Back in the late 1800s, owners of seaside resorts in Atlantic City, New Jersey, faced a problem: Guests were tracking sand from the beach into their properties. To minimize dirtiness, they added a wooden walkway between the sand and the city's hotels.
Just like that, America got its first boardwalk — and an institution was born.
More than just a place to get the sand off your feet, boardwalks became a source of entertainment with the addition of shops, restaurants and eventually amusement rides. Over time, many boardwalks succumbed to weather and a lack of visitors, falling into disarray. But in the late 20th century, a boardwalk renaissance brought the classic attractions back to life.
Today, the majority of America's remaining boardwalks are found in New Jersey, with nearly 20 boardwalks scattered about the Jersey Shore. But there are wonderful boardwalks all around the country — from the newest to the oldest, the biggest to the smallest, here's a look at some of the best.