Where? : The one mile long beach of Santa Cruz is located right in front of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and to the south.
What? : 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.
When? : Year round, the amusement park is open during summer days.
Due note 1: It is crowded here during summer weekend, challenging to find parking spot.
Due 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.
My 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.
I really like to come with bike and cover a lot of places in one visit.
I will not recommend this for beach activity, there are so many nearby other places that are much less crowded.
Additional blogs on nearby locations: