“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Shakespeare’s line, from Sonnet 18, coupled with unseasonably cool weather for the time of year, is a reminder that Labor Day will soon be here.
There’s still time for last minute plans to visit the Jersey Shore, however, and while many Princeton residents have their own special places to which they return each year, a new Best Boardwalks listing offers the rest of us a useful guide.
Compiled by the popular food and drink website, The Daily Meal (www.the
dailymeal.com), the report combines food and boardwalk fun in identifying the “Best Boardwalks for Food in America.”
Of the 31 boardwalks listed, no less than seven of them are in New Jersey. By comparison, New York has just two: Coney Island, which ranks ninth and Rockaway Beach, which comes in 25th.
New Jersey’s Wildwood Boardwalk and The Atlantic City Boardwalk are listed third and fourth after Mission Beach Boardwalk in San Diego, California, and Ocean City Boardwalk in Maryland.
The other Jersey shore boardwalks are the Seaside Heights Boardwalk (number 14), the Jersey Shore Boardwalk in Ocean City (number 15), the Asbury Park Boardwalk (number 18), the boardwalk at the Keansburg Amusement Park (number 26), and Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant (number 27).
It’s been decades since the Philadelphia-born teen idol Bobby Rydell sang “Oh those Wildwood Days, wild, wild Wildwood days, when every day is a holiday and every night a Saturday night!” But you can still hear the 1963 hit on the two-mile long Wildwood Boardwalk where over 100 eateries offer everything from funnel cakes, ice cream and frozen custard, to burgers and fries, as well as fresh seafood and apple pie a la mode.
Stretching some 38 blocks, this popular boardwalk has three piers and dozens of amusements rides that light up the night. The boardwalk caters to all ages and there are Sightseer Tram Cars to take you from one end to the other.
This weekend, August 15 to 17, Wildwood hosts its Fifth Annual Tattoo Beach Bash in the Wildwoods Convention Center. The event brings tattoo enthusiasts and tattoo artists to town with demonstrations of live tattooing, a traveling tattoo museum, and contests. For more information, visit: www.wildwoodtattoobeachbash.com.
If the length of the Wildwood Boardwalk seems a little daunting and you are looking for a seaside experience closer to Princeton than the two-hour drive to Wildwood, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk at Point
Pleasant is another family-friendly destination and boasts a small aquarium and amusements.
To determine which American boardwalks were the best for food, The Daily Meal selected popular boardwalk vacation destinations and reviewed them according to several criteria. First, they took into consideration the social media buzz, examining the number of followers each boardwalk destination had on the social media sites Twitter and Facebook; they noted the frequency of posts about the boardwalk’s food scene as well as the number of “deals” posted.
Then they looked at “the actual quantity of restaurants on or just off of the boards. The more locations, the better!” If that sounds a little too much regard for quantity over quality, The Daily Meal, reports that all of the eateries they looked at had to be “highly rated,” and that there had to be a wide variety.
Another factor was the “atmosphere surrounding the boardwalk and eateries, as well as the fun-factor of it being bustling with fun people.”
The final listing, created with a dash of “editorial judgment,” can be viewed at: www.thedailymeal.com/31-best-boardwalks-food-america. No specific eateries are mentioned, so visitors will have to do their own hands-on research. Enjoy!