If you head straight for the boardwalk when you find yourself in a beach town, you’re not alone. From Ferris wheels to souvenir shops, boardwalks are filled with exciting things to enjoy. For many of us, they’re also nostalgic reminders of summer adventures and family vacations.
Boardwalks across the country tend to hold a few things in common, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. A few stand out from the crowd as truly spectacular attractions. To show you what we mean, here are five examples.
Virginia Beach Boardwalk (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Located in the state’s most populous city, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk boasts several signature characteristics. The 28-foot-wide, 3-mile-long concrete path is lined with a variety of shops and high-rise hotels. There’s even a separate bike path and a fishing pier. Perhaps most noteworthy, though, are the giant bronze statue of Neptune, which is perfect for photo ops, and the four outdoor stages. To see the boardwalk in its full glory, visit during the summer, when those stages host live entertainment every night.
Wildwood Boardwalk (Wildwood, New Jersey)
Stretching for 38 blocks along the Jersey shore, Wildwood Boardwalk is the ultimate boardwalk for family fun. It has everything you’d expect — eateries, shops, and rides — plus a Sightseer tram car, water parks, and live entertainment. The amusement piers are particularly impressive, with over 100 rides between them.
To give yourself more convenient access to the beach and boardwalk, search HotelPlanner for the nearest Wildwood hotels. That way, you can explore the area without having to worry about finding a parking spot and remembering where you parked.
Wailea Oceanfront Boardwalk (Kihei, Hawaii)
Wailea Oceanfront Boardwalk may not look quite as familiar as others on this list — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Rather than shops and rides, visitors to this boardwalk are treated to two miles of breathtaking views of the Pacific ocean. Along the way, you’ll pass five coves where you can go swimming or snorkeling, plus the Hawaiian Coastal Gardens with its hiking trails.
Venice Beach Boardwalk (Venice Beach, California)
If atmosphere matters more to you than attractions, the Venice Beach Boardwalk may be what you’re looking for. Although this boardwalk does boast a gorgeous location and a variety of unique shops, the people are what make it memorable. With colorful locals, street vendors, and performers that range from musicians and dancers to mimes and jesters, Venice Beach is a people-watcher’s paradise.
Carolina Beach Boardwalk (Carolina Beach, North Carolina)
For seasonal events, you can’t beat the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. During the summer months, you can take in live entertainment and fireworks every week. Enjoy some family-friendly fun in the daytime, then check out the local nightlife once the sun sets. For something truly extraordinary, visit during the holidays to take in two special events: Christmas by the Sea and the Island of Lights Festival.
Surf, sand, shells, sun — the beach calls to all of us in different ways. Still, some attractions have a broad, timeless appeal. Whether browsing the boardwalk is your favorite part of a beach vacation or something you usually skip, these boardwalks are definitely worth a visit during your next trip to the coast.
Image via Flickr by Jeff Futo