Boardwalk Etiquette 101

Ocean City, MD - Boardwalk right before a storm.
Ocean City, MD - Boardwalk right before a storm. | Source

Mind Your Boardwalk Manners

If you are visiting a beach this summer (or anytime of year, for that matter), you might just find the opportunity to walk along the boardwalk. The boardwalk at the beach can be a fun adventure. There are so many shops and restaurants to check out along the way. Unfortunately, not all beach goers are interested in allowing you to have fun. Some of them are just outright rude. Before you make some major mistakes while walking along the boardwalk, let me introduce you to some basic rules of boardwalk etiquette.

Keep It Moving

While walking along the boardwalk, make sure to keep at a good pace. No one wants to see you running along, bumping into people, but people also don't want to deal with folks who walk slower than a turtle. A good, steady walk is the best idea.

I know it can be tempting to stop and stare at some hot babes or dudes along the boardwalk. However, it is not polite to just abruptly stop so you can stare. Also, it is kind of creepy, so just don't do it. It can sometimes be difficult to keep a steady pace when there are so many delicious treats tempting you: ice cream, funnel cake, popcorn, fudge, pizza, cheese fries, and on and on. However, you can't just stop in the middle of walking when there are plenty of people behind you. Furthermore, drooling at the food (or the hot babes or hot dudes) is totally unacceptable. So just keep it moving. Abrupt stops is just asking for someone to run into you.


Move Out The Way

At many boardwalks, there are ways to get around without having to walk. Some boardwalks offer trolleys or trains. Atlantic City even offers rolling chairs. A group of people can get in a cart and pay someone to actually roll them down the boardwalk. Ah, that is a lot of luxury for the boardwalk!

The one annoying aspect of these modes of transportation is people tend to not get out the way. Often, there is a specific section of the boardwalk designated for these "vehicles," but when the boardwalk is packed, people are forced to walk in those areas. That is OK, but if you hear the horn tooting, you need to get out the way!

Sure, it would be a great vacation story if you got hit by a boardwalk trolley. It would probably make a fabulous video for YouTube. During your hospital stay, you would most likely regret your decision to stay in the way though. So move it over, people!

No One Likes a Creeper

While walking along the boardwalk, you will see many types of people. The ocean is one place where people can gather from all walks of life. You will see all ages, all races, and all economic backgrounds. Everyone is unified in one place just to have fun. You will find that as people, we all have so much in common. One of the main things we all have in common - no one likes a creeper.

Don't be that guy that is staring at any female wearing a skimpy outfit. You are at the beach. Many women are wearing skimpy outfits. Some women just jump right out the water and walk along the boardwalk in a bikini and no shoes. Now, in my opinion, these ladies are asking for attention, but they are not asking to be harrassed. Put your eyes back in your head and keep walking. Like I said, abrupt stops are not appreciated on the boardwalk.

Also, it is not appreciated if you get drunk and start making crude comments to women on the boardwalk. For that matter, it is frowned upon to be sober and make crude comments to women, too. I just choose to believe you are drunk when you act like a jerk. I am generous like that.

Don't Feed The Birds

I know this is a pet peeve of mine and I've brought this up in past etiquette hubs, but do not feed the birds. Sure, sometimes it is an accident. Please, when you are getting your cheese fries or your hot dog from a boardwalk restaurant, try to hide from those little winged pests. I love birds as much as the next person, but birds at the beach are hard core about stealing your food. Try to remain as anonymous as humanly possible.

The worst action you can choose to do is actually purposely feed the birds while on the boardwalk. How dare you! Now none of us are safe! At least go to an area on the beach where no one is around and feed the birds there. Sometimes it is fun to feed the birds if you are not bothering anyone. What do you do if there is no space on the beach to feed the birds? Well, don't feed them. It is pretty simple.

Roll Someplace Else

Many beach boardwalks have rules against people using skateboards, skates, or bikes on the boardwalk during the day. Some boardwalks allow it during certain periods of time in the morning. Some boardwalks simply don't allow it at all.

If you are at a beach using a boardwalk that is not "bike friendly" or "skate friendly," deal with it. We all have to deal with rejection sometimes. It is a fact of life. So take your bike or skates or skateboard elsewhere. No one wants to walk along only to be almost knocked over by you. The rules are enforced for a reason.

Ocean City, MD
Ocean City, MD | Source

Have Fun On The Boardwalk

With all these rules, you might wonder, can anyone have fun on the boardwalk? Why, of course! That is the reason boardwalk etiquette must exist. No one wants to have a fun time ruined by crazed, hungry birds or a drunk annoying guy on skates.

