Boardwalk Blog - Stories
Occasionally on the blog we post employee profiles illuminating an individual’s role within the Santa Cruz Seaside Company and the contributions they make. Today we turn that focus to select group of prevalent characters from the past 107 years: the seven presidents of the Santa Cruz Seaside Company. Join me as a we take a quick stroll through the history of Boardwalk leadership and see how their influence shaped the park we know today.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and there are few places more special to celebrate the holidays than the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The magic of the season paired with clear views of a sparkling Pacific Ocean, plus colorful holiday lights and decor (like a 3-story Christmas tree!) is enough to make you wish the holidays lasted all year long. With so much to do at the ‘Walk this winter, I’ve rounded up my list of must-dos for the season.
The midget motorboats have been gone since 1953. I have a very vague, 5-year-old’s memory of attempting to steer one of those self-powered wooden wonders with my dad at my side. The attraction existed at the far end of the Boardwalk near the San Lorenzo River. The boats were the real thing – plywood crafts, powered by gasoline engines that could be steered in a circular tank, wide enough for three to travel side-by-side. I’m not talking about the kiddie Speed Boats we still have today. (I rode those, too, as a young child.)
Every year families travel from near and far to create picturesque memories at the historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Return visitors typically have a handful of favorite rides and snacks they simply can’t miss—like the Giant Dipper or our famous funnel cake —while first-timers are eager to explore anything and
As California’s oldest surviving amusement park, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has been a part of the West Coast’s culture and history since 1907. While many other major seaside parks along the Pacific Coast have disappeared over the last century, the Boardwalk has persevered—celebrating over 115 years of laughter and memories. Today, the Boardwalk is home to more than 40 rides and attractions, 26 midway games, 31 food outlets, 2 arcades, a mini-golf course, a laser tag arena, and a bowling center.
Remember Skee Roll? Many Boardwalk guests do! It’s sometimes called Skee Ball, but either name describes the same game. Hi-tech versions still reside at the Boardwalk. But for this blog, I’m recalling the bank of Skee Roll alleys that filled a concession 40-plus years ago near where our Pirate Ship ride sits today.
We received more comments about our iconic Wild Mouse coaster than any other subject I’ve covered so far. So I feel obliged to write a postscript to Wild Times Building the Wild Mouse and The Legacy of the Wild Mouse Lives On!
From its earliest years, the Boardwalk has been a mecca for youth. A 1914 photo from our local Museum of Art & History shows a cluster of activities on the beach for youngsters – several swing sets, two tall slides, a teeter-totter, balance beam, and several contraptions I don’t quite know how to describe. Another Boardwalk archive photo from around that same time reveals a long line of finely dressed youngsters on the sand waiting their turn on a distant slide.
I previously recalled our Wild Mouse and the unforgettable experience it gave those of us who rode it. Its compact size understated its intense thrill value. It’s deceptive two-passenger car design, unbanked 90-degree turns, and negative G-force “bunny hop” hills concocted a uniquely “wild” ride. If you ever rode it, you can’t forget the experience even to this day.