A truly welcoming public space is one that organically attracts a plethora of culturally and socioeconomically diverse individuals, stimulating interaction between people of all walks of life while possessing a character that lets wanderers know they have arrived somewhere special. While many placed deemed “great” by some are often exceedingly exclusionary for others due to barriers to entry such as prohibitively high costs or discriminatory social barriers, the Asbury Park Boardwalk welcomes all visitors to come as they are. Be it for a simple stroll along the seashore, a weekend of fun, or a snack at lunch-time, Asbury Park’s Boardwalk is accessible from New York City via the North Jersey Coast Rail Line and regionally by bus, providing entertainment for locals and visitors alike. With attractions ranging from outdoor festivals and beachfront conventions to intimate dining options and kid-friendly play spaces, it is not uncommon for short-term visitors to become long-term residents. And the Asbury Park Boardwalk is still growing.

Home to more than just a beautiful and active beachfront, eighteen-holes of miniature golf, a kid-friendly splash park, and on-beach playgrounds, the Asbury Park Boardwalk also boasts an array of indoor activities, such as the Silverball Pinball Museum, a skatepark, concert venues, roller derby leagues, and mouthwatering eating and drinking establishments that allow residents and tourists alike to enjoy the boardwalk all year. More specifically, as a successful social hub, it provides opportunities for accidental interactions and the exchange of creative energy between diverse sections of the population by serving as a meeting place for kids, adults, business people, tourists, musicians, artists, and conventioneers, who might never have cause to cross paths otherwise.

Anchored by the architectural treasures represented by Convention Hall, the Carousel building and the former Casino building, the historic nature of the Asbury Park Boardwalk sends one back in time with a glimpse at Tillie on the side of Wonder Bar, the Stone Pony stage, or the intricate copper elements embellishing the crowns of the remarkable buildings. As a place loved by generations, the Asbury Park Boardwalk has evolved in a way that preserved the city’s rich history while building amenities to serve and ever-changing present. From bike share stations to solar-paneled parking stations and adaptively reused modular shipping container-based amusement kiosks, the Asbury Park Boardwalk strives to keep pace with the changing tide of history instead of falling victim to it.

More than a place and great in its own right, the Asbury Park Boardwalk transforms into a sensory oasis for those who are graced by its music-laced winds and mural-adorned walls. Be it for a morning stroll with the sunrise, an afternoon lunch-date with work associates, or an evening outdoor concert with friends, the Asbury Park Boardwalk is home to an arts culture and diverse sense of vibrant community found nowhere else.

Great Public Space

2018 Designee

Asbury Park