Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Founded in 1907, the Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk is recognized as the best seaside park in the world. The Boardwalk offers free admission, sits on 24 acres, and has more than 34 rides and attractions. It has won the 'Best Seaside Amusement Park' award in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
The attractions include one of the best known wooden roller coasters - the Giant Dipper. Over 50 million riders have experienced the exicitment of this 1924 roller coaster. The beautiful Looff Carousel, built in 1911, features 70 hand-carved horses and a 342 pipe organ. Skyglider travels high above the beach, where you can enjoy a view of the Boardwalk and the Pacific Ocean.
Neptunes Kingdom is a nautical themed entertainment center, which includes a video acrade, indoor minature golf, and laser tag. Old fashion carnival games and snack booths can be found throughout the park.
On limited operation days, some rides and areas of the park are closed. The minature golf, arcade, laser tag, and the Boardwalk Bowl are open daily. Check out the Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk Amusement Park Calendar for hours of operation at beachboardwalk.com.
The History of the Boardwalk
The Boardwalk’s roots go back to 1865, when John Leibrandt opened a public bathhouse near the mouth of the San Lorenzo River. Other bathhouses followed, and scores of tourists began visiting Santa Cruz to enjoy the natural medicine of bathing in salt water.
Soon more concessions sprang up, including restaurants, curio shops and photo stands. Toward the end of the century, plans for a casino and boardwalk where put into place for a “Coney Island” of the West.
The Boardwalk spans a wide sandy beach along the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. Families can relax on the sand as kids splash and play in the water, and they can hear screams of delight from the seaside rollercoaster. The Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk hold magic for both adults and children.