My wish for summer was stirred even further with the release of StirYard Media’s picks for America’s best boardwalks, with Hollywood Beach, Fla., Venice, Calif., and Seaside Heights, N.J., among the favorites.
Having grown up in a boardwalk city myself (Virginia Beach, Va.), a longing for rollerskaters, colorful hotels and foodstands with funnel cakes and hot dogs is very much alive in me, especially during swimsuit season.
American boardwalks live in our cultural landscape the same way that circuses and amusement parks do: They invoke a sense of childlike wonderment, of things past. The need to share them with our children is a tradition worth carrying on.
In Hollywood Beach, many Florida vacation rentals peer out to the glistening Atlantic coast. More than two miles of boardwalk make up the promenade, where bikers, rollerbladers, volleyball players and runners work out alfresco. You may even see a group yoga or Tai Chi class on the beach.
The restaurants along the boardwalk offer traditional American fare, from burgers at O’Malley’s Ocean Pub to key lime pie at Nat’s Beach Cafe. If you’re traveling with tykes, make sure not to miss Charnow Park, which will have them giggling in its slides and interactive fountain. Afterward, unpack your beach picnic.
Because mom and dad need to be reminded of what it’s like to be kids again.