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Travel BLOG
May 06, 2015

Santa Cruz - Center of Attraction

Santa Cruz is a haven for all sorts of travelers. Nature enthusiasts? Check. Have you seen the endless beaches and redwood forests? Resort resters? Check. Just look at these peaceful slices of Santa Cruz heaven. Dog lovers? Check. No need to leave your pet behind. But arguably Santa Cruz is most widely known for its knack for entertaining the fam on those family-friendly vacations. Take a look at these top attractions and how they're the perfect mix of fun and nostalgia for the young and young at heart. SANTA CRUZ BEACH BOARDWALK Photo by @scottbell99 Photo by @scottbell99 Kid or not, the Boardwalk is at the top of just about everyone’s Santa Cruz vacation itinerary. Beachfront Rides, tasty treats, and endless summer vibes make the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk a clear winner in the family-fun department. Here are some of the best Boardwalk highlights to make your family vacay even more fun. Kid Faves Everything. Every. Thing. Whether they finally muster up the courage (or inches) to ride the Giant Dipper for the first time or ride the Logger’s Revenge for the 100th time, chances are a day at the Boardwalk is going to get the kid stamp of approval. So of course, the rides are key (those wristbands come in pretty handy), but a kid’s gotta eat too right? Well the Boardwalk menu is every kid’s dream with dipped cones, corn dogs, deep-fried oreos, cotton candy, Tater Twists, and Dippin’ Dots to name a few. And if rides and seaside treats weren’t enough, there’s the Casino Arcade, Neptune’s Kingdom, mini golf, laser tag, rock climbing wall and more. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for this summer’s free entertainment. Photo by Garrick Ramirez Photo by Garrick Ramirez Adult Faves There's no shame if every single kid favorite is also an adult favorite, but there are a few especially parent/adult geared highlights that just might further brighten your Boardwalk experience. First, don't miss the summer concert series. Sure the kids will probably enjoy jamming out to Eddie Money or Everclear, but you might actually know who they are and maybe even blasted them in your car way back in the 80s & 90s. Second, you’ll definitely want to grab a brew as you stroll the Boardwalk. Try the “Giant Dipa,” a double IPA crafted by Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing in celebration of the Giant Dipper's 90th b-day in 2014. Lastly, hit up Marini's (oh, and wish them a happy 100th) and go classic with some salt water taffy and a caramel apple, or be adventurous with a few "slices" of chocolate dipped bacon. Photo by Garrick Ramirez Photo by Garrick Ramirez ROARING CAMP RAILROADS Photo by Rachel Endsley Photo by Rachel Endsley Where attraction meets history, Roaring Camp’s century-old steam locomotives take passengers through 150 acres of virgin redwood forest, offering up close views of the towering giants and big mountain top vistas of the beautiful valley. Tiny tikes to great grandparents enjoy the relaxing open-air ride through the redwoods, but check out these special highlights the family won’t want to miss. Kid Favorites We’ll go ahead and just start by saying the train ride, the whistle blowing, the steam puffing, the conductor entertaining, those are the main attraction, but there’s even more. The minute you step on the Roaring Camp's grounds you’re greeted with century old charm as you walk the covered bridge. Look right to the pond and count how many turtles and ducks you can spot. The fun continues on the grounds with a little barn playhouse, a wagon perfect for photo ops, and even an opportunity to pan for gold. The kids will also love the general store where you can pick up a memento from their special day. A wooden train whistle and conductor hat are the perfect prizes to take home and continue the memories of Roaring Camp. Photo by Rachel Endsley Photo by Rachel Endsley Adult Favorites No doubt the train ride and history being shared and preserved at Roaring Camp will entertain the older crowd just as much as the kiddos, but there are a few things parents will especially enjoy/appreciate about the Roaring Camp experience. First, you'll love the wide open spaces where your kids can stretch their legs and play. After the train ride, keep marveling at the redwoods by taking a hike at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park which is literally steps away. Another bonus is there’s a spot to get some burgers, fries, ice cream, etc,  if the troops get hungry. And equally important, you can also bring your own food for a picnic if you'd rather pack your snacks. Roaring Camp also has fantastic year round events great for the whole family. History buffs will appreciate the Civil War Battles & Encampment, while music lovers & art/craft aficionados will enjoy the annual Redwood Mountain Faire (local microbrews and wines available). They really know how to entertain the whole family, so check their site for upcoming events. Photo by Rachel Endsley Photo by Rachel Endsley STAY AT THE COMFORT INN - SANTA CRUZ Photos courtesy Comfort Inn Photos courtesy Comfort Inn Now that you've got the details on two of the best family attractions, it’s time to plan your stay. The conveniently located, Comfort Inn Santa Cruz, is the perfect spot to start your vacation. At the crossroads of Highway 1 and Highway 17, you really can’t beat the ease of getting around and exploring Santa Cruz County. The budget-friendly hotel’s beach-inspired decor will remind you that you are just minutes from the sand. Their continental breakfast will get the family fueled and ready for the day's adventures. CC Comfort Inn Pool Comfort Inn - Santa Cruz lives up to its name with comfy accommodations that you will gladly come "home" to. Let the kids play at the onsite heated pool while you relax in the jacuzzi - there's even a suite option for an in-room whirlpool tub. Now that's comfort. Hot Tub in Room Pic


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  • argent rapide 3 years 136 days ago
    Thank you for this very interesting article, it put my mind clear !