Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park sign. Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash

 

The city of Santa Cruz is recognized for its gorgeous location and rich history, and as soon as nicer weather hits, the Santa Cruz Wharf and Cowell Beach start to see visitors. One of the most popular things to do in the city is visit the amusement park down by the water.


This year, the Giant Dipper, a Santa Cruz landmark, celebrates its one hundredth anniversary, which means special events and discounted tickets. There's also a fireworks show on May 18th. For those who may not live in the area—or for those who have never been!—this is our guide to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park.

About The Park

First opened in 1907, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park is the oldest amusement park in the entire state. For…

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Silhouettes of people walking along Santa Cruz beach during sunset. Photo by Chris Leipelt on Unsplash

You’ve heard the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” For Santa Cruz residents, however, the rain might just be getting to be a bit too much. Despite the weather recently, it’s always a great idea to get out and explore what the city has to offer.


This month, there are a multitude of outdoor—and indoor, for those really rainy days!—events being hosted in the downtown area, for a range of different interests. From cycling through the city to story time for kids, there’s so much happening this April in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Earth Day

April 22nd is officially Earth Day, an event that seeks to generate awareness regarding climate change, sustainability, energy, and more, usually culminating in an hour-long blackout. As this falls on a…

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Exterior of the Landmark's Del Mar Theater and marquee in Santa Cruz, CA

Located at 1124 Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz, Landmark’s Del Mar Theatre offers a historic movie-going experience. Its marquee, instantly-recognizable, lights up with both local films and international blockbusters, making it a diverse experience tailored to both casual movie watchers and die-hard cinephiles. Or, Die Hard cinephiles.

Landmark’s Del Mar Theatre: A History

Landmark’s Del Mar Theatre resides in a beautiful Art Deco style building, which was first constructed in 1936, and has been a, well, landmark of the Santa Cruz downtown for just as long. Though the building has changed and gone through maintenance and renovations, it has retained many of its original features. Its last major renovation was completed in 2002. 


The theater…

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Teddy bear and presents underneath a Christmas tree with fairy lights

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays. Don’t worry though—for all those last-minute gift buyers, there is still time to check everyone off your list. As we move into the holiday season and the end of the year, there are numerous ways to get out and celebrate in Santa Cruz


From photos with Santa and the Grinch, to holiday performances at the theater, we’ve curated a list of just some of the family-friendly events taking place throughout the month of December!

Winter Wonderland At The Boardwalk

No surprise—there’s always something happening down at the Boardwalk. Winter Wonderland returns for another year, with select dates starting from the end of November and running all throughout December.


Decorated in holiday lights and…

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Night time at the Santa Cruz Town Clock

As November kicks off and we move into the holiday season, there are an abundance of events popping up across the county—although Santa Cruz is always the center of all the activity. Whether its the holiday spirit or simply everyone looking forward to the end of the year—finally!—there’s something going on almost every day of the week. 


From dances to wine tasting, here are just a few of the exciting events happening this weekend in Santa Cruz November 10th, 11th, and 12th, 2023.

Downtown Santa Cruz Fall Wine Walk

121 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz


For wine enthusiasts (age 21 and over, of course), Santa Cruz is hosting a wine tasting event on November 12 in the downtown area. With over 10 featured wineries, participants are invited to…

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Pink flamingo plushies hanging from game booth at Santa Cruz County Fair

 

A staple of the Watsonville area since the 1940s, the Santa Cruz County Fair has gone through several changes and improvements over its long history. In fact, the fair itself was first established around 1885. Events were added, switched around, and removed, and something more closely resembling the fair we know today first officially opened in Scotts Valley in 1918. 


The Santa Cruz County Fair draws large crowds annually, composed of people from all across the area. Typically, the fair is hosted in the second week of September. This year, 2023, the fair is running from September 13th to 17th.  

Things To Do At The Fair

With the motto, “Home Grown and Locally Shown", the Santa Cruz County Fair features exciting events, programs, shows,…

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Defocused musical artist on stage at small live music venue

Some might say that there’s nothing comparable to hearing your favorite songs live. The contagious energy, the roar of the crowd—there’s definitely something special about live music. Santa Cruz has a number of bars, clubs, and assorted live music venues for residents and visitors to experience. And while none may have the capacity of the SoFi Stadium, this city is still a great place to find both local and international artists. 


Whether you’re down to just see whoever is playing at the bar tonight, or if you’re planning to get tickets for something special, here are some of the venues you can find around the city—and some of the upcoming events and festivals, too!

Downtown Venues

The Catalyst Club, colloquially known as simply “The…

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Summertime at Natural Bridges State Park. Rebekah Che on Unsplash

From the Wharf to Wharf Race to live music, Baroque fairs to author events, there’s always something happening in Santa Cruz during the month of July—and for all ages, too!


As we move into the middle of summer, with its endless sunshine, take advantage of the beautiful days and moderate temperatures by getting out and about in Santa Cruz. Here are just some of the exciting events taking place this month!

 

Shakespeare In The Park

Performed by Santa Cruz Shakespeare, a local theater group formed almost a decade ago, Shakespeare In The Park runs from the beginning of July to the end of August. The troupe hosts their event in Audrey Stanley Grove at DeLaveaga Park—a gorgeous outdoor venue surrounded by large trees.


This year, Santa…

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Shelf of used books for sale at Bookshop Santa Cruz

Located in the heart of the city’s downtown is Bookshop Santa Cruz—a 20,000 square foot independent bookstore owned and operated by the Coonerty family, under the direction of Casey Coonerty Protti. It is a favorite of students, tourists, and Santa Cruz residents for its numerous events, great location, and, of course, excellent selection of books.

 

Bookshop Santa Cruz is one of two bookstores remaining in the city. They host a Short Story Contest once per year, as well as run a Consignment Program to support local writers. 

Bookshop Santa Cruz, A History

The store itself first opened in 1966 and, over the years, has become a significant cultural landmark for the city, especially after they officially partnered with The Humanities…

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Little brown rabbit with basket of eggs

From Easter egg hunts to exciting, local markets, there’s so much fun and excitement happening this April in Santa Cruz County! Consider getting out and exploring what this gorgeous area has to offer with the numerous events this month. These events can be enjoyed by those of all ages, at price points that range from free and up.

 

If you're searching for something to do either during the week or on the weekend this April, then we have you covered. Here are some of the events that we're most excited for.

Easter Egg Hunts & Events

Hop to it! In a category all by themselves are the Easter egg hunts around Santa Cruz County. While there are several local Easter events that the little ones will love, one of the largest and most popular is…

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