Santa Cruz303 Water Street, Santa Cruz
At its heart, Santa Cruz is a surf town. The sport was originally introduced to California here, and surfers know Steamer Lane is the place to be. Around town, one can still feel the influence of late resident Jack O’Neill, the legendary surfer and wetsuit pioneer. Shop at any of the three O’Neill Surf Shops in the area—one is just steps from Cowell Beach.
At the colorful Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, located beachside, rides, games, and music delight visitors. This popular destination is a summertime ritual for countless families, a wonderful way to relax and play just like the smiling locals. While there are many attractions at the boardwalk, the Giant Dipper stands out. The wooden coaster opened in 1924 and has been generating screams and squeals for decades. The boardwalk also features the 125-foot-high Double Shot tower for adrenaline lovers, and little ones will love the painstakingly restored 1911 Looff carousel.