Of the many things that people love about summer: like the sun, the shoreline, and visiting new places. The American boardwalk has been a staple of culture for over 100 years. With a booming economy with many new jobs available to Americans have found that vacationing at “home” is a great alternative to international travel. Each late spring, a huge number of individuals run to boardwalks to encounter the beautiful experiences that surround them
As festivals salute to all things fun, here are 5 iconic footpaths that attract tourist both foreign and domestic to enjoy the beauty.
5. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, California
When the West Coast needed an answer to Coney Island, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was created. A truly vintage location, this gorgeous boardwalk is one of the last seaside amusement parks still standing in the U.S. With its iconic wooden Giant Dipper roller coaster and truly classic Looff carousel, this is a truly historical piece of the country. In fact, the entire stretch along Monterey Bay is an official historical landmark.
- In the summer, make sure you catch the wonderful free concerts on Friday nights.
- If you’re looking for something a bit spooky, check out the Haunted Castle, which opened in 2010.
4. Sandwich Boardwalk, Massachusetts
Although destroyed back in 1991 by Hurricane Bob, this 1,350-foot rose from its watery grave after being rebuilt by locals. Located in Sandwich, which is the oldest town on Cape Cod, the planks feature names and messages from those locals who worked hard to rebuild the boardwalk they so deeply loved. But unlike most boardwalks, this isn’t a commercial epicenter. Rather, visitors are treated to gorgeous glimpses of dunes, marshes, and a creek.
- If you love birding, this is the place to go. The marshes feature a large variety of birds, as well as host of other wildlife.
3. Virginia Beach, Virginia
This 3 mile concrete boardwalk runs along the Atlantic Ocean, and provides a wonderful variety of live music venues, amusement rides, and bicycle rental shops (a separate bike path runs along the boardwalk). The historic Old Coast Guard Station is a fun place to pick up nautical-themed gifts, and the 15th Street Amusement Park is a great place to hop aboard a wild ride.
- Don’t miss all the nautical sculptures standing along the length of the boardwalk. You can get a great photo at the 34-foot (10-meter) bronze King Neptune.
2. Wildwoods Boardwalk, New Jersey
The Wildwoods boardwalk is one of the most “traditional” boardwalks out there. The two-mile boardwalk is brilliantly lit by neon and is full of the most quintessential shore attractions. You can find numerous places to purchase funnel cakes, a variety of game houses, and more amusement rides than Disneyland. It truly is a place for those who love all things boardwalk.
- If you love thrills, don’t miss Great White, one of the tallest and fastest wooden roller coasters on the East Coast.
- If you’re looking to cool down, three amusement piers and two water parks include waterslides and a 500-gallon bucket that soaks the crowd.
1. Hollywood Beach Boardwalk, Hollywood, FL
Created back in 1925, this 2.5-mile-long terracotta-colored path is broad, wide, and perfect for taking a leisurely stroll along the sea. Lodging is available in any of the 28 hotels and the pure white sand of Hollywood Beach is a perfect place to catch some rays. The Art Deco Walkabout Beach Resort is colored pink, while others are painted turquoise to match the color of the sea.
- Make sure to catch the Sunday organic farmers’ markets. You can get an outstanding smoothie made from exotic fruits.
- Grab some bikes at Sun & Fun Cycles and then ride from the north end of the Boardwalk to John U. Lloyd Beach State Park for and take in the glorious nature of Old Florida.
If you haven’t already make plans for next year’s summer vacation then you might want to consider a road trip that brings you to one or more of these destinations. These boardwalks have something for everyone and are well worth visiting.