Santa Cruz is a great place to spend a weekend. San Jose is only 30 miles from Santa Cruz and it would be a welcome change to spend a weekend on or near the water. Santa Cruz has many great attractions for the visitor.
When you visit Santa Cruz you must spend some time at the Boardwalk. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a family operated attraction. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is one of the last amusement parks that are located on the ocean.
The Boardwalk started in 1865 when John Leitbrandt decided to build a bathhouse near the mouth of the San Lorenzo River that was open to the public. Tourists started coming to Santa Cruz so they could bathe in the salt water because they thought it was healthy for them. They started building restaurants, curio shops and much more. The Boardwalk became the Coney Island of the West.
The Boardwalk in Santa Cruz has entertained people of all ages for over 100 years. At the Boardwalk you can enjoy a ride on the wooden roller coasters. You can enjoy theme park games and the great 1911 Looff Carousel. There is no charge to enter the Boardwalk. There is live music, and great things to eat.
You can go for a ride on the Rolling Camp Railroad. You can take a ride on a narrow gage steam engine. The steam engines go back to the 1800’s. Your tour will take you through huge redwoods. You will go over old trestles. The trains were originally used to move logs over 100 years ago. You can take a trip on the Redwoods Forest Steam Train or the Santa Cruz Beach Train. They go to different areas and are both great experiences.
Another popular tourist attraction is the Mystery Spot which is located in the middle of the redwoods. You can take a 45 minute tour of the Mystery Spot. You will be fascinated at what you see. There are things that go on here that cannot be explained.
You can also check out the old lighthouse where the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is located. You will see surfboards made out of redwood planks. You will also be able to watch videos on early surfing in California. They also see pictures of Santa Cruz surfers who were part of the early California surfing.
Santa Cruz has much more to offer its visitors. There is something for everyone both young and old.