America's Best Beach Boardwalks
Courtesy of Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, CA
Designed in 1907 to be the “Coney Island of the West,” Santa Cruz’s boardwalk, on Main Beach, is the last remaining major family-oriented carnival-style park on the West Coast. It plays host to the 1924 wooden Giant Dipper roller coaster and the 1911 Looff Carousel, both National Historic Monuments. The carousel is one of few left where riders on outside horses can grab a dangling ring, toss it into the mouth of a clown head painted on the wall, and be rewarded with bells, lights, and cheers.
Don’t Miss: At Marini’s Candies, watch chocolate dippers make nut clusters, English toffee, and even chocolate-covered bacon.