Beach Boardwalks Add Classic Family Fun to Any Beach Vacation.

I think a family vacation at the beach is always better when it includes time at the boardwalk where sun, sand, and surf align with entertainment, lively activities, and classic often funky eateries. The best boardwalk options anchor both coasts providing family vacation choices from Wildwood, NJ to Virginia Beach and Santa Monica to Santa Cruz, CA. 

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Carnival Ride

Santa Cruz Boardwalk carnival rides and “Bands on the Beach” free music all summer long.

Fortunately there are more than 50 boardwalks throughout the US each offering its own local charm and providing a sense of place with a glimpse of decades passed. Some have amusement parks which provide classic touch to a family vacation at the beach while others are anchored by a classic fishing pier and oodles of great fish stories.

Our Beaches and Water Spots lifestyle folder at the Family Travel Files highlights the best of American beaches featuring more than 50 great family vacation spots including the best beach boardwalks guaranteed to provide a rich menu of family activities. Our best beaches lists were assembled in part from suggestions by parents who used our Tell Mom feature to recommend their family’s favorite beach boardwalk spot.

Virginia Beach ferris wheel on the Boardwalk.

Virginia Beach Beach Boardwalk Ferris wheel rides all day long and free music all summer long.

The best beach boardwalk locations offer one-of-a-kind experiences including vintage roller coaster thrills, wet-and-wild water flumes, surrey bike carnie games, Ferris wheel classic carousels, soft serve ice cream, face painting, juggling, stilt antics and delightful English toffee perhaps a double order of curly fries.

Best of all is the chance to walk, bike or skate the boardwalk and become part of an ever changing vacation panorama with no two days ever being the same.

Don’t forget the sunscreen.

Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files.

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