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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk picture in Santa Cruz
Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County

Key Info

Details

  • Amusement Parks, Sightseeing Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.2
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a mile-long boardwalk and amusement park just south of central Santa Cruz. Operating for more than a century, the boardwalk boasts a plethora of rides, two of which – the Giant Dipper and the Looff Carousel – are National Historic Landmarks. The boardwalk also touts a bevy of carnival fare, including corn dogs, deep-fried artichokes and deep-fried Twinkies. You'll also find an arcade, a two-story miniature golf course and a laser tag arena, among other attractions.

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a favorite among both locals and visitors, who comment on its old-timey charm and Americana appeal. Some travelers recommend visiting on Friday nights in the summertime when the boardwalk hosts two free concerts at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Others appreciated the ample parking across the street.

The rides at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk are open seven days a week, from April to August; they're usually open on weekends during the fall and winter months. Although the rides close at various times, they usually begin operation at 11 a.m. Admission to the boardwalk is free, but its rides and attractions will cost you. For instance, mini-golf costs $6 per round and bowling costs $5. An all-inclusive day pass that covers all rides and attractions costs $42.95 if purchased online (expect to pay $6 more if you buy on-site). You can also purchase an all-day ride wristband for $36.95. If you're planning to park at the boardwalk, you can expect to pay between $10 and $15 per vehicle. You can also take a free shuttle from the Government Center on Ocean Street directly to the boardwalk; parking at the center costs $10. The boardwalk is located right along the water on Beach Street. For more information, check out the boardwalk's website.

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Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
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Coastview Inn Santa Cruz

Coastview Inn Santa Cruz ...

  • 0.1 Miles Away
  • 2.0-star Hotel Class
Casablanca Inn on the Beach

Casablanca Inn on the Beach ...

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  • 3.5-star Hotel Class
Aqua Breeze Inn

Aqua Breeze Inn ...

  • 0.1 Miles Away
  • 1.5-star Hotel Class
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#1 West Cliff Drive This 3-mile walking and biking path offers some of the best views of the county – and it's a great workout too. Along the way, you'll be treated to ... Read more » Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Paul Schraub

#2 Santa Cruz Main Beach Santa Cruz Main Beach is also known as Boardwalk Beach since it stretches the length of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. In the summer, it's one of the busiest ... Read more » slobo / Getty Images

#3 Santa Cruz Wharf The Santa Cruz Wharf dining and shopping district sits on the water of a nearly 100-year-old wharf and features all those gifts that coworkers and family members expect you to ... Read more » Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Paul Schraub

#4 Seymour Marine Discovery Center The University of California, Santa Cruz's Seymour Marine Discovery Center is an indoor and outdoor natural science museum. The center features an aquarium, complete with tanks housing rockfish, jellyfish ... Read more » Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Mark Barnes

#5 Roaring Camp Railroads The same redwoods that awed passengers back in 1875 when the Roaring Camp Railroads opened are still doing so today. Roaring Camp, headquartered in Felton, California, takes visitors on train ... Read more » Courtesy Roaring Camp Railroads

#6 Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a mile-long boardwalk and amusement park just south of central Santa Cruz. Operating for more than a century, the boardwalk boasts a plethora of ... Read more » Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County

#7 Natural Bridges State Beach In the summertime, Natural Bridges State Beach is a picturesque beach, punctuated by rock formations and teeming with wildlife – shorebirds, seals, sea stars and more. In the fall and winter ... Read more » Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Dennis Jockmans

#8 Wilder Ranch State Park Located just west of central Santa Cruz, Wilder Ranch State Park is a 1800s-era dairy ranch, home to a Victorian homestead and a water-powered machine shop (both of which travelers ... Read more » Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Greg Pio

#9 Santa Cruz Surfing Museum The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum overlooks one of the most renowned surfing spots in Santa Cruz – Steamer Lane. Along with historic surfing photographs and boards, the museum features a bevy ... Read more » Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Paul Schraub

West Cliff Drive picture in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Main Beach picture in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Wharf picture in Santa Cruz
Seymour Marine Discovery Center picture in Santa Cruz
Roaring Camp Railroads picture in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk picture in Santa Cruz
Natural Bridges State Beach picture in Santa Cruz
Wilder Ranch State Park picture in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum picture in Santa Cruz
West Cliff Drive picture in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Main Beach picture in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Wharf picture in Santa Cruz
Seymour Marine Discovery Center picture in Santa Cruz
Roaring Camp Railroads picture in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk picture in Santa Cruz
Natural Bridges State Beach picture in Santa Cruz
Wilder Ranch State Park picture in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum picture in Santa Cruz

Situated between the Santa Cruz Wharf and Natural Bridges State Park, West Cliff Drive is a 3-mile path that yields breathtaking views of the crashing Pacific waves.  Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Paul Schraub

Santa Cruz Main Beach is one of the most popular stretches of shoreline in Santa Cruz. Families especially appreciate the lifeguards on patrol in the summer and the nearby restrooms.  slobo / Getty Images

Buy your souvenirs at the shops and eateries at the Santa Cruz Wharf – a favorite hangout of local sea lions.  Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Paul Schraub

Inside the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, visitors have the opportunity to pet friendly swell sharks. The museum's grounds also showcase whale skeletons.  Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Mark Barnes

All aboard! The Roaring Camp Railroads' "From Trees to Shining Seas" train takes passengers on a scenic ride from the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Courtesy Roaring Camp Railroads

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk doubles as an amusement park, with mini-golf, laser tag, carnival rides and fare that ranges from corn dogs to deep-fried artichokes.  Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County

An iconic rock formation gives Natural Bridges State Beach its name, but some travelers say the area's peaceful atmosphere is its best feature.  Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Dennis Jockmans

Founded in the late 1800s, Wilder Ranch State Park gives visitors a peek into life on an old dairy ranch.  Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Greg Pio

The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, filled with surfing photos and memorabilia, resides in a converted lighthouse along West Cliff Drive Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Paul Schraub

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