Frequently Asked Questions
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 40 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.
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 a Ride Wristband to ride all day.
The Boardwalk accepts cash and cashless payment including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay at all Ticket Booths. Some food locations and all attractions and midway games accept cashless payment only. For online purchases, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Apple Pay and Google Pay area accepted.
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.
Small lockers can be rented in the Casino Arcade, in the main plaza across from Speed Bumps and inside Entrance 5 by Sea Swings.
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 weekday. On a summer weekend, peak hours are usually between 1pm and 3pm, so plan to arrive early.
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.
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 ADA.gov site for Service Animal info
Other pets are not allowed on the Boardwalk or on the adjoining Santa Cruz Main Beach.
For more information on dog-friendly Santa Cruz parks and beaches, please visit http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/government/city-departments/parks-recreation/parks-beaches-open-spaces/dog-off-leash-areas
There are several boarding/kennel facilities within the Santa Cruz area.
Please do not leave pets in your vehicle unattended if it is warm out. Your windows could be broken by the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, your pets taken and you could be charged with a crime. Always leave your name and phone number on your window or dashboard so you can be reached if it’s an emergency.
Yes, for the safety of all of our guests, no offensive or gang-related attire or tattoos are permitted on the Boardwalk.
Guests who refuse to comply with the policy will be asked to leave the Boardwalk and related properties.
Parents or guardians are responsible for the behavior of their minor children. Appropriate behavior and supervision are the responsibility of the parent/guardian and is always expected. We strongly recommend that minors (under 18) be accompanied by an adult. The park does not assume any responsibility or liability for unattended minors. Parents/guardians may be held legally liable for all acts of the children under their care.
Yes. All drones are prohibited at the Boardwalk and any unauthorized drone observed over the Boardwalk will be reported to local law enforcement, regardless of its point of origin or operation. Drones may pose a potential safety risk and may violate Federal Aviation Administration guidelines.
For safety reasons, cameras, phones and selfie sticks are not allowed on rides. Tripods are not allowed on the Boardwalk unless a permit is granted.
All professional photography or filming requires pre-approval, a certificate of insurance, and (in most cases) a location fee. To request permission, please visit this page for information and instructions.
You’ll find fascinating photographs from the Boardwalk’s colorful history displayed in our museum on the second floor of Neptune’s Kingdom and interpretive signs throughout the park.
Download a free walking tour and learn more on our history page.
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!
We’ll see you at the beach!