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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz

4.1
#1 of 39 in Things to do in Santa Cruz
Theme Park Water / Amusement Park
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, California’s oldest surviving amusement park, offers classic funfair attractions in a seaside setting. Ride on the Giant Dipper, a world-famous wooden roller coaster that has thrilled visitors since 1924. Make sure to keep your eyes open to catch superb views of the beach. For more vintage fun, take a spin on the Looff Carousel, a hand-carved merry-go-round that dates back to 1911. Try your luck on carnival games, play old favorites in the video arcade, or swing a round of mini-golf. Refuel with boardwalk classics, such as corndogs, pretzels, cotton candy, and saltwater taffy. If you are in the mood for something more upscale, head to Fisherman’s Galley. Make Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk a centerpiece of your Santa Cruz vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Santa Cruz itinerary planner.
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Where to stay in Santa Cruz

Most of the accommodations in Santa Cruz occupy a place near the beach and boardwalk. Inns and bed and breakfasts make up most of the selection here, but you'll also find a few motels and hotels sprinkled in. You might consider staying in one of the inns or bed and breakfasts located inside some of the Victorian houses downtown, which lies just to the north. A number of budget motels line both San Lorenzo Boulevard, which is just across Carbonara Creek from the main tourist area by the beach, and Ocean Street a little farther north.
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Google
4.4
  • We spent the day riding rides, eating food and sticking our feet in the water. My family of 4 kids ages 10 & 7 both loved riding the rides. My 7 year old a little more adventurous than the other. They...  more »
  • We went on a weekend in summer and it was packed!! Crazy people watching and very over crowded but we still had fun!  more »
  • When my husband and I arrived in Santa Cruz, we saw what looked like a fun Boardwalk. We read about the wooden coaster and looked forward to returning later in the day when it wasn't so hot/bright. We...  more »
Google
  • First of all, the boardwalk was truly amazing. There were tons of rides and attractions to choose from. The restaurants were also awesome, with plenty of options for vegetarians and meat-lovers. Overall, the environment of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was nice. The beach was also epic because it was tidy and did not have much trash. It is a huge hit for my family because there is a small kiddie pool for little kids. For more adventurous people, there is a water path leading to a cave, which heads out to the ocean. I would recommend coming here if you want a break from the busy 'California Life'!
  • The workers were so friendly and seemed to love their jobs. The restrooms were very clean and well kept, which for me is a big one. Plus I had tons of fun and made so many memories with my family. The food was delicious, my favorite stand was the World Grill, they have food that's not overly greasy, which is another plus. Overall it was a fantastic day and experience by the ocean!
  • We have been going once a year now for the last few years. I have 3 kids, ages from 14 to 5 yrs. Old and they all love the the boardwalk! There's variety of rides for all ages. The lines could get a bit long but not too bad. We always get our wrist bands at Costco in Santa Cruz. They have 2 wrist bands for $69 plus a card with 15 points per person to use for games or arcade. Each wrist band there at the boardwalk sells for $40 and I don't think it includes the card with 15 points.
  • For a fun time the boardwalk is awesome with a few conditions. Entertainment is their game, expensive is their price. Don't bother price shopping, all the stores are under the same management. Food is what you expect at a fair but don't fret. You can cross the street to the bowling alley and have a meal under $10 At the bowling alley and the food is great. Bottom line, it's a good time, worth the trip but bring a good deal of cash.
  • I enjoyed walking down this boardwalk while in Santa Cruz. It's less busy than Pier 39 in San Francisco and has some nice restaurants. You're also able to get closer to the sea lions and watch then sleep up close! There are large star fish hanging out on some of the posts as well, so keep your eyes open for them! Additionally they have a lot of rides, carnival food, and fun things to do like that in the area. It gets really busy though so a good idea to get there earlier or later in the day.