20 Affordable American Boardwalks!

A view of Navy Pier ChicagoNavy-Pier Chicago skylineBoardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, from 2009Boardwalk at night in Atlantic City, New JerseyConey Island BoardwalkConey Island BoardwalkSanta Monica Pier, Los Angeles, CaliforniaFamous Santa Monica beach on a warm summer nightMyrtle Beach, SC, USA, walking the Grand Strand boardwalkMyrtle Beach Entrance to the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, 2010Boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland Skatepark of Venice Beach, USAOcean Front Walk of Venice BeachRehoboth Beach Delaware Rehoboth Beach Delawarenear boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CaliforniaBoardwalk at Santa Cruz in CaliforniaOld Orchard Beach in MaineOld Orchard Beach pier boardwalk in Wildwood New JerseyPier in Wildwood, NJVirginia Beach BoardwalkVirginia BeachDisney World Boardwalk, near Jellyrolls. Florida, USADisney's Boardwalk ResortKemah Boardwalk Bullet as seen from across the marinaOld Police car, located on Kemah BoardwalkSeaside communities of northern San Diego, California, including Mission BeachMission Beach, San Diego, CaliforniaCarolina Beach Boardwalk, NCCarolina Beach Boardwalk, NCHampton Beach Boardwalk, NH Night sceneHampton Beach Boardwalk, NH Night sceneBoardwalks at Jenkinson's Point Pleasant New JerseyBoardwalks at Jenkinson's Point Pleasant New JerseySandwich Boardwalk, Cape Cod Mass.Sandwich Boardwalk, Cape Cod, Mass.
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Why settle for one oceanfront amusement park when you can have two? Ocean City, NJ, offers a boardwalk with two big Ferris wheels, coasters, water rides, go carts, and much more. oceancityvacation.com
Who says a boardwalk has to be by the ocean? Chicago's Navy Pier is on Lake Michigan. navypier.com
Navy Pier has got a 150-foot-high Ferris wheel that lets you take in the skyline and the lake, a carousel, wave swinger, mini-golf, and remote-control boats in season. And don't forget to grab an America's Dog Chicago hot dog with mustard, relish, onion, sport peppers, tomato, pickle, and celery salt.
Atlantic City, NJ, may be known for its casinos, but its historic boardwalk is no gamble if you're looking for a great time by the sea. atlanticcitynj.com
Originally built in the 19th century to prevent sand from blowing off the beach into the area's schmancy hotels, the Atlantic City Boardwalk has become a destination all its own. Its Steel Pier is a thriving amusement park, while its Garden Pier is a hot spot for the performing arts.
Gary718/Dreamstime
Sure, the name may conjure images of barbershop quartets and early-20th-century couples strolling by the sea. But the revitalized Luna Park amusement park ain't your great-grandfather's Coney Island. lunaparknyc.com
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Coney Island's Wonder Wheel may be the best-known Ferris wheel in America. If it's a hot day, grab a classic New York-style Italian ice at Uncle Louie G's.
Zhukovsky/Dreamstime
Santa Monica Pier's Ferris wheel is so close to the water that you can almost convince yourself that the wheel is going to dip you into the Pacific Ocean. santamonicapier.org
Katja Šauperl/Dreamstime
You'll find gentle rides at Santa Monica Pier for the little ones, and you can take a ride on the beautifully carved and painted carousel that was featured in the Academy Award-winning motion picture The Sting.
trekandshoot/Dreamstime
Myrtle Beach's boardwalk is just a baby compared with some of the historic boardwalks on our list. Opened just five years ago, this entertaining place feels as if it's always been here. visitmyrtlebeach.com
Welcoming crowds by the million with its charm and hospitality, Myrtle Beach's Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade features the Family Kingdom amusement park that includes the massive Skywheel and Slingshot, and the Twist 'n Shout steel roller coaster.
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A carousel dating back to 1902, free boardwalk entertainment, and the classic vibe of a relaxed beach town make Ocean City, MD's boardwalk one of the most popular stops on the Atlantic coast. ococean.com
Richard Gunion/Dreamstime
For a taste of '50s-style seaside fare, drop by Ocean City, MD's Atlantic Stand for fried chicken, soft crabs, and burgers.
Visit a typical boardwalk and you'll most likely return home with memories of blue water, candy-apple red kiddie rides, and the scent of fried seafood. Visit Venice Beach Boardwalk (officially Ocean Front Walk, but nobody calls it that) and you're more likely to return home with memories of blue hair, candy-apple-red lipstick, and the aroma of, um, other stuff. venicebeach.com
