Travel Blog

Summer Guide to the Beach Boardwalk

Is there any purer expression of summer than a day at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk? For over 100 years, the seaside amusement park has thrilled all ages with its festive mix of sun, fun, and nostalgia. It’s just as enchanting today as the day it opened in 1907 and it continues to delight with new rides, treats, and events. Here’s a handy guide to all that’s happening this summer at the Boardwalk.

ENTERTAINMENT

Live Music on the Colonnade at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Enjoy free live music on Thursdays throughout the summer at the Beach Boardwalk’s Colonnade Stage; located beach-side of Neptune’s Kingdom. Rock out to Bay Area bands while you enjoy a variety of Boardwalk treats with the ocean as your backdrop. Colonnade Deck picnic table seating is very limited and first-come-first-served. There will be a dance area in front of the stage. Concerts are from 8:30pm – 10pm every Thursday from June 16 – August 11, 2022.

Free Movies on the Beach
What’s better than free summertime movies on the beach? From June 17 through August 12, each Friday night at 9:00pm, the Boardwalk screens popular classics on a giant screen set between the Monterey Bay and the twinkling lights of the Boardwalk. This year’s killer line-up includes The Lost Boys, Sing 2, The Sandlot, Iron Man, and more. Bring the family, your blanket, or a low-back chair, and smell the kettle corn, corn dogs, and saltwater taffy filling the air!

For the full Boardwalk Music and Movies lineup, plus other free music and movies around the county, check out our 2022 Free Summer Movies and Concerts blog.

WHAT’S NEW

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk opened a brand new shop on the Colonnade this season – The Walk! The store features original Boardwalk apparel designed by local artists. And just opened near the Logger’s Revenge is the Coca-Cola Refreshment Zone – a spot to grab a quick drink or a fresh salad or deli sandwich.

EATS AND DRINKS

Whether it’s frozen or fried, the Boardwalk delivers over-the-top treats. Don’t skip out on an opportunity for deep-fried PB&Js and rice crispy treats. And these aren’t the only fried eats to be tried – artichokes, Oreos, and Twinkies to name a few can also be found at the Boardwalk. Sweet tooth? No problem. This magical place offers an ice cream sandwich made with Santa Cruz’s favorite cookie – Pacific Cookie Company. Cruzin’ Crepes offers delicious made-to-order crepes filled with sweet or savory fillings and fresh-brewed, flavored teas. Looking to wash these treats down? Head over to the newly opened Coca-Cola Refreshment Zone to grab a one-of-a-kind beverage from Coca-Cola or enjoy a Boardwalk Dreamin’ IPA from local brewery, Humble Sea Brewing Co.

And no trip the the Boardwalk would be complete without a stop at Marini’s Candies! From classic Salt Water Taffy and candy apples to more adventurous finds like chocolate covered bacon, Marini’s has something for every sweet tooth!

RIDES

Although the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster and the Looff Carousel are still Boardwalk favorites, the spins and wave-shaped track of the 65’ Shockwave keeps its 24 riders thrilled every second, on individual motorcycle-style seats facing outward around a large disk. Enjoy a panoramic ocean view from high above the Boardwalk as you float around a watery track on Logger’s Revenge. And a pro-tip for a day at the Boardwalk: buy your wristbands in advance to save! Or better yet, snag an annual pass that pays for itself in just two visits! See more info on the Boardwalk tickets page.

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