If you enjoy an early morning bike ride on the boardwalk or an evening stroll along the beach, you’re in for a real treat. Five of the eight South Jersey shore towns have either a boardwalk or promenade. Here, we will explore the boardwalks of the South Jersey shore.
Ocean City Boardwalk
The Ocean City Boardwalk was first constructed in 1880 at the north end of the island. Over the years, the boardwalk was extended to 23rd street. Today, the boardwalk runs from St. James Place, one block north of 2nd Street, to 23rd Street. The boardwalk is 2 ½ miles long. Shops and restaurants can be found from 6th Street to 14th Street. This includes 2 amusements sections. Gillian’s Wonderland Pier is located at 6th Street and the Boardwalk and offers both indoor and outdoor rides, including an iconic 141-foot Ferris wheel.
Next door to Wonderland Pier is Gillian’s Island Water Park & Adventure Golf. This amusement area is home to a waterpark offering 10 waterslides, a children’s water playground area and an award-winning mini-golf course. Castaway Cove is located at 10th Street and the Boardwalk. This amusement area consists of 32 rides, mini-golf, go-karts and an indoor arcade. Because Ocean City is a dry town, the boardwalk is the perfect place for families to spend summer nights riding the amusement rides, getting ice cream or enjoying non-stop family-friendly entertainment. It’s also a great place to escape the hot sun during the day and slip inside for some air-conditioned indoor activities such as arcades, mini-golf or dining at one of the many restaurants along the boardwalk.
The Wildwood Boardwalk extends 38 blocks from 16th Avenue in North Wildwood to Cresses Avenue in Wildwood Crest. The boardwalk is 2 miles long. It includes 3 amusement piers and is said to have more rides than Disneyland. There are also 3 beachfront waterparks, and hundreds of shops and restaurants. The 3 amusement piers and 2 of the water parks are all owned by the Morey family. Since 1969, the Morey family has owned amusement rides in Wildwood and today the parks are run by second generation brothers.
The three piers consist of Surfside Pier, Mariner’s Landing and Adventure Pier. Surfside Pier is located at 25th Street in North Wildwood. It was the first of the three piers to be built by the Morey family. It opened in 1969 with a giant fiberglass slide that, at the time, cost 25 cents to ride. Today, Surfside Pier offers a variety of kiddie and thrill rides. Ocean Oasis Waterpark and Beach Club is located off Surfside Pier on the beach.
Mariner’s Landing is located at Schellenger Avenue in Wildwood. It offers classic amusement park rides including the Giant Wheel. It also includes the Raging Waters Waterpark on the beach behind the pier. Adventure Pier is located at Spencer Avenue and features many extreme rides.
Sea Isle City Promenade
Like Ocean City and Wildwood, Sea Isle once had a wooden boardwalk too, until the Storm of 1962 took it out. The boardwalk was rebuilt using macadam. Today, Sea Isle refers to its boardwalk as a “promenade”. The Sea Isle City promenade runs from 29th Street to 56th Street, for a total of 1.5 miles. The promenade is a perfect place to ride bikes, walk or run in the morning. At night, prepare to be entertained at the promenade’s center, JFK Boulevard and Excursion Park. Here, you will find concerts, movies and family entertainment every night of the week in summer. The promenade has a handful of shops and dining establishments which can be found at the Spinakker Condominiums between 34th – 38th Streets. There are also a few shops and eateries between JFK Boulevard and 44th Street. Otherwise, the promenade is largely residential.
Avalon has a half-mile wooden boardwalk. It is located between 21st and 32nd Streets. The boardwalk runs along the beach in a residential area. There is a very small commercial area consisting of a pizza shop, ice cream parlor and arcade at 29th Street, as well as a restaurant at 32nd Street. Bikes are permitted on the boardwalk from 5:00 am – 10:00 am daily. Motorized bikes, skateboards, roller blades, scooters and mopeds are not permitted on the boardwalk at any time.
Cape May Promenade
Like Sea Isle, Cape May has a paved promenade that runs parallel to Beach Avenue and the beach. It is approximately 2 miles long. Also, like Sea Isle, Cape May once had a wooden boardwalk, but it too was washed away by the 1962 storm. The promenade runs mostly along residential areas, with the exception of a small area where you will find an arcade, some dining establishments and a few stores, as well as the Cape May Convention Hall. These establishments can be found between Howard and Jackson Streets. From May 1 – October 31, bicycles, roller skates, and in-line skates are only allowed on the promenade from 4:00 am to 10:00 am.
If you have spent any time on the promenades or boardwalks of the South Jersey shore, please let us know which one is your favorite.