America's Best Boardwalks
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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk:
Santa Cruz, CA
Photo courtesy of Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Operating since 1907, the only remaining oceanfront amusement park on the West Coast has two rides officially recognized as National Historic Landmarks: the hand-carved Looff carousel (1911) and the wood-framed Giant Dipper roller coaster (1924). Another throwback to its early years is Marini's Boardwalk, whose 1915 location still cooks its saltwater taffy in copper kettles. At the Surf City Grill, the fresh-dipped corn dogs are infamous, but the artichokes in a light, garlicky batter are the real finds.
Atlantic City Boardwalk: Atlantic City
Photo courtesy of Atlantic City Boardwalk.
This 5.5-mile stretch, the longest boardwalk in the world, once captured the country's collective imagination with its glitzy acts and grand Art Deco and Beaux Art hotels—now dramatically revisited on HBO's Boardwalk Empire. The oldest boardwalk in the US is also enjoying a revival with the 2012 opening of the Revel resort. Its dizzying array of star chef-run restaurants includes a modern steak house by Marc Forgione, a Riviera-inspired seafood spot by Alain Allegretti and offshoots by DC chef Michel Richard and Philly chef Jose Garces. For a taste of old-time lore, the James Candy Company pulls saltwater taffy from recipes that date from the 1900s.
Ocean City Boardwalk :