Plan Your Visit
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a classic seaside amusement park located along a beautiful sandy beach in a friendly beach town.
The Boardwalk features more than 34 rides and attractions including two National Historic Landmarks: the world-famous 1924 Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster and the beautiful 1911 Looff Carousel, plus many scream-inducing thrill rides, gentle kiddie rides, casual restaurants, gift shops, games, indoor arcades, and miniature golf.
Boardwalk rides are open for full operation from Memorial Day (late May) through Labor Day (early September) plus most weekends and holidays throughout the year.
A limited number of rides are open daily in April and May. Rides are closed from December 1 through December 25 for winter maintenance.
The Boardwalk is admission-free. If you’d like to take a stroll and enjoy the colorful oceanfront scene, it’s free and open to the public, even when the rides are closed.
If you decide to enjoy a ride or two, tickets can be purchased for individual rides or you can purchase an all-day wristband.
The Boardwalk offers a range of ticket plans to meet your budget.
There are all-day, unlimited ride passes as well as individual ride tickets and season passes. There are also discounts and coupons online. Ticket prices are the same for all ages.
Single or double strollers can be rented at the Millions of Memories store, on the colonnade.
Wheelchairs can be borrowed from Guest Services office, near the Giant Dipper. There is no fee, but a photo ID and a credit card imprint are required as a deposit.
Sorry, these things are not allowed on the Boardwalk. But there's a great bike path along nearby West Cliff Drive, and a free skate park is located next to the Riverside Avenue bridge.
Bike racks are located near the Casino Arcade, Neptune's Kingdom, Entrance 3/Looff Carousel, and by the entrance to the River Parking Lot.
A limited number of bike lockers are available through our Guest Services Office, near the Giant Dipper. The fee is $5 per day and requires a photo ID and credit card imprint, or $50.00 deposit. The bike lockers are located at the entrance to the River Parking Lot, and in the parking lot of the Shoreline Apartments near Entrance 4.
The City of Santa Cruz does not allow alcohol on the beach. Alcohol is allowed on the Boardwalk, but for safety reasons, bottles are not allowed.
Santa Cruz weather is generally mild, but it can be cool in the mornings and evenings. We recommend wearing layers of clothing including a warm sweatshirt or jacket.
Here are some suggestions for a comfortable day at the Boardwalk:
- Bathing suit
- Beach towel
- Stroller (A limited number of strollers are available for rent.)
- Wheelchair (Guest Services has a limited number of wheelchairs available to borrow.)
Small lockers can be rented for $6 - $8/day at 3 locations: in the Casino Arcade, near Sea Swings, and by the restrooms near the Cave Train.
Choosing the best time to visit the Boardwalk depends on your particular needs and interests. If you’d prefer to visit when there are fewer guests around, then you should come in the fall, spring or early on a summer week day.
On a summer weekend, peak hours are usually between 1pm and 3pm, so plan to arrive at opening or after 5 p.m. Summertime is the Boardwalk’s key season and special events, including our Free Friday Night concert series, are very popular.
The park, however, is ready for visitors and our staff works very hard to accommodate guests in a timely manner. Our lines are shorter and move faster than most other area amusement parks.
Located between San Francisco and Monterey, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is at 400 Beach Street in Santa Cruz.
The closest international airport is in San Jose, with bus and shuttle services available to Santa Cruz. Amtrak also provides transportation from its San Jose station.
Both California’s scenic Coast Highway 1 and Highway 17 connect to Santa Cruz.
Boardwalk on Google Maps
The Boardwalk operates two main parking lots adjacent to the park.
Off-site parking with Boardwalk shuttle service is available on our busiest weekends at the County Government Building, 701 Ocean Street. Call 831-423-5590 to ask if the off-site parking shuttle is operating.
During the summer a trolly runs between Downtown Santa Cruz and the Boardwalk every 30 minutes. http://santacruztrolley.com
Some metered street parking is also available in the beach area.
The Boardwalk’s Carousel Beach Inn, located across the street from the amusement park, is a great spot for the entire family.
If you’re looking for a little more romance, the Sea & Sand Inn, where every room has an ocean view, offers a perfect beach getaway.
There are several hotels in the area that offer packages that include Boardwalk tickets.
For the safety and comfort of all our guests, smoking is not permitted on the Boardwalk. Smoking is currently permitted at designated areas along the street side of the Boardwalk away from entrances.
Animals needed to assist guests (such as guide dogs) are welcome at the Boardwalk. To learn more about service animals, please visit http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.pdf
Other pets are not allowed on the Boardwalk or on the adjoining Santa Cruz Main Beach.
For more information on dog-friendly Santa Cruz including a downloadable brochure, "Where Can I Take My Dog?", please visit http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/departments/parks-recreation/parks-beaches-and-open-spaces/dog-off-leash-areas
There are several boarding/kennel facilities within the Santa Cruz area.
Please do not leave your pet in a warm car.
The Boardwalk Historium filled with photos is located on the 2nd floor of Neptune's Kingdom. Also keep an eye out for historic interpretive signs located throughout the park. A book and DVD about park history are sold in the Millions of Memories store on the colonnade.
With its many beaches, attractive downtown, and majestic redwood parks, there’s a lot to see and do in Santa Cruz County. Within walking distance of the Boardwalk, the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf has great restaurants, gift shops, kayak rental, whale watching tours, and fishing.
If you like to walk or ride bikes, nearby West Cliff Drive takes you past a world-class surf spot, a small surf museum, and beautiful coastal views. Head inland for a few blocks and discover eclectic Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz, bustling with locals, UCSC students, sidewalk cafes, bookstores, restaurants, and unique shops.
Or take a short drive to the picturesque village of Capitola or head up to the mountains for wine tasting in the redwoods. It’s all here!