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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

  • 5

(1 reviews)
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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
400 Beach Street
Santa CruzCA 95060
(831) 423-5590

Ages: 2 and up

Cost: no admission, but rides require ticket or wristband purchase

Parking: Yes - lots adjacent ($6 - $12); metered parking on surrounding streets

Features: Picnic Area, Outside Food Allowed, Snack Stand, Restrooms, Lockers, Handicap Accessible, First aid station, Family Friendly, Discounts, Changing Table

With over 100 years of history, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is the last remaining seaside amusement park on the West Coast. A summer trip to the area wouldn't be complete without a stop at the Boardwalk. 

The admission-free boardwalk boasts a number of free activities: enjoy the FREE Friday Night Bands on the Beach concert series; Wednesday nights in the summer months mean FREE Movies on the Beach; take a self-guided historic walking tour after downloading this brochure for FREE. 

If thrill rides are what visitors are after, the Boardwalk offers a number of high-speed, dizzying options, including the original 1924 wooden coaster, Giant Dipper. There are many family-friendly and toddler-appropriate rides, as well.

Information regarding ticket requirements, costs, and more, click here. There are discounts to be had, depending on the day of visit.

While summer months are the park's busiest, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is open during the off-season, with limited rides and attractions open. For more information regarding hours of operation, please see the park's calendar

A number of other attractions are located at the Boardwalk, including a large game arcade, mini golf, laser tag, and a nearby bowling alley. Click here for more attraction information.

1 Reviews

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  • 5

Reviewed on 07/16/2012

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is filled with fun memories for me and my family, and has for years.

The Boardwalk is packed on peak days and nights (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), and lines can be long, but in recent years, it seems that the wait times have decreased, even for the more thrilling rides. Before having kids in school, I would often wait until September or October to venture to the Boardwalk, when the weather is still similar to that in the busier summer months.

We took our kids (6, 8, and 12) to a FREE Bands on the Beach performance (Modern English — of "Melt with You" fame), and they sat through the 1.5 hour performance without issue, enjoying the bubbles being blown and the beach ball being tossed around by other concert-goers. We bought dinner at a concession stand behind the concert seating area for less than $25, enjoying the raved-about corn dogs for which the Boardwalk is famous.

Our older two children are almost fearless. The 8-year-old enjoyed the roller coasters, the Pirate (pendulum-type ride), the Fireball, and Cliff Hanger. Our 12-year-old made Double Shot her first stop, and lead the way for all other rides. The youngest, at 6 years, and small, didn't make the height requirements for some rides, and was content to ride Sea Serpent, Freefall, and the like.

Since we were there for only an evening (6:30pm - 11pm), we parked on Bay Street, which was metered only until 8pm, and cost us only about $2. However, if you'll be at the Boardwalk all day, parking in a lot ($12 during summer months, $6 during off-season) is the best way to go since it's a lot closer to the park.

The weeknight Pepsi deal is the best discount, in my opinion. Unlimited ride wristbands are only $10.95 with an empty Pepsi product can or bottle. Even younger children who will ride on fewer rides requiring fewer tickets will benefit from the unlimited ride wristband, provided they're the type of kids who want to experience a ride "again, again!"

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk