Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Under the boardwalk out of the sun, under the boardwalk we’ll be havin’ some fun

The Drifters’ song Under the Boardwalk captures the easy, fun-filled times that the 100-year-old Boardwalk offers to its visitors.Located on the coast of the Pacific ocean, the Boardwalk is a family amusement park. The beach is lovely and a walk on the sands with the seagulls flying overhead is truly romantic. But don’t think about jumping in the water at this time of year (February), as the water is cold as ice.

The Boardwalk also offers you a wonderful array of food stalls (including beer) which help keep the people there. We tasted the garlic fries which was a pleasant surprise. Garlic fries are like your regular fries, but they also have garlic slices stuck to the outside of the French fries.

The rides on offer are wonderful, though not cutting edge. But that doesn’t take away the fun the place has to offer. It is a wonderful place to visit with the family.

The 95-year-old Looff Carousel is a must for both the young and the old. It brings back memories of a time less hi-tech, but one where the simpler things in life could give you a lot of pleasure. The music, the wavy motion of the carousel, the children laughing, all go in to making it something more than just a ride.

Then there is the Giant Dipper. The 6th oldest roller coaster in America, it is a must-ride for anybody who loves being on one. I can now tell you that if you haven’t ridden a wooden roller coaster, you haven’t ridden a roller coaster. The ride starts with a mad rush through a pitch dark tunnel and then breaks out into the bright California sunshine. From there on the ride is simply awesome. At the end of the ride you can also get a picture of you on the ride. They have a camera along the way which keeps taking pictures, and you can buy one at the end of the ride. Fortunately they caught me at a point when I wasn’t scared shitless, so I looked quite cool and composed.

There are tones of more rides, unfortunately I didn’t get to check out all of them. A few I did though. For the horror freaks there is the Haunted Castle. Its not all that spooky so its kind of fun. It made it more fun for me since I had my 5-year-old nephew with me and he was positively scared. But at five he has such a fertile imagination that it doesn’t take much to scare him.

Then there was the Skydiver, where I got to be Superman. The ride needs you to lie on your stomach on a harness and then you are taken round and round. A must according to me.

When you throw in the ride on the Highway 1 to get to the Boardwalk, you get a truly wonderful experience which should not be missed. Here in the US when I tell people I went to the Boardwalk they look at me with a far-off glazed look in their eyes which reflects clearly the wonderful memories they hold of the place. I too carry back a wonderful set of memories from the Boardwalk.


Under the boardwalk out of the sun, under the boardwalk we’ll be havin’ some fun

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