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History

The family-operated Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk celebrated its Centennial in 2007. One of the last of the classic seaside amusement parks in the United States, the Boardwalk is considered the best seaside amusement park in the world.

Our History

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:

 

 

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.

 

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