I was in Wildwood, NJ at the Jersey Shore last week, and something grabbed my attention and made me wonder: why are there so many fake palm trees in this area? Did the hotel developers who built these vacation destinations in the 1940s and 1950s want visitors to think they were in Miami Beach rather than the Jersey Shore?
Not only are there fake palm trees next to hotels, but they’re located at destinations around town, as you can see in the Marvis Diner picture below left. The palm tree motif is also seen in hotel signs, as you can see below right. This one is interesting when one considers the fact that this neon sign in Wildwood mentions Wi-Fi … it seems even newer hotel owners want to continue this idea of palm trees and being somewhere other than New Jersey, which doesn’t have palm trees.
I guess part of the reason why this really intrigues me is because I had a fantastic time on the beach and in-and-around Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, so I was quite happy being exactly where I was, and didn’t need or want to pretend that I was in Miami, or Palm Springs, or any other tropical location.
If anyone knows any historical reason for all of these fake palm trees in Wildwood, please share your insight in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: I did some more research on this and have a follow-up post here: “More on Palm Trees in Wildwood, NJ.”