One of my first photography assignments, my Senior year in high school, was to take pictures at an amusement park. During school, our class ventured behind the school parking lot to snap photos of the rides as they stood dormant before they came to life for the Maria SS Lauretana Festival (or as we all called it, the Italian Fest). Today, I stepped back into that 17 year olds shoes and re-introduced myself to a perspective that made me appreciate my time at the Santa Cruz Wharf all the more.
I wonder if my first photography teacher ever knew she was teaching us about more than just photography? Besides self expression and an outlet for my creative energy, she helped me learn to focus on life’s details that make up the bigger picture. That’s carried over in several areas of my life. Whether delivering on a project, researching or planing an event…it’s in the details. It’s when we embrace every day moments, the little details that are often overlooked, that we truly give meaning to our life story.
Positioned off Highway 1, this seasonal seaside amusement park hasn’t lost it’s history despite the plethora of modern day additions.
We purchased a packet for 50 tickets, which seemed to work out fine. We even had a few left over. However, if you are going to spend the entire day at the amusement park, you may want to consider an unlimited wristband. We spent half of our time soaking up the beach!
Our favorite area (a sanctuary from the larger crowds) was on south end of the park especially designed for smaller kids. Our youngest loved the Sea Serpent rollercoaster.
If you do go, avoid the main parking lot. Instead, head over to the section near the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center. There are more parking options and you may snag a metered spot (we paid $5 for 5 hours!).
If the rides really aren’t your cup of tea, for the summer: On Wednesday evenings, they have a free movie. On Friday evenings, they have a free concert. …beachside. How perfect is that? For more event listings, like the firework spectacular in October for the Santa Cruz Wharf’s 100th birthday, check out the website for the City of Santa Cruz.
Off the beaten path, you’ll find a great taco shack that only accepts cash called, Taco Moreno. The line is often out the door, but it’s worth the wait. Much like our visit to Santa Cruz!