Take in gorgeous ocean views as you speed 55 mph (89 kph) up…then down…then up the Giant Dipper, a 90-year-old wooden roller coaster that is so treasured, it is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Or ride on a century-old, hand-carved carousel that is also a national landmark.
Founded in 1906, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk boasts more than 30 rides and roller coasters, as well as carnival and arcade games, laser tag, mini golf and a bowling alley.
Free entry; $32.95+ for unlimited rides or pay-as-you-go
11am-close (varies). All rides open daily June-Aug; on select days Sept-May
During the summer, you can rock out to free concerts on the beach on Fridays at 6:30pm and 8:30pm with artists like Eddie Money and Macy Gray; or lay back and enjoy a free movie under the stars on Wednesdays at 9pm. Be sure to bring a beach blanket or low-back chair for comfort.