New Jersey is justifiably famous for its appealing Atlantic beach towns, which feature miles of sand and roaring surf. And in nearly every town you’ll find a boardwalk that offers all kinds of quirky and whimsical attractions, as well as shopping, dining, and other entertainment options.
New Jersey has more boardwalks than any state in the country. The most famous is in Atlantic City—“America’s Playground.” That boardwalk was also the world’s first, built in 1870 from the same boards once found on railroad platforms.
The Atlantic City boardwalk has long been the site of the Miss America Pageant, as well as family attractions, music events, casinos, and a hearty variety of eating establishments. Today, more than three-quarters of all visitors to the Jersey Shore rank boardwalks as New Jersey’s second-most popular draw, after the beaches.
Asbury Park Boardwalk, a historic outdoor playground known for launching musicians Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen, has rebuilt and revitalized restaurants along with retail, music venues, and a bustling nightlife.
Wildwood Boardwalk—recently ranked among the country’s best in a USA Today readers’ poll—stretches for 38 blocks with more than 100 attractions, countless stores, restaurants, live entertainment, amusement piers, and a water park. Nearby historic Cape May is world-famous for its Victorian houses, lighthouse, and museums.
Don’t overlook some of the smaller, but no less entertaining, Jersey boardwalks. Keansburg Boardwalk and Amusement Park is better than ever and home to Runaway Rapids, Sea Serpent, Castaway Creek, and other rides and attractions. The Ocean City Boardwalk is ideal for families, kids, and adult weekend beach getaways. Point Pleasant’s Jenkinson Boardwalk and the Seaside Heights Boardwalk both offer fun for kids of all ages.
And then there are New Jersey’s “secret” boardwalks –ideal for long summer days of family fun with their amusements, shops, and eateries. Topping the “top secret list” are the boardwalks at Avon by the Sea, Ocean Gate, Ocean Grove, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Lavallette, and Sea Isle City.
New Jersey’s boardwalks are summer at its best, and all right there at your fingertips—and toes.
By Carol Godwin