Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk at night

Just the Facts

THE MAIN ATTRACTION

  • The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is the only major seaside amusement park remaining on the West Coast of the United States. It's also the oldest amusement park in California. The Boardwalk is located along a scenic mile-long public beach on Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. 

  • The Boardwalk features more than 40 rides and attractions;  26 midway games, 2 large video game arcades; an 18-hole indoor mini-golf course; a laser tag arena;  31 restaurant and food outlets; 8 beachwear, gift, and specialty shops; and a family bowling center.

  • Admission to the Boardwalk is free; individual ride tickets, all-day ride wristbands, group discounts, and season passes are available.

  • Rides are open every day from Memorial Day through Labor Day, plus weekends and holidays in fall and spring.  From April 1 – Memorial Day a limited number of rides open on weekdays.  Arcades and bowling are open daily, year-round.

  • Adjacent to the amusement park, the historic Cocoanut Grove houses meeting rooms, a ballroom, and the glass-domed Sun Room. The Cocoanut Grove is the site of company parties, meetings, and trade shows.

PARK HIGHLIGHTS

  • More than 60 million riders have experienced the thrills of the Giant Dipper since it opened in 1924. The classic wooden coaster is still considered one of the best in the world. The 1911 Looff Carousel is the park’s oldest ride and includes a rare working ring machine. Both the Looff Carousel and the Giant Dipper are National Historic Landmarks.

  • The Casino Arcade is the largest game arcade in Northern California with the latest video and redemption games plus a Classics Corner. Once an indoor swimming pool, now a two-story, 18-hole mini-golf course is the main attraction in Neptune's Kingdom.

ANNUAL EVENTS

  • The Boardwalk is one of Northern California's top entertainment venues, featuring the Free Friday Night Bands on the Beach concert series, Free Movies on the Beach, and many other special events.

  • Thousands come to “chow-der down” at the annual Clam Chowder Cook Off every February benefiting City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department.

  • Marching bands from schools throughout Northern California compete each October in the Santa Cruz Youth Band Review, marching from downtown Santa Cruz to the Boardwalk.

LOCATION

  • The Boardwalk is located on California’s central coast, 40 miles north of Monterey, 35 miles from San Jose, and 70 miles south of San Francisco.

OWNERSHIP

  • The Boardwalk, Cocoanut Grove, Carousel Beach Inn, Sea & Sand Inn, and Boardwalk Bowl are owned and operated by the Santa Cruz Seaside Company, a private corporation.  The Santa Cruz Seaside Company is also part owner/manager of the Chardonnay II charter sailing yacht, Subaru of Santa Cruz, and Toyota of Santa Cruz. In addition, the company manages a number of residential units in Santa Cruz County.

  • The Seaside Company’s chairman of the board is Charles Canfield.  Locally owned and operated, the Santa Cruz Seaside Company is a private business not affiliated with the City or County of Santa Cruz.

EMPLOYEES

  • The Santa Cruz Seaside Company and its concessionaires employ approximately 750 people in the fall and winter. When the Boardwalk is open daily during the summer, this number increases to over 1,600 to accommodate the additional visitors. Some 80% of the park’s summer employees are students. The Boardwalk also has an international work and travel program.

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS

  • The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has received many honors for its environmental standards. These include company-wide paper, cardboard, aluminum, and plastic recycling; public aluminum recycling containers on the Boardwalk; and a unique water saving/ reclamation system. The company has received a State Ecotourism Award, thirteen consecutive California Waste Reduction Awards (WRAP), and local and regional recycling awards. The Boardwalk is also recognized as a “Clean Ocean Business” and in 2008 was named a  “Bicycle- Friendly Business.”