360° VR Panoramas of Santa Cruz, Monterey, Big Sur and the Central Coast
The Santa Cruz Boardwalk
Santa Cruz, California

The amusement park on Santa Cruz Beach dates back to 1907 and is one of only a few on the west coast. It consists of a group of buildings known as the Casino on the northwest end, and a long promenade, the boardwalk proper, continuing southeast to the San Lorenzo River.

The Cocoanut Grove, part of the Casino, was a notable musical venue in the big band era. For many years the Miss California beauty pageant was held here. Today the boardwalk is known for its rides, especially The Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster built in 1924.

The sandy beach is popular also, with plenty of room for sunbathing, beach volleyball courts, and sheltered waters for swimming.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Wikipedia: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

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Santa Cruz Beach from the Casablanca Hotel

Santa Cruz Beach from the Casablanca Hotel

A row of modest hotels and motels (and one semi-highrise) line the beach at Santa Cruz. Compare this laid-back atmosphere to the condo towers and hotels of just about all the beaches in Florida.

Santa Cruz, California

Date photographed: September 14, 2013
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Beach volleyball on Santa Cruz Beach

Beach volleyball on Santa Cruz Beach

Beach volleyball, an Olympic event since 1996, is taken seriously in Santa Cruz. Fifteen permanent volleyball courts are laid out in the sand north of the Boardwalk.

Santa Cruz, California

Date photographed: September 14, 2013
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Cocoanut Grove at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Cocoanut Grove at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk

The northern end of the Boardwalk is the Cocoanut Grove banquet hall and conference center, and a video arcade.

Santa Cruz, California

Date photographed: September 14, 2013
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Santa Cruz Boardwalk Arcade

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Arcade

A long line of traditional boardwalk amusements and food venues are found in the arcade section of the Boardwalk.

Santa Cruz, California

Date photographed: September 14, 2013
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Bandstand on Santa Cruz Beach

Bandstand on Santa Cruz Beach

Musical events are held at this bandstand facing the Boardwalk on Santa Cruz Beach. The Miss California beauty pageant was also held here from its inception in 1924 until 1985 when feminist protests caused it to move to Fresno.

Santa Cruz, California

Date photographed: September 14, 2013
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Beach Street behind the Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Beach Street behind the Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Most people enter the Boardwalk from the parking lot across Beach Street. The Santa Cruz Big Trees & Pacific Railway now offers summer and weekend excursion runs to the Boardwalk from Felton in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Santa Cruz, California

Date photographed: September 14, 2013
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Rides on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Rides on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Rides from mild (the vintage carousel) to wild (the Giant Dipper roller coaster) are found on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Santa Cruz, California

Date photographed: September 14, 2013
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