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Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
Yes
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Since 1907, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has attracted tourists from around the globe with a classic blend of California beach culture and an iconic amusement park. Rides such as the historic Giant Dipper will get your adrenaline pumping, and the casino, arcade, and beach volleyball courts are also popular activities along the Boardwalk. Stop by on a Friday night in the summer to catch the free concerts on the beach.

Of course, this isn't the best choice for solitude. While you might find your own space on the Main Beach, crowds are the norm on the boardwalk, and parking can be challenging and expensive. The Santa Cruz Pier is located on the Main Beach, and it offers great opportunities to spot migrating grey whales. Fine dining and gift shops are all available on the pier, and a few motels and restaurants are also close by. Finally, though it may appear otherwise in films and television, the Boardwalk is a safe place to visit, and security is well under control. It's a great place to visit solo or enjoy with the whole family.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Parking

Pros

Amusment park. Volleyball nets. Nearby lodging and dining.

Cons

Highly congested. Crowded parking. Expensive.

Address

Beach St
601-605
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
United States

Features

ADA accessible
Historically significant
Picnic tables
Lodging
Surfing
Whale watching
Wildlife
Wildlife
Bird watching

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

Comments

02/10/2015
Visiting Santa Cruz really is an all year event. During the winter, you are almost guaranteed a beautiful sunset. Here are a few photos from the other night!
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