Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk trip

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 3:55 PM

Im planning a trip out to San Francisco in a couple weeks and we decided to go to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Has anyone been there? If so are there any rides and places to eat you recommend?

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012 4:21 PM

You'll love the place. Rides not to be missed include the Wipout (Breakdance), Fireball (Afterburner), Space Race (like Luigi's Tires - a dry-land bumper boat), Rock-O-Plane, The Wisdom Tornado if you can handle those, Cave Train, and the refurbished Haunted Castle. Note the two "cave dwellers" riding the ski-lift style sky ride. Also, the kiddie coaster is in a beautifully-landscaped area...

As far as food, anything Asian or seafood is typically going to be good.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012 5:01 PM

Been there a couple of times. Is the brass ring carousel still working? If so, it's a beaut. Also, of course, the Giant Dipper is a real gem. It won't blow your socks off, but I had quite a few laugh out loud rides on it.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012 6:58 PM

Yes, the ring dispenser is still working on the carousel.

As for food, I particularly liked the chicken and rice bowls that were either next to or part of the "Boardwok" stand. I'd recommend the taffy at Marini's too.

On the drive down to the park, the Santa Cruz Diner is uber popular. Although I was slightly underwhelmed with the place myself.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012 11:28 PM

At the Casino Arcade they have a beautifully restored (yet still kinda creepy...) Laffing Sal who originally operated at Playland at the Beach in San Francisco. Worth a look.

The drive from San Francisco to Santa Cruz is spectacular. I bet you pull the car over more than once on the way down.

The Giant Dipper is an ok ride, certainly historical if nothing else. Some of it's better features include an unusual station and one of the best runs to the lift you can find.

Have fun, I'm jealous.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012 8:07 AM

I just visited San Fran a couple of weeks ago. We didn't have time to hit Santa Cruz but I highly recommend a trip a little further down the coast to Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Are you planning on visiting anything on the north side of the bay from San Francisco, like Point Reyes or Muir Woods?

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Thursday, July 19, 2012 10:34 AM

I second the Monterey Bay Aquarium suggestion.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012 11:59 AM

We're going to be visiting the Monterrey Bay Aquarium on Tues. (from TX) :D

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Thursday, July 19, 2012 12:35 PM

D'Oh! The carousel. It is beautiful, and impeccably maintained, and all that.

That being said, we got stuck on the lift....er, wait, no....we failed to get a working-ring-machine ride. Yeah, that's it. Fun, but not really "the full effect."

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012 1:20 AM

And if anyone is visiting this week:

Giant Dipper Roller Coaster Thrills 60 Million Riders

In celebration of the giant milestone, the Boardwalk is giving away trivia “coaster coasters” (drink coasters) featuring facts about the ride. A different coaster will be given to the first 5,000 riders each day from July 24 through July 27. In addition, on July 27, twenty-four Giant Dipper riders (one full train) will be recognized as the “60 millionth riders” and receive prizes. 

http://news.beachboardwalk.com/releases/giant-dipper-60million

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012 2:27 AM

Also, the Boardwalk's Hurricane (SDC) roller coaster will be taken out by the end of the year, so make sure to get a ride on that.

If you are coming right from San Francisco, take Highway 1 down to Santa Cruz for a nice scenic route along the ocean, which really doesn't take much more time than the inland route (I-280 --> CA-85 --> CA-17).

We also have a new KMG X-Factory, which has tilt and water features.

If you like scares, check out the walk-through Fright Walk, designed in-house.

Food: If you are looking for a fresh corn dog, make sure to get it from either Surf City Grill or Hot Dog on a Stick (independent). Any other location is factory-made. Best overall fast food and deep fried food is Surf City Grill. They also have some great sandwiches. Check out World Grill for excellent Philly cheese steaks, paninis, and gyros.

There is a Dole Whip stand located across from Fireball. Better than ice cream, IMO.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012 9:50 AM

Thanks for all the tips! I think we're going on Thurs, the 26th so it looks like the Giant Dipper should be fun. I'm not sure if we'll go swimming because it's going to be pretty cool but is the beach itself nice?

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012 10:17 AM

Beach is VERY nice (and a long walk to the ocean). The water is extremely cold for an East-coaster.

...and I realized no one (myself included) mentioned the Rock-O-Plane...def. ride that!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012 4:32 PM

^^ On Thursdays, an unlimited rides pass is $10.95 after 5:00 P.M. with an empty Pepsi can.

The beach is nice (although I don't know exactly what your definition of a nice beach is), and best of all, offers a great view of the Boardwalk!

Also, I don't think it's been mentioned, but Doubleshot is a great ride and offers an excellent view of the Boardwalk area.

edit: If you decide to get an unlimited rides wristband and spend all day at the Boardwalk, Costco has a good deal on a 2-pack (you'll save a few dollars and get an attractions pass good for mini-golf, laser tag, laser maze, fright walk, or some tokens).

Last edited by Scottt, Tuesday, July 24, 2012 4:36 PM
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Thursday, July 26, 2012 12:37 PM

There's a good mexican place across the street from the Giant Dipper and a decent cafe next to the bowling alley if you want to get away from park fare.

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Friday, July 27, 2012 10:01 AM

rollergator said:

D'Oh! The carousel. It is beautiful, and impeccably maintained, and all that.

That being said, we got stuck on the lift....er, wait, no....we failed to get a working-ring-machine ride. Yeah, that's it. Fun, but not really "the full effect."

Not to mention three, (count them) three band organs! A Wurlitzer 146, the Wurlitzer 165 from Playland at the Beach in San Francisco and the original A. Ruth und Sohne organ.

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Friday, July 27, 2012 6:20 PM

Just be careful and watch out for vampires.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012 12:20 AM

Scottt said:

^^ On Thursdays, an unlimited rides pass is $10.95 after 5:00 P.M. with an empty Pepsi can.

Works with a full Pepsi can too. ;) (I don't drink caffeine.)

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