The Good Reverend has the Top 5 list of Best American Boardwalks. See if you agree with his picks, especially the number 1: Santa Cruz Boardwalk
History: Dating to 1907, the boardwalk was inspired by the amusements of Coney Island but predates Coney's actual boardwalk. And unlike some other boardwalks, it hasn't had any storms (or even the occasional earthquake) knock it down since.
Carousel: The 1911 Looff Carousel is a national historic landmark, and it features the old brass ring game. [...]
Why it's number one: It's got all the history, rides, and arcade games of the East Coast boardwalks, along with a laid-back California feel and the nicest of all boardwalk beaches.