Heading to San Francisco, I decided to break up the car ride from Santa Barbara with a stop at Santa Cruz’s infamous boardwalk. I initially planned to just walk around for 30 min and then continue to San Francisco. However when I got to Santa Cruz beach, I saw that I would need more time to fully enjoy the experience of the boardwalk. Here is how I recommend you spend a day at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk:
Yell on the Roller coaster
With so many rides to choose from at the Santa Cruz Beach Amusement park, get the wrist band and to take advantage of them all by getting unlimited rides all day long. I’m a huge chicken when it comes to roller coasters, so I opted out from riding the ones on site. But there are a variety of rides that can suit all ages and adrenaline seekers.
Santa Cruz has an amazing sandy beach that is great for lounging around and if you can handle the chilly water, go swimming. Even though I’m Canadian and use to the chilly Atlantic coast, I decided to keep my clothes on during the visit! Santa Cruz is also home to surfers who enjoy the rougher waters.
Indulge in Fried Food
I will eat just about anything that is deep-fried, so if you are like me than you will find some great food to indulge in. Deep fried artichokes – check! Deep fried Oreos – check! Deep fried strawberry cheesecake – check!
Snap Amazing Photos
Even if you are not into roller coasters, you still need to get on the Sky Rider. It gives you the most amazing views of the boardwalk and is perfect for getting pictures from a new angle. I actually think it’s a better deal than riding the ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier (in case you plan on visiting both sites!).
There are lots of opportunities to spend money on the boardwalk, but parking should not be one of them. You can find free street parking about 5-10 minute walk from the boardwalk so take advantage. Anyways, you will need the exercise to compensate for the fried food.