Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum

#6 in Best Things To Do in Cape May
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Jim, the Photographer/Flickr

Key Info

Cape May Airport, 500 Forrestal Road

Price & Hours

$14 for adults; $10 for kids 3-12
Hours vary seasonally

Details

Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 3.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

The Naval Air Station (NAS) Wildwood Aviation Museum is located inside a former World War II hangar that dates back to 1943. It was originally used as a training facility for dive bombers to practice takeoffs, landings, night flying and target practice. After the war, the hanger was used for incoming and outgoing charter and commuter flights until about 1990, when it began falling into disrepair. The 92,000-square-foot building was purchased for $1 in 1997 by a doctor and his wife, who fully restored the space, converted it into a museum and began welcoming visitors from near and far. Today, the NAS Wildwood Aviation Museum boasts a variety of historic planes, helicopters and WWII memorabilia. Travelers can view medevac helicopters, a large collection of military jets and more than 20 propeller aircraft, in addition to other automobiles and 1940s artifacts like retro soda machines. 

Recent travelers were impressed by the large collection of planes, cars, boats and other vintage items. Some exhibits allow visitors to climb inside of various trucks and Jeeps, which many found exciting. Though complaints were few and far between, a few patrons felt the prices were a bit too high – especially for large families – considering the relatively small size of the museum.

The NAS Wildwood Aviation Museum is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Hours vary by season, but you can expect the attraction to be open between 9 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on most days. Admission costs $14 for adults and $10 for kids ages 3 to 12. Children 2 and younger can enter for free, as can active-duty members of the military. Veterans receive a $2 discount. Visitors are encouraged to explore the museum at their own pace, but 30-minute guided tours are also offered on Thursdays at 11 a.m. (complimentary with an admission ticket). To learn more, visit the museum's website.

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#1 Cape May City Beaches

For many travelers, the allure of Cape May has much to do with its plethora of spacious, white sand beaches. The entire Jersey Cape (which stretches through 10 communities) boasts 30 miles of shoreline, and Cape May itself offers up 2 1/2 miles' worth. Across the various beaches, vacationers can swim, skimboard, surf, fish, kayak and play volleyball in designated areas. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer and all of Cape May's beaches are family-friendly. Alcohol is prohibited at all times and dogs are only welcome on the sand between November and March. Metered parking can be found along the main strip and you may also find free parking on side streets. Restrooms are located at every half-mile, as are open-air showers to rinse off sand.

Recent beachgoers said Cape May's shores were clean and easy to access. Many noted the stretches of sand were especially picturesque at sunrise and sunset, and some even spotted dolphins during these times. To enjoy fewer crowds, a few travelers recommended Poverty Beach, though families preferred to stay on the main promenade for easier access to bathrooms, umbrella rentals and restaurants. Keep in mind that some visitors reported the surf could be a bit rough at times, which may be dangerous for young children.

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