Tons of fun family activities, stunning views of the water, and a premier spot to check out the skyline—what could be better? Boardwalks are the perfect locations to experience all this and more. If you’re looking to add some destinations to your travel bucket list, check out at the five best boardwalks in the United States.
1. Navy Pier
It may not be on the ocean, but when you’re strolling along Navy Pier in Chicago, you won’t even be able to tell the difference. Situated on Lake Michigan, this pier boasts tons of attractions. Its 150-foot-high Ferris wheel will give you stunning views of the Windy City; the carousel is the perfect touch of family fun; and a plethora of other activities will keep you entertained for hours. Food is also in abundance here, especially Chicago-style hot dogs—without ketchup, of course.
2. Atlantic City Boardwalk
Among the most beloved boardwalks in the country is the Atlantic City Boardwalk. At five and a half miles long, it’s not only the longest boardwalk in the world, but also the oldest. Originally built in 1870 to keep sand out of the luxury beachfront hotels, the boardwalk itself has become a local staple. Walk along this boardwalk and you’ll find plenty of delicious saltwater taffy, bustling casinos, and nostalgic arcade games. Teeming with life, Atlantic City Boardwalk is by far one of the best boardwalks in the United States.
3. Santa Monica Pier
No trip to the Santa Monica Pier in California is complete without a ride on the Ferris wheel. It gives you an unparalleled view of the Pacific Ocean, allowing you to take in all the sights Santa Monica has to offer. This boardwalk is especially family-friendly, offering a myriad of rides for kids of all ages. The carousel is also a must-see: featuring a plethora of beautifully painted animals, this historic ride will take you back in time.
4. Coney Island
Perhaps the most well-known destination on this list, Coney Island in New York City is nothing short of an American icon. Known for its vintage feel and old-fashioned fun, Coney Island is filled with thrilling rides. With the recent renovation of the boardwalk’s theme park, adrenaline-seekers will love the high-flying rides Coney Island has to offer.
4. Ocean City Boardwalk
Harboring all the charm of a classic boardwalk, Ocean City Boardwalk in Maryland has some stunning history to go with its fun activities. Its carousel dates all the way back to 1902, giving this boardwalk an old-world charm and classic look. At three miles in length, this boardwalk is the perfect spot for both an energizing morning run and a leisurely nighttime stroll. For those with a sweet tooth, Ocean City Boardwalk will give you a lot to smile about: from classic saltwater taffy to soft-serve ice cream, you’ll never go hungry.