Boardwalks are bastions of American culture and consumption, where prime beachside properties are used to cram in as many thrill rides, midway games, fast-food stands, and other attractions as physically possible. They have a lot to offer, in other words, but they don't all fit neatly into one definition. Take a stroll through our list to see what makes each of them unique.
The rare Gulf Coast entry, Kemah Boardwalk near Houston is a 60-acre theme park on Galveston Bay that's grown since 1988 into a worthy weekend destination. It's free to walk through and peruse the half-mile of carnival rides, restaurants, midway games, steam train replicas, and shops.