One of the most popular and recognizable attractions in Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk offers a full day of fun activities for just a little cash. can get their fill of people watching, carnival style food and fun rides for all.
For a day of totally free fun in Santa Cruz, set your sights on Main Beach. Located directly adjacent to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Main Beach is a wide stretch of sand featuring plenty of free beach fun, including swimming, surfing and sunbathing.
Located on the East Side of Santa Cruz, this family friendly swim center offers splashy summertime fun for all ages. With an 18-lane lap pool, a shallow-depth warm water pool, a kiddie splash pool, and a corkscrew water slide, Simpkins is a fun destination for water loving visitors. Admission is $4-$7 per person; children under age three enter free.
A single scoop will set you back around three dollars at this cash-only establishment on Ocean Street.
Visitors looking to get a bit of exercise and experience the beauty of the Santa Cruz Mountains can explore the trails at this Buddhist retreat and conference center in Soquel. Trails at the center travel around the campus past several Buddhist monuments and up into the pristine Forest of Nisene Marks. Leashed dogs are allowed on all trails. Admission and parking is free at Land of Medicine Buddha.