From the fried food, to the crazy rides, kids games, and a gorgeous beach, a great boardwalk has something for everyone. “They appeal to different people for different reasons," explains James Lilliefors, author of America's Boardwalks: From Coney Island to California. "A great boardwalk is one that is nostalgic, but keeps its nostalgia current." These wooden walkways are an important part of Americana that dates all the way to 1870 in Atlantic City, when hotels didn't want sand spilling into their lobbies. But nearly 150 years later, they’re still the perfect spot for summer, whether you're on a trip with the kids or looking to have a good time with your friends. We asked Lilliefors to take us on a tour of the top ten boardwalks in America.
Lake Michigan, Chicago
Take in the Chicago skyline this summer at Navy Pier while riding the 150-foot-high Ferris wheel, or relax and sit on the wooden dock along Lake Michigan. "It's truly family entertainment," Lilliefors says. Grab your friends and challenge them to mini-golf, or navigate remote control boats across the water. Whatever you do, make sure to grab a Chicago-style hotdog while you're there. You can walk it off along the Pier's 34 acres.
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