Since there’s no place like a boardwalk to squeeze in some fun before summer’s end, we took a look at which ones IgoUgo members like best in North America and why they recommend them. In the battle of the beach-town boardwalks, each one of these 10 is a winner.
Best Boardwalk for Activities: Coney Island, NY
Astroland may be history, but Coney Island continues to thrill crowds with shows, rides, baseball, beaches, an aquarium, and the all-new Luna Park--not to mention with annual spectacles like the Mermaid Parade and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Best Boardwalk for History: Santa Cruz, CA
California’s oldest amusement park took root in 1865 and has been operated by the same company since 1915. Fittingly, it’s a California Historic Landmark, and its Looff Carousel and Roller Coaster are National Historic Landmarks dating back to 1911. Even with its more modern attractions, the boardwalk retains a classic cool.
Best Boardwalk for New Attractions: Myrtle Beach, SC
Just opened in 2010, the Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade features shops and restaurants in view of the ocean, plus festivals--and local touches like a strolling Dixieland band--all summer long.
Best Boardwalk for Food: Ocean City, MD
OC legends run the gamut from the world-famous Thrasher’s French Fries and Dumser’s Dairyland to more upscale options like Phillips Seafood and Harrison’s Harbor Watch. Don’t miss the Maryland crabs or the Candy Kitchen.
Best Boardwalk for People Watching: Venice Beach, CA
From Muscle Beach strongmen to teenage skater boys, the Venice boardwalk is full of colorful characters. Get a preview in our Venice photo gallery.
Best Boardwalk for Families: Ocean City, NJ
Billed as “America’s Greatest Family Resort,” this Ocean City wins kudos from IgoUgo travelers for being “the nicest, cleanest place at the Jersey Shore” and having “a great seashore atmosphere with no bars or clubs.” It does have rides, arcades, and a music pier.
Best Boardwalk for Scenery: Quebec City, Canada
Stretching along the St. Lawrence River and basking in the shadow of the spectacular Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec City’s boardwalk is one of the city’s great photo ops.
Best Boardwalk for Partying: Atlantic City, NJ
Atlantic City’s 4-mile-long boardwalk is more than a place to party, but the casinos and other nightlife lining it are the main attractions. It’s AC’s answer to the Las Vegas Strip.
Best Boardwalk for Art: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon is famous for its whimsical bronze sculptures--and it’s full of art vendors for visitors wanting to pocket a piece of the city’s creativity.
Best Boardwalk for Small-Town Charm: Rehoboth Beach, DE
IgoUgo members love Rehoboth for its “smallness” and “old-fashioned nature.” There’s no major highway around, and you won’t even need your car: if you find a hotel or cottage near the town center, you can walk to every beach, shop, and restaurant.