The beach is a great place for a vacation. Honestly, my favorite part of the beach experience is the boardwalk. Everyone loves to see all the sights: the amusement park rides, the weird boardwalk performers, the crazy t-shirt shops, the hermit crab displays, and the food... oh, the boardwalk food! It is such a wonderful place! So, if you mind all your boardwalk manners, I am sure you will have a great time this summer. Enjoy!

Copyright ©2012 Jeannieinabottle

Boardwalk from a distance.
Boardwalk from a distance. | Source

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Comments 18 comments

kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

I can't leer at hunks/women in skimpy outfits...stare..feed the birds..stop abruptly..rollerblade..bump into drunk....

well there goes my fun!!!...guess I'll stay off the boardwalk...seriously...LOVED your hub...your advice hopefully will allow many to enjoy their summer on the boardwalk... please forgive..I couldn't resist the sarcastic humor....

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

You do have a valid point. I am taking away the good times from certain people. Oh well. If they don't read this hub, they can still continue to feed birds, stare, get drunk, etc. :-) Thanks for reading my hub and thanks for the fun comment!

Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

Good one Jeannie- right in time for summer season too. I love the boardwalk ( we have long piers here too in UK) and you're right about the etiquette, it should be relaxing, rewarding experience but a few folk could spoil it for the rest. Top tips, nicely put. voted up of course!

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

It is nice to know the UK has boardwalks, too. I just love the beach and boardwalks. Thanks for the comment and thanks for the vote.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Great suggestions and you have written them with good humor. I agree, please don't feed the birds! I see people doing this near the beach and then the birds become a real nuisance.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, all it takes is one cute bird and suddenly a gang of angry, hungry birds will appear. I learned that the hard way long ago. Thanks for the comment!

TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Great information, Jeannie! Now, if only I could get myself to somewhere that had a boardwalk! :) VUM!

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks! I hope you make it to a boardwalk sometime soon. :-)

Weekend Reader profile image

Weekend Reader 4 years ago

Staring, even stopping and staring, is permitted if you move to the rail or outermost edge of the boardwalk. Movement in the middle of the walkway shouldn't be hindered. Staying toward the right, whichever direction you're traveling, might help traffic flow. Birds shouldn't be fed, I emphatically agree -- what goes in will very soon come back out again and birds simply will NOT use the restrooms. (occasional Atlantic City visitor)

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

This is true... staring at t-shirts or the beach is allowed if you move to the edge of the boardwalk. Staring at people is still creepy. :-) Oh, the birds. Yes, the restrooms (or their inability to use the restrooms) are definitely an issue for the birds. I've been "bombed" by a bird in Ocean City in the past. It was not pleasant and it did not being me good luck like the superstitution says. Thanks for dropping by my hub!

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I will remember your points when I'm on the beach. By the way there is no beach in Nepal.

PS: Thanks for your vote for my hub

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks! I guess my points didn't help so much though. :-( I wish you had a beach!

I just totally agonized over those votes. I put way too much thought into it. I hope you win. You deserve it. I love that hub.

calculus-geometry profile image

calculus-geometry 4 years ago from Germany

I have to agree with you about the birds. The poop that comes from birds who live on a steady diet of concession stand junk food is quite distinct from the poop of birds who eat normal bird food--in volume and odor. God help you if you're the victim of a fly by, you might as well burn your clothes. (Yes, I write from experience!)

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I know exactly what you mean. I was once bombed by one of those birds, too. It is quite unpleasant. Whoever said it was good luck to be pooped on by a bird was very, very wrong. Obviously that person never went to the beach before. :-) Thanks for the comment!

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

Hi Jeannie - whoah, that storm coming up looks like it wants to turn itself into a tornado! Anyway, I love the boardwalk in OCMD, especially at twilight when the lights start coming on. One of my sons accuses me of suddenly stopping and says how rude it is. I keep my distance from the people in front of me, giving them an opportunity to suddenly halt, haha. I will try to move to the side next time, don't want you to slam into me. Or maybe I do! Wouldn't that be a hoot!

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

My friend and I were taking photos thinking it would turn into a tornado (maybe we should have thought about running instead!), but everything was OK. Hahaha... it would be funny to run into you in OC. We would say, "Hey, aren't you from HubPages?" :-)

Thanks for the comment!

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

I often notice lots of crazy clouds when I'm down the ocean, but I guess, on vacation, you just spend more time looking at the sky!

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I guess that is true. The clouds are so much more obvious over the ocean; there are no other distractions. Thanks for the comment!

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