Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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boardwalks in American coastal resort towns are promenades running parallel to the beach, with shops and amusements fronting them along their landward sides. The first boardwalk was built in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1870 (although Cape May, New Jersey, claims an 1868 boardwalk). Railroad officials and hotel owners proposed a planked walkway on the beach to prevent coach and lobby floors from getting covered with sand when resort patrons returned from the beach. The resulting boardwalk was a hit, and commercial establishments catering to thronging promenaders soon positioned themselves accordingly.