Hotels near Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

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Hotels in Santa Cruz near Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Introduction

Stretching along the coast of Monterey Bay, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, California features a 24-acre amusement park, an indoor arcade, a conference center, and several snack booths. Founded in 1907, it’s California’s oldest surviving amusement park. Two of its rides, the Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster and the hand-carved Looff Carousel, are National Historic Landmarks. In addition to enjoying rides and games, you can spot otters, dolphins, and whales. The Boardwalk also offers a mini-golf course and a laser tag arena, plus summer entertainment and family activities. Admission to the park and public beach is free.

Hotels near Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

You’ll find a good selection of mid-range and budget hotels, motels, and inns near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Some are oceanfront properties with restaurants, while others are simple motels with beach-view rooms and outdoor pools. Most have a relaxed and family-friendly beach vibe. Romantic B&Bs and cozy inns also abound close to the beach and in downtown. The best times to visit for a hotel bargain are during the spring and fall when the area is less crowded and the weather is pleasant. The balmy Californian summer season invites large crowds of tourists, which pushes up hotel prices.

Where to stay near Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

The Santa Cruz Boardwalk neighborhood lies east of the Santa Cruz Wharf, less than a mile from downtown. Popular with families and students, it’s full of laid-back restaurants, bars, and fast food outlets. Downtown Santa Cruz is a friendly neighborhood combining the old Santa Cruz hippy culture with a vibrant arts scene, populated by coffee shops, music venues, and restaurants. It’s a family-friendly area with lots of street performances and markets. About 5 miles east of Santa Cruz is the European-style beach town Capitola. It has a beach resort vibe and features a lively esplanade lined with bars and boutiques.

Things to see near Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Head to the Santa Cruz Wharf, a bustling area next to the Boardwalk with dining, nightlife, gift shops, and a fish market, where you can also reserve a boat tour. It’s home to the Seymour Marine Discovery Center and the Sanctuary Exploration Center. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is a 15-minute walk away. Beach lovers can park their towels on the Boardwalk’s Main Beach or head to Natural Bridges State Beach, a day-use beach with a famous natural bridge, tidepools, and freshwater wetlands. It’s 3.5 miles from the Boardwalk. In the center of downtown, Pacific Avenue offers plenty of shopping.

How to get to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is easy to reach from central areas of Santa Cruz, as well as from other parts of the county. Drivers can take Highway 17 or scenic Highway 1 to Santa Cruz and follow the signs to the Boardwalk. There are 2 parking lots adjacent to the park, and off-site parking with free Boardwalk shuttle service is available during the summer. The Santa Cruz Trolley also runs between downtown and the Wharf/Boardwalk during the summer season. An extensive bus network operates throughout the city and its suburbs. The San Jose International Airport is 33 miles away.