A boardwalk is a wooden path for pedestrians and sometimes vehicles (often confused with concrete sidewalks). Boardwalks are often found along beaches, but they are also common as paths through wetlands, coastal dunes, and other sensitive environments. Boardwalks along foreshores are known as foreshoreways. A boardwalk along a river is often known as a riverwalk and a boardwalk along an oceanfront is often known as an oceanway. Although boardwalks can be found around the world, they are especially common along the East Coast of the United States in North America, where they have many of the functions of a city street and are often tourist attractions themselves. An early boardwalk was designed in New Jersey and opened June 26, 1870, in Atlantic City
Boardwalks Across New Jersey
Asbury Park, New Jersey Shore Boardwalk
Asbury Park’s boardwalk is in the process of revitalization and has recently been connected to the neighboring town of Ocean Grove, New Jersey.
The Boardwalk starts at Absecon Inlet and runs along the beach for four miles (six kilometers) to the city limit. An additional one and one half miles (two kilometers) of the Boardwalk extend into Ventnor City. Casino/hotels front the boardwalk, as well as retail stores, restaurants, and amusements. Several piers extend the boardwalk over the Atlantic Ocean. Garden Pier houses the Atlantic City Historical Museum and the Atlantic City Art Center. The four story “Pier at Caesars” entertainment complex opened in July 2006. This boardwalk gained notoriety due to the board game Monopoly, which was based upon the trading and dealing of real estate in Atlantic City; in the game, Boardwalk is the most expensive property to purchase and develop, but also yields the greatest rent payoffs to its owner.
Keansburg, New Jersey Shore Boardwalk
Keansburg, New Jersey is regarded locally as a boardwalk town, with one of America’s oldest shoreside amusement parks housing vintage rides dating back to the 1920s, but the amusement area fairway is now asphalt.
The 2.5 mile (4 kilometers) boardwalk in Ocean City has classic attractions and many newer additions. The 140-foot (42 m) Ferris Wheel can be seen from miles around, with views of Ocean City and the surrounding communities from the top. Other rides include rollercoasters, bumper cars, water rides, and tens of miniature golf courses. Shops sell souvenirs and snacks, such as cotton candy, popcorn, pizza, and ice cream. Other boardwalk activities include enjoying the sunrise with a leisurely walk, a brisk jog, a bike tour, a ride on a surrey cart, or a meal at one of the many ocean front cafes.
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey Shore Boardwalk
About seven miles from Seaside Heights, the Point Pleasant Beach boardwalk (frequently known as Jenkinson’s Boardwalk) is similar to the boardwalk found in Seaside Heights, but is a bit more subdued. The promenade extends from the Manasquan Inlet in the northern end of the borough to the border with Bay Head in the south. Right in the middle is the Jenkinson’s Amusements/Jenkinson’s Boardwalk area brimming with rides, games, carnival food, miniature golf, fun houses, souvenir shops, and Jenkinson’s Aquarium.
Seaside Heights, New Jersey Shore Boardwalk
This 1-mile long promenade is full of game stands, pizzerias, souvenir shops, beach gear stores, arcades and ice cream parlors drawing families, teenages and adults alike. The Seaside Heights boardwalk is bookended by two 300-foot long piers that feature amusement rides, carousels, log flumes, roller coasters, Ferris wheels and more. One of these piers is the world-famous Casino Pier, home to a 1913 circa merry-go-round, the Niagara Falls log flume and the Jet Star roller coaster. The other is the Funtown Amusement Pier home to the Tower of Fear, Seaside’s tallest Ferris wheel and a go-kart track. Across from Casino Pier is the redeveloped Jenkinson’s Breakwater Beach waterpark (formerly WaterWorks). Many of the businesses are still family-owned and operated and have been almost as long as the boardwalk has been around.
The 2 mile (3 kilometer) long boardwalk has a total of five amusement piers plus a myriad of other carnival games, souvenir shops, food stands, waterparks, and world-class roller coasters. The Boardwalk started out as a mere 150 feet (45 m). It has actually been moved closer to the ocean twice. Today, the boardwalk stretches from 38 blocks from 16th Ave in North Wildwood to Cresse Ave in Wildwood Crest. The Wildwood Boardwalk is said to have more rides than Disneyland. Kiddie rides include a convoy of airplanes, trucks, dune buggies, boats, and trains. Flying elephants, teacups, bouncing giraffes, mini-Ferris wheels, and a traditional carousel round out the mix. The Boardwalk piers boast several waterparks and four major roller coasters.