A summer road trip down California's Highway One cannot be complete without a visit to The Santa Cruz Boardwalk. It's the essential summer fair at the beach, filled with corn dogs, cotton candy, an old wooden roller coaster, outdoor movies and carnival games all with an oceanfront view.
If you're staying in town, the Santa Cruz trolley is only 25 cents and will bring you right into the middle of all the action. The main beach is where you will also find a series of volleyball courts, the old 'casino' (which is now a fun arcade), indoor mini-golf, laser tag and seafood restaurants along the wooden Fisherman's Wharf. Admission is free and rides range from $3-5 with an all-day wristband available for $29.95. We picked out a few rides that were a must-do...
The Skyglider is $3 for a one way ride and the best way to see the entire amusement park and beach simultaneously. Bring your camera to snap pictures of the bird's eye view. Your eyes will not know which way to look.
The Giant Dipper Rollercoaster ($5) is better than any other I have been on, simply because of all the dips (literally) built into this ride. Sure, the drops are higher on other coasters and they can go upside down, but The Giant Dipper is serious bang for your buck. Plus you get to go around twice. The wooden coaster has been around since 1924, has hosted over 50 million riders and has been featured in several movies. The Giant Dipper is also a National Historical Landmark.
You will get wet on Logger's Revenge ($5), but half the fun is the anticipation
If you've been dying to try something odd and deep-fried, here's your chance. The best part is that the heat from the frying means the oreo, twinkie or PB&J is warm and gooey on the inside. California is also so progressive - they do a mean vegetarian corn dog! Make sure to try the garlic fries and the churros. Any and probably every one of your favourite carnival foods will be at The Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
|Waiting in line for The Giant Dipper rollercoaster|
The old boardwalk feels like the heart and soul of this classic beach town. Friday nights means two free concerts on the beach at 6:30 and 8:30pm. A Polynesian circus runs twice daily Monday to Thursdays and on Sundays. If you happen to be visiting on a Wednesday, grab a beach blanket and watch a retro 80s movie under the stars. It's everything you want from a classic summer at the beach. For more information on visiting Santa Cruz, visit: www.santacruz.org
We're driving down Highway One. Read more from our trip to California here.