One of a Kind Boardwalk: Santa Cruz, California

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During our trip to the central coast, we decided to include the Santa Cruz boardwalk as a must-see for us. And boy, we learned the boardwalk itself needs at least four hours alone!

The boardwalk is a top-rated attraction for both locals and visitors from around the world and I can see why. We could tell that it was definitely worth going out of our way for this trip! There were so many delicious treats to eat while watching all sorts of entertainment.

Unfortunately, we only spend about an hour here. I know, we regret it. But this is what we learned!


A family-friendly boardwalk experience you won’t want to miss!

Free entrance

santa cruz boardwalk with fmily

There’s no admission fee to enter the boardwalk. I mean, that’s a huge perk for us! The only cost is the attraction fees to the things you want to do.

There’s so much to do!

We have visited the Santa Monica pier, which is worth a visit. But the Santa Cruz boardwalk is much more extensive and has much more to offer.

The boardwalk is packed with rides, attractions, and games for just about everyone in your family.

And it’s literally a few feet away from the sand, so once you are ready to take a break to watch the surfers or take your shoes off and feel the sand between your toes, you can do that.

Here are rides that caught our attention

  • Cave Train
  • Sky Glider
  • Pirate Ship
  • Rock & Roll

Food for the entire family. Really. Here’s a sample

  • Pizza Now!
  • Cruzin’ Crêpes featuring Boba Tea
  • Fish ‘N’ Fry
  • Cotton Candy Clouds
  • Blenders at the Beach

And so much more!

  • Miniature golfing
  • Bowling
  • Casino arcade
  • Boardwalk Marketplace Pop-Up
  • Santa Cruz Threads
  • Santa Cruz Magic Shop

Know before you go!

I do hope you plan this trip better than we did, so here’s a heads up!

Parking: Two parking structures are nearby, but they fill up fast, so be there early. Pricing is $15.

Ride Cost: You can purchase a wristband ($29.99-$59.95) or MyBoardwalk Card (price varies)

Hours of Operation: 12 PM to 8 PM but make sure to check ahead of time


We are disappointed that we didn’t spend more time here and truly explore and appreciate the Santa Cruz boardwalk for what it is. But, we do plan on coming back and look forward to giving you a better review!

We even plan on visiting the lighthouse!

But for now, I do hope this brief information is helpful for you and your family.

Have you been to the Santa Cruz boardwalk? What’s your favorite part of it all?!

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