The family-operated Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has been entertaining guests by the beach since 1907. One of the last of the classic seaside amusement parks in the United States, the Boardwalk is considered one of the best seaside amusement parks in the world.
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 highly-touted 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 Fred W. Swanton, considered one of the greatest promoters and entrepreneurs of his time, laid plans for a casino and boardwalk, a Coney Island of the West.
Links to more Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk history:
- 100 YEARS OF HISTORY
- 1924 GIANT DIPPER
- 1911 LOOFF CAROUSEL CIRCLES THE GENERATIONS
- HISTORIC COCOANUT GROVE OFFERS OCEAN VIEW ELEGANCE
- BOARDWALK’S PRESERVATION EFFORTS HONORED
- PERSONAL STORIES AND VINTAGE PHOTOS FROM BOARDWALK VISITORS
A Century by the Sea
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: A Century by the Sea, is a 164-page book filled with interesting facts, stories, and hundreds of photographs from the Boardwalk’s colorful past. Available at your local bookstore or at the beautiful Millions of Memories store on the Boardwalk.
100 Years, Millions of Memories DVD
Our 90-minute documentary is filled with rare film footage, vintage photographs, and heartfelt interviews that capture the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s enduring appeal to children of all ages. Available at the beautiful Millions of Memories store on the Boardwalk.
Take a walk through Boardwalk history on the second floor of Neptune's Kingdom. The free exhibit includes photographs from the Boardwalk’s first 100 years and antique arcade games restored on the TV program American Restoration.
Historic Walking Tour
A self-guided history tour of the Boardwalk. The brochure includes points of interest and fun facts about the historic Boardwalk and Cocoanut Grove. The brochure map includes the locations of 18 interpretive signs posted throughout the park.
The Historic Walking Tour brochure is available at the Miniature Golf station inside Neptune’s Kingdom for $2.00, or download a free printable PDF version. Click here to download