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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

One of our favorite towns is Santa Cruz, and one of our favorite places is the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. If you look from one side of the wharf, you will see Steamer Lane and the Santa Cruz Surfer Museum and lighthouse, about which I wrote earlier. If you look from the other side, you will see the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is an amusement park on the beach in Santa Cruz. The park was founded in 1907 and is operated by the family-owned Santa Cruz Seaside Company. The park is California’s oldest amusement park and one of only two ocean-front amusement parks on the West Coast (the other is the Santa Monica Pier). At the western end of the park is a building known as the Casino (there is no gambling offered), which contains an indoor miniature golf course, a video arcade, a laser tag arena, and the Cocoanut Grove banquet room and conference center. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Cocoanut Grove hosted big band acts such as Benny GoodmanArtie Shaw, and Lawrence Welk. The eastern end of  the Boardwalk is dominated by the Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster, the 6th oldest roller coaster in the United States, which was opened in 1924. The Giant Dipper is part of a National Historic Landmark that also includes the nearby Looff Carousel, which Wikipedia states was built in 1911 and which contains a 342-pipe Adolf Ruth and Sohn organ built in 1894. In 2007, the organ was augmented with a Wurlitzer band organ purchased for $250,000 and restored by the Boardwalk.

The Giant Dipper was featured in the introduction to the movie, The Naked Gun. The Boardwalk was featured prominently in the film The Lost Boys and in the very dark (to me) Dirty Harry film, Sudden Impact, as the location of the park in the fictional town of San Paulo. Sudden Impact is the movie that introduced the famous line, “Go ahead, make my day,” and in which Harry adds a .44 Automag to his usual Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum armament.

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a lot of fun, as is the town of Santa Cruz, itself. If you happen to be anywhere nearby in California, visit the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk as a refreshing getaway!

(Higher resolution photos can be seen in the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, in the California Coast album.)

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®.

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