Boardwalk, Santa Cruz
California’s oldest amusement park and a State Historic Landmark, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has two National Historic Landmarks: The 1911 Looff Carousel and 1924 Giant Dipper roller coaster. Owned and operated by the Santa Cruz Seaside Company since 1915, the Boardwalk remains a family style amusement park. The architecture of the arcade room, the most noteable feature seen from afar other than the roller coaster, has been updated and painted, but remains delightfully retro in style. The boardwalk roller coaster remains one of the highest wooden roller coasters with a real sloppy wooden feel and a panoramic view over the ocean. The Santa Cruz Boardwalk is a better choice than Great America in Santa Clara or any of the other South Bay area amusement park, particularly for young adults and teenagers who might also want some beach action. Besides the great roller coaster, there's also a ferris wheel, spinning tea-cups, and other thrills typical of a good amusement park. Cotton candy, snow cones, ice cream sundaes, and other food are available, and there's a huge arcade room of electronic games. With regard to the latter, the boardwalk has perhaps one of the best collection of old-time mechanical games, as well as a great collection of the latest electronic amusements fit for the most addicted Silicon Valley brat. The boardwalk itself is free, but the attractions cost. Arcade opens at 10am, the rides begin at 11am. Check the website for full details. The Pier is also within easy walking distance.
Remember the movie the Lost Boys? Well those vampires were spending their time at this boardwalk. I can't remember what they renamed the town for the movie, but it was shot here. Tons of rides, games and food vendors. If your in Santa Cruz, you simply must stop by.
This Surfer monument is not on the boardwalk. If you walk the length of the beach and continue on towards the light house you will come across him.
Santa Cruz has something only one other California beach town has, that I can think of, and that is a authentic beachfront amusement park. Santa Monica is the other one that comes to mind, but Santa Cruz's amusement park is bigger. This is an authentic turn of the century amusement park, not a replica with all the latest thrill rides. This park has a number of the oldies, the ferris wheel, a wooden rollercoaster, a carousel, the octopus, the rock-o-plane, an arcade, little toy boats with two steering wheels, and Bulgy the Whale. It's such a throwback and so deliciously seedy. You can't replicate this. Only an authentic amusement park as old as this one can have this kind of character.
During the afternoon and evenings, the Boardwalk is hopping with activity. I didn't come here at night, but my husband and I took an early walk up and down the Boardwalk as we were waiting for our breakfast place to open up.
This is basically a small amusement park on the beach. On summer evenings, there are concerts. Although it's a bit cheesy, I love the Boardwalk. The Big Dipper rollercoaster is (I think) the oldest wooden rollercoaster in the U.S. You can play the traditional fair games as well as get yummy, fattening food. It's hard not to have fun here.
Sitting alongside the beach, the Boardwalk dates back to the late 19th century, and is without a doubt one of the last true ocean-side amusement parks left in the United States, perhaps in the world. Even if it is a little small compared to today's giant parks, this place has a little everything to offer. From underground rides, modern roller coasters, a giant arcade, water rides and the granddaddy of them all--the Giant Dipper--they all have beach access, only a few feet away. Fans of the old '80s movie 'The Lost Boys' will recognize the Boardwalk since it played in many of its scenes.
Beware that in the summertime, the Boardwalk can get awfully crowded with day-trippers from the rest of the Bay Area
There is a yesteryear charm about the Boardwalk. The Giant Dipper, the Carousel and the ferris wheel are some of the finest "antique" rides in the country. If you are expecting the latest in roller coaster whoopdie rides, this is not it. If you want to see pinball machines, play PacMan, ride in a sky bucket, ram a bumper car, or play mini-golf, then this is the place.
During the summer on Monday and Tuesday evenings, the rides are only a dollar. Parking is $10 ($5 in the winter).
Friday nights (during summer) there is a FREE concert featuring a well-known band from the past - everything from Herman's Hermits to the Tubes. Shows at 6:30pm and 8:30pm. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket and arrive early to get seating - this is a VERY popular event!
The Boardwalk and Main Beach are NOT dog-friendly, so you will need to park pooch with a sitter when going here. Try Bed & Biscuits or any number of pet sitters.
The food is typical carnival food - expensive and not exactly health food... for instance, deep fried Twinkies. Pack a picnic lunch and eat on the beach.
The train trestle at the south end of the Boardwalk was in the movie "Lost Boys". It's fun to walk across.
The Roaring Camp train departs from in front of the carousel a couple of times a day for a 3-hour trip into the redwoods. Ride in an open gondola car and enjoy beautiful scenery. The train IS dog-friendly and they welcome your pooch.
I live close to here and have never been bothered/approached by anyone who was homeless or gang-related. I suppose if I looked like trouble, I'd find it anywhere I went. The Boardwalk has plenty of rent-a-cops to discourage trouble.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is so much fun. I've been going there since i've been a kid. Rides have been switched, but better one's are put in. I really recommend on going here. One of the only reason to not go here is, the drive is LONG, but its totally worth it, if you have not been to santa cruz beach boardwalk b4
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a wonderful and funky amusement park located right on the beach in Santa Cruz. This has a real old fashioned feel with roller coasters, (but not too big) haunted houses, all the greasy grub you can handle, and anything else that comes with a great family friendly amusement park. The best part is that you can stroll right from the park to the wonderful beach. Their is also live concerts all summer long. Awesome, clean fun.
Santa Cruz has been a seaside resort since the mid-19th century. The Looff carousel and classic wooden Giant Dipper roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk date from the early 1900s. Elsewhere along the boardwalk, the Casino Fun Center has its share of video-game technology. But this is still primarily a place for good old-fashioned family fun: rides, games, corn dogs, and chowder fries. www.beachboardwalk.com. $23.95, day pass for unlimited rides. Late May-early Sept., daily; early Sept.-late May, weekends only, weather permitting, call for hrs.
The boardwalk has 34 rides, arcades, shooting gallery, mini golf, shops and food to enjoy. It is California's oldest amusement park, and two of the attractions are State Historic Landmarks. Ride the 1911 Looff carousel or the 1924 Giant Dipper. The Giant Dipper is a classic wooden roller coaster (built 1924) reaching speeds of 55MPH. If the rides are too much for you, enjoy the sand, ocean, or many special events that are held.