Home Culture A Guide to the Best NJ Boardwalks

A Guide to the Best NJ Boardwalks

by Claire Tomasi
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June is here, which means that New Jersey boardwalks are open with all rides, carnival games, ice cream, and local vendors going. From Asbury Park to Wildwood, New Jersey is packed with nearby options for a weekend trip to the Jersey shore’s iconic beachside promenades. Where you’re in search of fun, great food, or Instagrammable beach spots, we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up some of the best New Jersey boardwalks for your summer beach trips.

Asbury Park

asbury park boardwalk

(Photo credit: @asburyparkboardwalk)

With classic New Jersey hotspots like Wonderbar and The Stone Pony, there is something for everyone on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. From Asbury Park Distilling to the Silverball Pinball Museum, this four-mile stretch of seaside boardwalk has Asbury 18 Hole Mini-Golf, glassblowing at Hot Sand, and homemade ice cream at Cookman Creamery — not to mention Paranormal Books and Curiosities for those who like some summertime spookiness. Be sure to check out the 8th Avenue Dog Beach at the end of the day, and we recommend snapping some pictures by the iconic Asbury Park Convention Hall.

Read More: Family-Friendly Beaches in New Jersey

Atlantic City

Looking for something outside of the casinos? The Atlantic City Boardwalk is a summer staple for funnel cake, Italian ice, and saltwater taffy — and it also happens to be the world’s very first boardwalk. The ferris wheel at Steel Pier is always a good time, concerts at Kennedy Plaza are home to wonderful music. There’s even free concerts throughout the summer. During the Chicken Bone Beach Jazz Concert series, visitors can also check out emerging jazz artists. There’s no shortage of fun things to do at the Atlantic City boardwalk.

Long Branch

Arguably New Jersey’s most Victorian-style oceanside boardwalk, Pier Village in Long Branch is named, ‘City by the Sea’ because it is classically cute. The glass-encased Pier Village Carousel is a prime spot for pictures, or if you’re more into gaming and activities, shooting skee ball at Boardwalk Fun n’ Games is the way to go. McLoone’s Pier House hosts live music with cocktails and stunning ocean views. Long Branch is the place to go for a classy visit.

Point Pleasant

jenkinsons boardwalk

(Photo credit: @jenksboardwalk)

If beachside arcades and amusement parks are a must in your summer plans, Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant is the spot to go — and it’s a great place to bring some kids along. Leaning on the family-friendly side with the Adventure Lookout Ropes Course, funhouse, aquarium, and tons of boardwalk games, Jenkinson’s is sure to entertain both little ones and adults alike. After the beach day, Jenks or the Inlet Bar are great spots to grab a drink and listen to live music while gazing at sunset views.

Seaside Heights

Casino Pier at Seaside Heights is a must-see Jersey Shore hotspot for amusement park rides, carnival games, go-karts, and mini-golf, with plenty of bars and nightlife after prime beach hours. Berkeley Candy is a Seaside Heights classic for house-made salt water taffy for those with a sweet tooth — or you can post up on the beach and see the local surfers catch the waves from Memorial to Labor Day. Once the sun goes down, The Aztec Bar is a lively scene for drinks and live music with that Atlantic view.

Ocean City

ocean city boardwalk

(Photo credit: @oc_njboardwalk)

Ocean City Boardwalk’s two-and-a-half miles of beachside bliss is the spot for bike rentals by the shore. Bikers can cruise by lines of shops and art vendors, or park on the dunes for some time on the sand. The rides at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier and Playland’s Castaway Cove are a ton of fun, or the pool at Ocean City Waterpark is also a great spot to cool off after a long day in the sun. Quieter than its shoreside peers, Ocean City Boardwalk does not serve alcohol, but you can stay past sundown for neon carnival rides, live music, and homemade fudge.

See More: 12 Beaches Accessible via Public Transit from Hoboken, Jersey City, + NYC

Wildwood

wildwood boardwalk

(Photo credit: @moreyspiers)

With carnival rides, over one hundred shops and snack stalls, and three water parks, Wildwood is a summertime New Jersey staple down the shore. Stretching thirty-eight blocks of shoreline, there’s nothing that can’t be found in Wildwood. From axe throwing at Flying Hatchets and go-kart racing at Morey’s Piers, to monster truck rides on the beach and a zip line, there’s plenty to do both on and off the sand. Pro tip: we recommend getting a reservation at Breakfast in the Sky to jump-start your day on the Ferris wheel, a uniquely Wildwood experience.

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