Wildwood needs more money to keep the beaches clean and you may pay up in the future!

They city wants more cash and may ask local voters if they are willing to pay to use the beach and start charging for beach tags.  City council is also considering adding cabanas and beach bars before they would charge for beach tags.

Summer is only 6 months away and Wildwood says the beaches will still be free in the summer of 2012, but in 2013 that may change!

If indeed you will  have to pay in Wildwoods, there's a secret free beach in Cape May County that very few beach lovers know about.

Strathmere New Jersey is just south of Ocean City and just north of Sea Isle City and is one of New Jersey's handful of free beaches.  Strathemere is part of Upper Township and a visit there is like going back in time a bit.  There is no boardwalk or public restroom facilities.  (There are port-a-potties on the Ocean Drive side of the dunes.)  Just a few blocks on the north end of Strathmere have life guards, but the Whale Beach section is unprotected, so use caution when visiting there this summer.  A few summers ago the beach was replenished  so the sand runs deep.

Many of the homes there were build 50 to 100 years ago although you will see newer modern houses too.  There is only one blinking light in town and very few roads.

If you are into crabbing or fishing you can rent a boat from Franks Boat Rentals and spend a great day in the bay and creeks on the west side of the island.  Hungry?  Check out Mildred's Restaurant for awesome seafood and Italian meals.  If you are into hanging out on the deck and checking out an awesome view of the bay and meadows or catch an amazing sunset, The Deauville Inn is the place to go!  If you would like to sip on drinks and eat snacks on a bay-side beach hang at The Beach House.  Also on the bayside is Twisties, a restaurant and bar that was a speakeasy in the 20's and was not an official establishment until 1940.  Today they offer an amazing menu, a well stocked jukebox and a unique collection of coconut heads!

So if you are planning a vacation for this summer and looking for an alternate to the free beaches (for now) of Wildwood, check out Strathemere--New Jersey's Secret Free Beach!

What is your favorite free beach in New Jersey, or what is your favorite "off-the-beaten-path" beach in New Jersey?  Let us know below!