Postwar 1950's America was an optimistic, confident, enthusiastic society and an economic colossus where people enjoyed increasingly greater wealth and leisure time. TV overtook radio as the most important cultural influence and began broadcasting ads for a mode of transporation that would soon transform society: the automobile.
Families wanted to get in their cars and go! The Wildwoods accommodated them with a dynamic seaside boardwalk, amusement piers and nightclubs that became a proving ground for the period's biggest music stars, and motels that beckoned vacationing families with bold neon signs, exotic and fanciful themes, eye-popping colors and kidney-shaped swimming pools surrounded by plastic palm trees...
Did you know...
Chubby Checker introduced "The Twist" in Wildwood's Rainbow Club in 1960, igniting a dance craze that took the world by storm!
The hit song "Rock Around the Clock" was first performed by Bill Haley and his Comets at the Hof Brau Hotel in Wildwood in 1954!
The Wildwoods are home to one of the largest collections of 1950s & 1960s commercial architecture in America!
Today, the Wildwoods By-the-Sea are home to the largest collection of these '50s and '60s "Doo Wop" style motels anywhere in the world! For any discerning vacationer, no trip to the Wildwoods is complete without a tour of these beloved pop-culture icons that continue to host hundreds of thousands of special vacations every year—it’s a taste of pure Americana found only on the South Jersey Shore!
The playful '50s look is preserved in many of the buildings and signs throughout the resort today - some have even received recognition by the National Trust for Historic Preservation! The style that has come to be known as "Doo Wop" serves as a lasting tribute to the era that made Wildwood famous, and set the stage for the Wildwoods to become the leading destination for summer fun & entertainment that it is today!
Doo Wop Experience
Housed in the restored 1960's era Surfside Restaurant building--a pinwheel shaped landmark that was saved and relocated by the Doo Wop Preservation League--the "Doo Wop Experience" is brimming with cool artifacts, fascinating history, fun family memories, and bright neon lights. It's a celebration of architecture, design, music, pop culture, and everything else that made the Wildwoods famous--from the '50s & '60s to today!
Also: Be sure to check out our Las Vegas inspired "Neon Sign Garden" where classic neon signs from some of the Wildwoods famous motels have been assembled in a single location across from the Wildwoods Convention Center for all to enjoy!
Plus: Visit our '50s-style malt shop for a tasty treat that will take you back in time! (operating hours vary)
Doo Wop "Back to the 50s" Tour
Hop on the Doo Wop Bus to experience the Wildwoods of the 1950s when pastel colors, bright neon lights, and rock ‘n roll were all the rage.
See boomerang rooflines, Tomorrowland levitating ramps and wild neon signs as your tour guide recounts the popular culture of the era and shares the stories and legends of Wildwood’s entertainment district in the ‘50s and ’60s where stars like Chubby Checker, Connie Francis, Dick Clark, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell and others were known to appear.
For more information on Doo Wop Tours, call:
800-786-4546 or 609-522-4546
Or visit www.doowopusa.org.