The famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with the friendly amusement park and roller-coasters,
the long Wharf getting into the bay and the large sandy beach in the protected
bay make the visit here as a must visit.
Year round, the amusement park is open during summer days.
note 1: It is crowded here during summer weekend, challenging to find parking
note 2: I highly recommend coming with bike, you can cover and visit a lot more places
and you can park your car in less crowded place.
thoughts: Although Santa Cruz at summer weekend is very crowded city and some places
may be consider as “tourist attraction” it kept the unique surfing town charm.
like to come with bike and cover a lot of places in one visit.
not recommend this for beach activity, there are so many nearby other places that
are much less crowded.
a big parking lot in front of the main boardwalk building or at the south side
of the road, just before the bridge.
long wharf all the way to it end, enjoy the beach view from the ocean side, there
are few restaurants and at the end you can look from above the colony of sea
lions warming up and the mid-section below.
is active it is nice to spend some time with the kids at the “old school” beachfrontamusement park that offers a variety of games & some nice rides.
On the right
side of the bay there is a good place to learn how to surf.
walk on the top of the cliff for 1 mile all the way to the Lighthouse and the small
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum at the end of the bay, more expert surfers are
catching the larger ocean wave over here.
lighthouse you can keep walking north additional 2 miles up to Natural Bridges
State Beach (see this blog). This easy hike will take you above the ocean
cliff, you will bird below and wave crashing onto the cliffs. This ocean cliff
walk provides excellent view of the sunset in the west.
front is cutoff at its south side by the San Lorenzo River, you can cross it by walking/biking
the bridge at the old railroad bridge. Once crossing the bridge go all the way
to the end of E. Cliff Dr. and turn right to the Cliff Drive Vista Point. From here
you have nice view of the beach below.
feet to the south and you will find the beach access. This beach section and it
is less crowded from the main beach. If you will go all the way to the south,
you will reach the beautiful, tall, white Walton Lighthouse at the end of the
harbor jetty. This lighthouse is new one from 2002
in order to go south you need to go half a mile all the way to the car bridge,
here you can cross the marina harbor to the south side. You can also hike/bike
al the way to the far and of the marina and go from the other side.
on the south side of the marina all the way to the beach at 5th Ave
road. Here you have few restaurants, beach access and a nice sunset view with
the lighthouse on the other side of the waterway.