Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Location: 400 Beach St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: (831) 423-5590
Hours: Hours vary by month and day, check the calendar on website
Description: Growing up in the Bay Area I spent many Summer days running around Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. As a mom we have taken our daughter there probably twice. For some reason in my head it always felt like along way to travel so once a Summer was good enough. But for my birthday weekend we spent the weekend in Santa Cruz and discovered it is really close to the Bay Area. It only took us under and hour and a half each way (with no to little traffic) but I found myself asking why don't we go here more often? We had so much fun! Our baby was free to ride on the rides with a paying adult and was thrilled by the merry-go-round where she bounced and squealed everytime the horse went up and down. She was alert and interested on the cave train ride while watching glow in the dark dinosaurs and cavemen. She also really loved a flying airplane ride that I could sit in with her. I'm still a big kid at heart so I was happy to ride some of the bigger rollercoasters with my older daughter too! One ride we went on, the wave coaster or something like that, took us high above the boardwalk and spun us around while it looked like we were gonna fall off the tracks. We were all screaming at the top of our lungs but it was so hilarious to hear us all screaming that we started laughing and screaming in unison. There are spinning rides, roller coasters, bumper cars, fried foods, sweet treats, boardwalk games, a giant arcade, mini golf, and last but not least the beach. Love the beach. Such a great place to stop and take a break from all the craziness of the boardwalk. It is so much fun to see children out on the beach running in to the waves and enjoying themselves. Also a nice time to take a food break and watch the waves. It was a beautiful day and the boardwalk with the backround was a nostalgic site to behold.
Highlights: The funnest ride ever was a ride where you lay down on your stomach and it looks like you are riding on a hang glider. You really feel like you are flying. It takes you in circles and you go around looking from the boardwalk to the beach. Me and my daughter felt like we were flying for real and I had a great sense of freedom- like this is how birds must feel. it was a fun and amazing feeling and it was more special to share it with my daughter.
Tips: Get a wristband- tickets won't last. Sometimes if you bring in a coke can you can get a discount. Also I recommend getting there early or leaving late. The middle of the day is when it is most crowded and you have a better chance of getting on more rides if it is off peak hours. Same with parking, sometimes you can find street parking if the hours are off peak but if you do that beware of plugging the meter. Also do not, I repeat do not go on a holiday! One year we went on the 4ht of July and that was a mistake. Driving took hours, parking took hours, and trying to ride rides was way too crowded.