What’s better than spending a warm summer night hitting the boards at one of the famous boardwalks in NJ? With the oldest boardwalk in the country (hello, Atlantic City), jaw-dropping rides, sounds of joy, and delicious, only-on-the-boardwalk food, going to one of the boardwalks in NJ is an experience that stays with you long after you leave the shore. A visit to one always signals the start of summer, and this year, visiting all 6 boardwalks in NJ is high on our summer bucket list. Scroll down for what you can expect to find at these seaside hot spots. And while you are at the boardwalk, don’t forget to get your 2021 Beach Badge.
The featured image was taken at Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, NJ
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Boardwalks in NJ that you won’t want to miss
Point Pleasant Beach NJ Boardwalk
Located on Point Pleasant Beach, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk isn’t as long as some other boardwalks in NJ, but it offers just as much family fun. At the north end is Jenkinson’s Aquarium, which celebrates 30 years of educating the public on marine life through its exhibits and programs featuring penguins, seals, and more. Right outside the aquarium doors are some dining and drink options, including late-night fun (or day, if you wish) at Jenks Club and Martell’s Tiki Bar. But the big deal here is the rides, with plenty of options for smaller kids and thrilling slides and coasters for bigger kids. New for 2021 is the Adventure Lookout ropes course and 7D Dark Ride, an interactive ride that tests your skills fighting carnival creatures or zombies. If your kids crave video games, slot machines, crane games, and skeeball, there are four locations to enjoy. There is also a funhouse, batting cages, two mini-golf courses, and, of course, more boardwalk games up and down the boardwalk for the whole family.
300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
Wildwood NJ Boardwalk
It’s technically called The Wildwoods, but if you’re from NJ, you call it Wildwood. And there’s something for everyone on its 38 blocks—more than 100 rides and attractions, including three beachfront waterparks, arcades, classic boardwalk games, mini-golf, go-carts, escape rooms, and unique dining, including breakfast in a 156-foot Ferris wheel at Morey’s Piers. Want to get in some exercise while you’re there? Cyclists can take a scenic bike route the entire length of the 5-mile island or sign up for a beach yoga class. There’s also a Doo Wop Museum and Neon Sign Garden showcasing a mix of design, music, and pop culture that you have to see to believe (it’s a flashback to Wildwood in the 1950s and ’60s). Upcoming events include a Pour into Summer Wine Festival, Wildwoods International Kite Festival, PigDog Beach Volleyball Classic, Wildwood Crest Summer Music Series, and Friday Night Fireworks.
Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260
Asbury Park NJ Boardwalk
Made famous by rock n’ roll legend (and New Jersey resident) Bruce Springsteen, Asbury Park has its share of historical buildings alongside trendy hotels, restaurants, and bars. Today, you can walk around the 5,000-square-foot historic waterfront Carousel Building or grab a drink at Wonder Bar during the dog-friendly Yappy Hour – look for the iconic face of Tillie, and you’re in the right place. Play a round of mini-golf at Asbury Eighteen, cool off at the water-themed playground at Asbury Splash Park, or test your pinball skills at Silverball Museum, featuring more than 6,000 pinball games from the 1950s to today. And let’s not forget the music—catch a concert at the Convention Hall, Paramount Theatre, or see the legendary rock club, The Stone Pony. After exploring this unique boardwalk in NJ, visit the downtown, one of our favorites in NJ.
Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Ocean City NJ Boardwalk
With the slogan: America’s Greatest Family Resort, this boardwalk delivers with two amusement parks—Gillian’s Wonderland Pier (at the northern end) and Playland’s Castaway Cove (in the middle of the boardwalk), offering a wide selection of rides for kids of all ages, with a water park between the two. You’ll also find Jilly’s Arcade, plenty of mini-golf options, go-kart rides, escape rooms, and shopping. For food, stop by Shriver’s to get a glimpse of candy-makers twirling saltwater taffy and stand in line for a slice from the famous Manco & Manco Pizza (definitely worth the wait). Ocean City Music Pier hosts a summer concert series at the height of the season, with past performers including Jason Mraz, The Beach Boys, and The Zombies.
Ocean Avenue, Ocean City, NJ 08226
Atlantic City NJ Boardwalk
Most people go to AC to gamble, but the 167-year-old Atlantic City boardwalk is the oldest and longest in America, and you should see it at least once. You can still take a ride on a rolling chair (the OG way to see the boards in 1880) and make your way down past the casinos to Central Pier Arcade & Speedway. Then head to Steel Pier, the oldest themed amusement park (since 1890) with lots of thrills, including the iconic Wheel, offering sweeping views of AC beaches. But what makes this one a standout from other boardwalks in NJ, is Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, where kids will love snapping selfies next to over 400 oddities. Steps off the boardwalk, look for Lucy the Elephant, a National Historic Landmark and named “The World’s Largest Elephant” structure.
Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Seaside Heights NJ Boardwalk
Kelly Clarkson sang, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” which is the case with Seaside Heights boardwalk. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy damaged the boardwalk and destroyed the southern amusement ride area (you may remember the iconic photo of the Jet Star roller coaster floating in the Atlantic Ocean). Then in 2013, a large fire broke out, damaging 50 businesses and the pier, but thankfully, Seaside has recovered, and it’s better than ever. The 2-mile boardwalk has Casino Pier at the northern end, offering rides for littles and bigs, as well as go-karts, miniature golf, food stands, games, and five arcades. After all the fun, you’re sure to work up an appetite, and you’ll have your choice of boardwalk food faves—from The Beachcomber Bar & Grill and Spicy Catina Restaurant to Kohr’s and The Sawmill (for the largest pizza slice ever) at the southern end of the boardwalk. Want to cool off but not in the ocean? Across the street from Casino Pier is Breakwater Beach Waterpark with waterslides and a wave pool or check out the bay side and don’t miss Bill’s Boat Rentals, a hidden gem at the Jersey Shore.
Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights, NJ 08751