The first Virginia Beach Boardwalk was constructed in 1888 as an eight foot wide wooden walkway. The original boardwalk began at Princess Anne Hotel on 16th Street and ended at 12th Street in front of the Arlington Hotel. Before its construction, people put down planks to walk on.
Each hotel built a perpendicular walk that connected with the boardwalk. As new hotels were built, the boardwalk was lengthened. Eventually it stretched from Rudee Inlet to 39th Street. A 1927 storm destroyed the structure. It was replaced with a concrete walk in 1928.
After the 1962 Ash Wednesday Storm, local hotel owner George Vakos brought in old junk cars to use as fill while the boardwalk was being repaired. In later years, the boardwalk has been maintained as a local attraction.