I can't think of any other place I would rather be than at the Boardwalk when I am in Santa Cruz. You have the atmosphere of an old-time fair with rides, games and food; the sunny beach; seafood restaurants; hotels with views of the ocean; and the wharf with shops, restaurants, and Gelatto ice cream. I wish I was there right now! If you like to skate, rent some skates and skate down the sidewalk that runs the whole length of Santa Cruz's ocean front. Get a view of the boats, lighthouse, sea otters, and surfers along the way. In view at all times, from all of these spots, is the rides on the Boardwalk. Very pretty at night when they light up everything. Be sure to see it from the near-by Wharf at night. The Boardwalk has an old fashioned wooden roller coaster (quite safe), a whole building with bumper cars, and an old fashioned merry-go-round, where you can practice throwing the gold ring into the clown's face. All of these rides sit on a boardwalk right on the beach. A few steps down the stairs and there you are in the sand making a sand castle. Be sure to venture down to the Boardwalk when they have their Clam Chowder Festival, or one of their 50's band concerts.They have a stage in the sand. I use to live in the Santa Cruz mountains and went to the Boardwalk many times over the years and always had fun.