SANDY HOOK, N.J. - Wildwood's the winner!
The venerable Cape May County vacation destination is the victor in the state's first Top 10 Beaches Survey, the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium announced this afternoon.
South Jersey beach towns swamped their northern competition in the contest. Placing second in the overall category was Wildwood Crest, followed by Ocean City, North Wildwood, Cape May, Asbury Park, Avalon, Point Pleasant Beach, Beach Haven and Stone Harbor.
Winners were also announced in four categories - tourism, family vacation, events and ecotourism - selected by more than 16,000 people who voted online and at regional events between February and April.
The coalition of environmental and tourism groups asked respondents to assess resorts along the state's 127-mile coastline on the basis of several characteristics including water quality, access, and aesthetics.
The Top 10 Beaches announcement is timed to get Memorial Day weekend and the start of the Shore season rolling. It will be made at the annual State of the Shore media event in Sandy Hook.