Juan Moyano/Dreamstime
It's not just the beautiful location or the array of unique shops here that make Venice Beach unforgettable; it's the always-surprising, creative folks who turn out every day to make political statements, perform stunts, or just be their fabulous selves.
Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, DE, is not huge, glitzy, or loaded with terrifying rides. Instead, this place rolls out a quiet, family-friendly pace that can be just what the doctor ordered. beach-fun.com
Richard Gunion/Dreamstime
Kids will love the rides and treats along the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. Grown-ups will appreciate the clean, laid-back beach and charming town.
Richard Gunion/Dreamstime
Get your picture taken at the apex of the thrilling coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, CA, and you're almost certain to have a hilarious keepsake—it's a loooooooong way down! beachboardwalk.com
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Santa Cruz, at the top of Monterey Bay, is also home to barking sea lions, one of the world's best surfing scenes, and redwood forests just a short ride up into the mountains.
Douglas Nelson/Dreamstime
We tend to associate New England with quiet stretches of beach, but the boardwalk in Old Orchard Beach, ME, is an exception, with a full-blown amusement park, Palace Playland, right by the ocean. palaceplayland.com
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You'll find easy rides for the kiddies, family-friendly water rides, and the crazy adrenaline-junkie stuff, too, at Old Orchard Beach. You'll also find lovely New England sunlight and moments of quiet like this.
Jo Ann Snover/Dreamstime
Wildwood, NJ, is a shore thing whether you want a perfect beach or rides that'll rattle your nerves. wildwoodsnj.com
Anthony Aneese Totah Jr/Dreamstime
Wildwood is a great place to soak up the spirit of the Jersey Shore.
Virginia Beach Boardwalk is a popular place to celebrate summer. It not only boasts a beautiful stretch of sand and attractions but, if you're lucky, dolphins breaching right off shore. virginiabeach.com
Lovely Virginia Beach, near Colonial Williamsburg, offers unparalleled history just down the road.
No list of boardwalks would be complete without the Disney World Boardwalk. disneyworld.disney.go.com
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The ocean may be nowhere in sight, but the imaginative folks at Disney World have put together a fun family boardwalk for guests that rivals the real thing.
David Watts Jr./Dreamstime
Texas's Gulf Coast needed a great boardwalk and the Kemah Boardwalk, just 20 miles from downtown Houston, fits the bill! kemahboardwalk.com
A vintage police car at the Kemah Boardwalk, which has expanded from a popular dining spot to a full-blown family-travel destination.
Often overshadowed by its flashier neighbors up the California coast, the boardwalk at Mission Beach is one of San Diego's sweetest spots. sandiego.com
Add beautiful Mission Beach Boardwalk to your SoCal to-do list.
Appropriately located on Pleasure Island, Carolina Beach Boardwalk, NC, specializes in making you forget your cares. visitcarolinabeachnc.com
Courtesy Wilmington and Beaches CVB
Mild breezes, a gorgeous beach, and a sweet hospitality make Carolina Beach Boardwalk a family favorite.
Courtesy Wilmington and Beaches CVB
Hampton Beach Boardwalk, NH, is a low-key gem that's great for relaxing and shopping. hamptonbeach.org
johndphotos/Flickr
Hampton Beach Boardwalk lets you pretend that you never have to go back to your real life.
johndphotos/Flickr
Amid the Jersey Shore's bigger, better-known boardwalks, Jenkinson's, in Point Pleasant, has a retro charm that can't be beat. jenkinsons.com
Walk the Point Pleasant boardwalk early in the morning as the shops open to beat the crowds. And grab a chilly fresh-squeezed lemonade when the sun is high.
Okay, the Sandwich Boardwalk, MA, isn't a honky-tonk boardwalk. At all. We chose to close our list with it because it's just perfect for summer delights like strolling hand-in-hand far from the crowds. sandwichmass.org
Courtesy Don Fleet, Fleetwood Photography, Sandwich
The Sandwich Boardwalk may not have a Ferris wheel, but it does offer the unforgettable sky and water that Cape Cod is known for. BYO funnel cakes!
Courtesy Don Fleet, Fleetwood Photography, Sandwich

If your idea of summer perfection involves roller coasters, funnel cakes, and Whac-A-Mole, we’ve got some pieces of honky-tonk heaven—from Jersey to Cali—just waiting for you to pay a visit.

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