Need more proof that New Jerseyans hate having to pay for beach badges?

For the third time in the past four years, Wildwood - the South Jersey resort town where the beaches are free and gigantic - has been named the state's best beach.

Wildwood and its two neighbors, Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood, took top honors in the annual contest run by the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium as a way of making people feel more connected to the state's 127-mile coastline. Residents and tourists voted in an online poll.

The three beaches, which market themselves as a single entity called The Wildwoods, entered and won the contest that way, too. Joint marketing also paid off for the second-place winner, the six municipalities on Long Beach Island. They placed third last year.