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The Caribbean Motel – A National Historic Place Deserves a Retro Roadmap Revisit! Wildwood, NJ

Posted on: August 8, 2011


The Caribbean Motel – A National Historic Place Deserves a Retro Roadmap Revisit!

5600 Ocean Ave, Wildwood Crest, NJ 08260

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When we heard that The Caribbean Motel in Wildwood NJ (a 1950s modern motel masterpiece) was honored as the first motel to be listed in the Register of Historic Places, we knew we had to re-visit the site of one of our fab vintage vacation destinations!

The Caribbean Motel Wildwood NJ, Night Shot

As you can see we didn’t get there ’til later in the evening, but earlier in the day our roomies reported “We’re here and they’re walking around with cookies now. Such hospitality!” – I wish we had made it for the cookies, but glad we did indeed get to finally meet the hosts with the most, Caribbean Motel owners George Miller and Carolyn Emigh!

mod betty george carolyn caribbean motel wildwood nj(I was in the pool when they arrived, so pardon my terrycloth wrap!)

We were thrilled to be able to hang out with them on the upper patio where – as the great hosts they are – they greeted guests and shared stories and drinks, all while graciously accepting our accolades when we told them what a fab job they had done with the renovations and maintenance of this landmark Jersey shore motel.

As I mentioned, we’re not the only ones to notice their efforts, as the motel is the first and only motel to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is now considered an Historic “Hotel” of America as well! So happy to see the recognition of mid century places as valid examples of the historic architecture of our nation.

The good news about Caribbean does also remind us that not all of the vintage in Wildwood have been as blessed as this place, as the Society of Commercial Archeology has listed the Doo-Wop era motels on their 10 Most Endangered Roadside Places of 2011 list.

Fake Plastic Trees

While our stay was all too short, we did relish our hours relaxing in the pool, or under the fake palm trees that The Caribbean is famous for introducing to Wildwood.

Since Retro Roadhusband was not with me when I stayed at The Caribbean the first time, I was excited to point out “The Fruit Man” – who stops at the motel daily, rings the triangle bell on the back of his truck, and sells fresh produce and fruit to motel guests.
The Fruit Man Cometh This quaint custom is especially handy at The Caribbean, as they have two grills for guests to use while staying at the motel. This is in addition to their new Caribbean Kitchen where you can order up a breakfast sandwich or more.

I was also excited to point out the vintage 1950s bathroom fixtures in our room, as they would match the bathroom in the Hacienda perfectly!
Green Sink, Pink Tile, Vintage Bathroom Fixtures

 (and this sink didn’t leak like ours does at home ;-))

One of the great things about staying in such a small yet friendly motel is that we met and gabbed with the staff and fellow Caribbean guests, some of whom have been visiting the motel for years.

Fab Vintage Vacations

We hope to add ourselves to that club for sure, and are proud toplay our part in the history history of this National Treasure!

  • Rick Kilby

    Next year’s SCA conference will take place in the Wildwoods of New Jersey!

    • http://retroroadmap.com Mod Betty

      Oh very cool Rick! Keep me posted and I’ll spread the word!!

      Bummed I can’t make the diner tour, but cool that SCA folks will be able to enjoy these great places that are just a car drive for me.

  • http://thevintagetraveler.wordpress.com/ Lizzie

    My dream motel!! Thanks for sharing the fun.

    • http://retroroadmap.com Mod Betty

      It’s a swell place for sure! A definite Must Do!

  • http://www.everyday-is-a-holiday.blogspot.com jenny holiday

    The Caribbean Motel is my HAPPY PLACE!! Cannot wait to go back! :)

    • http://retroroadmap.com Mod Betty

      Jenny – I feel the exact same way!