Kitchen to a sit-down meal at the Oasis Cafe on Morey's Surfside Pier.
Fast roller coasters, faster boats and the thrill of parasailing are all on tap for travelers who like to get their hearts pounding.
Roll with it, baby Conquer the three roller coasters at Morey's Piers — the Great Nor' Easter, The Sea Serpent and The Great White — as well as the most stomach-churning rides, the Maelstrom, the Inverter and AtmosFEAR. Then put on a bathing suit and head for the waterparks for fun on Shotgun Falls, Cliff Dive, Sidewinder Mat Slides and other watery adventures.
Speed ahead The Silver Bullet is powered by twin V-12 turbo-charged diesel engines and promises a thrilling 90-minute speedboat ride, as well as the opportunity to see marine and bird life. (Silver Bullet Tours, sailing from Wildwood Marina, corner of Rio Grande and Susquehana avenues, 609-522-6060, silverbullettours.com).
Take a wilder ride For a different kind of adventure on the water, reserve time to see animals in their natural habitate during a cruise with Sightseer Whale and Dolphin Cruises (4500 Park Blvd., Wildwood, 609-522-2919, bigbluesightseer.com).
Splashdown Head to Splash Zone Waterpark for heart-pounding water rides including Beast of the East, Free Falls and the Terminator. (3500 Boardwalk, Wildwood, 609-729-5600, splashzonewaterpark.com)
Hang in there Give parasailing a try with Hang Loose Parasail, which promises safe and dry takeoffs and landings, so participants don't even have to touch the water before heading for the clouds. Hang Loose also rents personal watercraft for those who prefer their thrills closer to the water. (1044 W. Rio Grande Blvd., Wildwood, 609-522-9453, hanglooseparasail.com)