15 of the Best Boardwalks in the United States

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A fond memory for a lot of people is going to the beach and walking on the boardwalk. During the summer the boardwalk is teeming with life. Roller bladers zoom past people eating pizza, french fries, and cotton candy while they watch boardwalk performers share their talents. The boardwalk is the perfect place to watch the waves roll with out getting sand all over you. You can enjoy amusement park rides like a Ferris wheel or run into a raging beach party. If you are at a beach location most likely there is a boardwalk. Here are the best 15 boardwalks in the United States.

Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey The Atlantic City boardwalk in New Jersey is one of the most iconic board walk in the world. The city was the inspiration for the Monopoly game. It was brought entertainment to millions via the MTV television show, Jersey Shore. The first wooden planks were laid in Atlantic City in 1870 to curb the amount of sand beachcombers tracked into the train and hotel lobbies. The four-mile boardwalk now serves as a connector to all of the flashy casinos, glitzy hotel towers, cavernous arcade halls, and a neon-lit amusement pier.

Coney Island Boardwalk, Brooklyn, New York Dubbed “Sodom by the Sea” back in the 19th century for its gambling houses and brothels, the Coney Island Boardwalk began a comeback in the 1980’s. The city revitalized the legendary amusement area Luna Park with 19 shiny new rides, including the much-hyped Air Race, a thrill inspired by aerial racing. The entertainment lineup is heavy on magic and juggling shows.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Myrtle Beach is famous for being the annual location for Bike Week. It has gone under some major restoration. The launch of the Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Boardwalk & Promenade in summer 2010 breathed new life into the Grand Strand beachfront. The one mile walkway has been refurbished with new souvenir shops and arcades to an oceanfront park near the 2nd Avenue Pier. It is now the town’s hub of activity, with live entertainment each summer evening, including roaming stilt walkers, jugglers, bagpipers, and a weekly fireworks display.

Ocean City Boardwalk, Maryland At the southern tip of Ocean City, Maryland, there is a three-mile is typically thronged with beach goers on summer evenings. Some of the must do thing on the Ocean City Boardwalk are munch on Thrashers French fries with a dousing of vinegar, and taking a spin on antique rides, like the Herschel-Spellman carousel built in 1902. Don’t miss the Life-Saving Station Museum for a look at the history of shipwrecks and the rescue teams that came to their aid.

 Ocean Front Walk, Venice Beach, California Venice Beach is a world famous beach and probably the most visited beach in California. Much of the town’s boutiques have gone upscale and beachfront property has been snapped up by Hollywood A-listers. The three mile beach side stretch still is the work site of fortune-tellers, tattoo artists, weightlifters, handmade jewelry peddlers, and street performers. These people keep the original vibe of the town as a bohemian and surf mecca in the 1960’s.

Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, Delaware Delaware is a historic state. It is where George Washington departed from to win the Battle of Trenton. Delaware is also the home of Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. It was first built in 1873 when the city was established as a site for Methodist camp meetings. The mile-long boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach has recently undergone a face lift. Once a concrete walkway, it is now a yellow pine herringbone patterned walkway, but the vintage feel remains the same, with throwbacks like Funland, Surfside Arcade, and Dolle’s Salt Water Taffy.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, California The Santa Cruz Boardwalk was created more than a hundred years ago as the West Coast’s response to Coney Island. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is one of the last seaside amusement parks remaining in the U.S. It is distinguished by its wooden Giant Dipper roller coaster, which has been in operation since 1924. This stretch along Monterey Bay has been designated by California as a historic landmark. The Summer brings free concerts on Friday nights and the latest ride, the Haunted Castle opened in 2010 keeping this historic site up to date.

Sandwich Boardwalk, Massachusetts Sandwich Boardwalk in Massachusetts was destroyed in 1991 by Hurricane Bob. Don’t worry you can can still visit the 1,350-foot boardwalk as it was rebuilt with support from locals, whose names and messages are inscribed on the planks leading to the beach. Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod, but this is no commercial strip. Instead of Ferris wheels and cotton candy, visitors are treated to postcard-worthy views of dunes, marshes, and a creek.

Virginia Beach, Virginia Stretching three miles along the Atlantic Ocean, the concrete Virginia Beach Boardwalk links live music venues and amusement rides. There are bicycle rental shops so you can enjoy the bike path that is separate but runs parallel to the promenade. Scattered along the way is a parade of nautical sculptures, the most famous of which is the 34-foot bronze King Neptune. Get your cameras ready.

Wildwoods Boardwalk, New Jersey Back in New Jersey, Wildwoods hosts one of the best boardwalks in the country. The two mile stretch of neon packs in all the quintessential shore attractions like funnel cakes, game houses, and amusement rides that rivals Disneyland’s. It is home of the Great White, one of the tallest and fastest wooden roller coasters on the East Coast. The Wildwoods Boardwalk has three amusement piers and two water parks, one of which features a 500-gallon bucket that sporadically douses the crowd.

Navy Pier, Chicago Chicago’s Navy Pier can feel a bit like a tourist trap, but it has some treasures tucked away. It is unique considering that it’s a board walk that line the shore of Lake Michigan and not an ocean. Family can enjoy being drawn by caricature artists and Lemon Shake-up stands. There’s a Ferris wheel, carousel, and you can watch boats in the harbor. Every Wednesday and Saturday night there is a free fireworks show.

Old Orchard Boardwalk, Maine Old Orchard Boardwalk located in Maine is a hidden treasure. It stretches for seven miles and is full of activities and sights to see. Some activities are rainy day approved making Old Orchard Boardwalk available every and any day. Some of the biggest attraction includes Palace Playland, which is New England’s only beachfront amusement park. For the speed demons there is Maine Indoor Karting.

Kemah Boardwalk, Texas Is a 60-acre Texas Gulf Coast entertainment destination, 30 miles from downtown Houston. The Boardwalk is built entirely along the shores of Galveston Bay and Clear Lake, and is considered among the premier boardwalks in the United States. It definitely is one of the biggest with more than 10 restaurants, a collection of rides, midway games, attractions, a boutique hotel, a charter yacht, a 400-slip marina and multiple shops. It is a one of a kind boardwalk experience.

Key West Seaport, Florida Key West Seaport is a historic boardwalk in Florida that lines a 150 ship marina. There is a lot to do here. You can participate in a variety of water sports, eat the freshest seafood, and shop. There is a variety of trips to the coral reef aboard catamarans, sailboats, and motor yachts offering both first-time snorkelers and experienced divers the opportunity to see the beauty of the reef and its sea life close up.

Floating Boardwalk in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho  Idaho is the last place you would look to go to for a great boardwalk experience. That’s what makes this a great entry for this list. In the city of Coeur d’Alene there is a floating boardwalk. Located on Lake Coeur d’Alene, the boardwalk houses a resort, a golf course, a spa and convention facilities.


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