The Boardwalk Blog’s Wildwood Nostalgia Series #3 – Motels of The Wildwoods.

The Wildwoods have come a long way from the majestic homes and hotels of the 1800’s, the 50’s era DooWop, to the homes of today. The Anglesea Hotel was the first hotel in the borough of Anglesea, built in 1880, and destroyed by a fire 15 years later. In 1885, the Hereford House was built. Wildwood’s first hotel was The Inlet House, built in the 1880s on what is now Rio Grande Avenue.


We jump to the post-war boom that produced the “Doo Wop,” “Googie,” “Populux” futuristic architecture. The Caribbean Motel was built in 1957 by Lou Morey. It’s known for its curving “Jetson” ramp, crescent shape pool, the island’s first plastic palm trees, and the oversized rooftop neon sign. North Wildwood had the Chateau Bleu Motel built by Morey in 1962. It’s known for the Doo Wop architecture, heart-shaped pool, and large Marquee sign. Many more popped up all over the Wildwoods.

One more that stands out in my memory as being as luxurious as any Hollywood motel, was the Thunderbird Inn, est.1953. Now that was a destination! More on that in future posts. The tragedy is how rapidly many of the motels came down to make way for the condos of today.

If returning to the same rental, or your home, it was exciting to explore to find out if an item you hid or buried, from the year before was still there. The anticipation was exhilarating!


I bet your childhood memories revolve around the summers spent in the Wildwoods and the places you stayed. In pics and/or words, tell us about your stay and the memories you made.

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