'Too Much Shell Particles': Grim Yelp Reviews of America's Boardwalks


Welcome to Grim Yelp Reviews, a new regular feature where we share people’s worst experiences at the worst places. This week: strolling grimly down the shore, stepping over puke.

The beach boardwalk is one of the finest parts of the classic American summer, combining all the best parts of a trip to the beach and a trip to a moderately dangerous and somewhat grimy carnival. Ride a rickety old roller coaster, eat some baby-blue cotton candy, leap over a giant pool of vomit to have your photo taken in a lightly malfunctioning photo booth, lie on a slightly trash-strewn beach with 2,000 other people, then stumble home, sticky, sandy, sunburned and deeply satisfied.

But of course, one person’s joy is another person’s basis for a very grim Yelp review. Where some of us take great pleasure in the slightly tacky and faded charms of the beach boardwalk, other people would like the sand to be whiter, the crowds less oppressive, the used condoms strewing the beach less prevalent. Here’s a suggestion: if you’re looking for luxury, don’t go to the boardwalk?

Grim Yelp reviews of boardwalks tend to be divided into three categories: complaints about the beach, complaints about fellow beach-goers, and complaints about rides, attractions, or just the general and glorious scuzziness that constitutes a boardwalk. I don’t usually editorialize much on these, but I’m going to just go ahead and say it outright: in pretty much every story that follows, the problem lies with the Yelpers. You people need to take a long, hard look in the funhouse mirror.

As always, to protect the names of the innocent and not-so-innocent alike, we’ve redacted the names of the businesses, as well as the identities of the Yelpers who wrote the reviews. We realize you can probably find out all of that information by employing five seconds of Google magic.


It’s sand.

The biggest qualm with the beach is not the intensity of the waves but the quality of the water. There is way too much shell particles near the walking area and therefore I would recommend shoes. The water is murky and there is quite a decent amount of men made matter that flows in and out.

Seriously, it’s sand, that’s what it looks like. I don’t… I don’t understand how a Yelp complaint could fix this.

Tide comes in quick…not leaving much comfortable beach left (the first half is all covered with sharp rocks and shells.


Is that… bad?

I can see finding one or two of these elements, but all of them at once does seem like a not-great day:

Horrible just plain unbelievably horribleee! VERY DIRTY!I do NOT understand how disgusting this beach can be. I remember going as a child and not finding it so bad, but it was really nasty.Among our findings were: 2 Used condoms! , Weed bags, Condom wrappers, tampons, and, a bunch of random garbage.
We found all those things in just about like 30-40 minutes then, everyone was kicked out the water by the life guards, because the water was “unsanitary.” A young girl around 11-13 or so got cut on her leg by an “unknown” object! hope it didn’t get infected with all those things in the water.

It’s kind of funny that someone saw a baby hat and thought “SCORE!”

This place is nasty. Nasty in a dirty, homeless, shady, don;t bring your kids, way. My baby dropped her hat, (just purchased) and in 2 minutes it was gone. Someone stole a hat for a BABY that said Princess on it!!!! What real and I do mean real losers would do that? Even the homeless cannot possibly wear it. Oh yeah, wait, I forgot they will try to sell it on my street corner in santa monica. The 10.00 for parking did not piss me off, the 5.00 for water did not piss me off. But stealing a baby’s hat did…… Just shows the type of humans that hang there.

Honestly, this is horrible, but it also (unintentionally) made me laugh:


This is a review of Coney Island, the best place on Earth, and, you will see, it’s both wrong and faintly xenophobic:

Oh yeah, hey, don’t bring your guns to the beach. Leave your guns not at the beach. C’mon.

Guns at the beach? No thanks! My day at [Redacted] was fantastic until five cop cars pulled up on the boardwalk around 116th and police escorted several young men from two rival groups off the beach. Turns out the gang activity occasionally spills over from the projects in the Rockaways. I overheard one of the cops say someone had pulled out an .85. I’d also seen a few of the guys harassing two teens a few minutes before.Criminal activity aside, the beach is clean and not too crowded, lots of teens, families and 20 somethings.

Hey, does anyone want to hang out with a fat-people-hating grump who also hates fries? And tattoos? And, quite literally, fun? No? No one? No takers?

Or a guy who I’m sure looks just great in a bikini himself?

This place is a shithole. Somehow I didn’t have such a bad time, but it’s laughable it’s so bad. Like other people have said, there’s trash everywhere. Most of it’s walking around in bikinis covered in stretch marks. (Yeah, I know, I’m going to hell.)

Or someone who says things like this about their fellow man? Yeah, me neither.

I don’t go here anymore, really. I tried to one weekend this June but it was just awful. Horribly crowded with teenage troublemakers and mothers beating their sloppy looking children, this is not a place I’d necessarily want to bring my family. Granted, it isn’t the *worst* place in the world; it’s just in desperate need of some TLC.

General Carnival Scuzz

Again, this is what a funhouse does. That’s what it looks like. That’s it.

Funhouse: Confusing house is more like it. I thought the glass section would be the least taxing on my contact lens wearing self (who doesn’t have the awesomest night vision, but I was wrong). This place is a total maze.

And finally, from a gentleman who I guess stayed just long enough to catalogue every single thing he hated. Fun!

Don’t go hungry. Don’t breathe through your nose. Don’t go to the bathroom. Don’t go in the water. Don’t go on the rides unless therapy just isn’t working. More or less just don’t go.
If at some point I give up hope of life ever improving then I’ll probably not care how much the frames of those rides shake or how water-logged the ancient planks of wood are. At that point the thought of taking a fast trip to the hereafter by way of an all-too-predictable/frickin inevitable roller coaster accident at [Redacted] sounds like it could be an amusing way to go out. Ya know, before you go parasailing or scuba diving or other dangerous stuff, they make you sign a release. You wanna throw your life into a 5 minute game of Russian roulette by jumping onto one of the rickety rust monsters in [Redacted]? All they do is measure you. If you’re “this” tall, that’s it. You’re good. Mark my words: one of those things is gonna fall like a house of cards. One of those ferris wheels is gonna break off its foundations and roll down the boardwalk like a quarter, whirl around on its edge before crashing to a halt and kill countless people. You can say what you want, but something like that’s gonna be what makes them change anything along the lines of their rides as opposed to deciding the things should be dismantled because they suspect a lack of safety.
On the upside, if you want to see just an absolute trainwreck of the ghettoest bad taste, throw on a pair of shades and dig this place. Millions of dollars in tattoo ink is walked around the boardwalk that’s been used for an extraordinarily high concentration of misspelled tattoos. To be honest I saw some pretty impressive work too, but when I see the misspelled ones I shoot sodee pop out my nose. There are people with missing teeth all over the place. You’ll see absolutely gigantic pairs of shorts. Monstrous shorts. Shorts that go down to the ankles. Pants right? Wrong. Shorts. Huge huge huge pairs of shorts on really really fat people. You’ll see more cottage cheese than in all the dairy aisles of all the grocery stores in all the world, retardeds doing the electric slide, people having violent altercations, and a whooooole lot of grandmothers under the age of 30.
It’s the American dream.

Hard to believe anybody could bitch this much about a day at the beach, but these folks managed it! Until next time, maybe everybody just chill out and make a goddamn sandcastle? Christ.

Image via Getty

Contact the author at [email protected].
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