Crystal Beach Motor Inn—Wildwood Crest, New Jersey

Sue Sykes casts her memory back to the 1980s—a time when amusement piers at Wildwood, New Jersey, rocked her childhood with rides, and every step along the boardwalk was instilled with new magic. Her family vacationed at the Brigadoon Motel. One day, her mom told her they could stay and operate a motel of their own.

The rest, as they say, is history…

With a mere half-block walk to the beach, immaculate rooms that have earned rave reviews online, and diehard annual visitors taking photos under the “palm” trees just like their grandparents did with them, the Crystal Beach seems well positioned for the future. Indeed, while some classic Wildwood lodging places have succumbed to the bulldozer, Sykes says that will not be the fate of the Crystal Beach Motor Inn.