Santa Cruz, California is world famous for being the summer destination– “Surf City, USA“. Situated in Northern California, south of San Francisco on Pacific Coast Highway 1–this town offers more than just a place for summer fun in the sun.
Tourists can enjoy a variety of activities suitable for the entire family all year round. One offering is a special holiday ride on an authentic historical Steam Train that departs from the beach station in front of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. The Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific Railway Company has trains that run from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk year-round as each season brings something special for guests to enjoy.
About the Beach Train
Throughout the year, “The Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific Railway Company operates passenger and freight services on one of the oldest and most historic lines in California. When the route opened in 1875, it carried picnickers and tourists to the Big Trees and Santa Cruz. Today’s Beach Trains travel through Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, down the scenic San Lorenzo River Gorge, across a 1909 steel truss bridge, and through an 1875 tunnel” according to the Roaring Camp officials.
The Beach Train is an exciting three-hour round-trip ride that takes you up to Roaring Camp, situated under a forest of California Coastal Redwoods and then returns you to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. While you are at the camp, you can enjoy a glimpse into life “as it once was” in the 1800s as you wander around the recreation of small town life in a lumber camp, complete with a General Store to purchase souvenirs and train memorabilia.
The daily trains operate in the summer months, with spring and fall trains operating on the weekends. For the winter, a very special holiday train ride is available: The Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train
December Holiday Lights Train
During December, you and your family can enjoy a festive ride on the Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train. This is a one-hour special excursion through Santa Cruz that departs & returns at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
“Get in the holiday spirit on the Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train. Ride vintage excursion cars, adorned by thousands of colorful lights, as they roll through city streets of Santa Cruz. Passengers sing along to seasonal carols while sipping hot-spiced cider, listen to musical entertainment, and enjoy visits by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Upon returning to the Boardwalk, festivities continue at Santa’s Kingdom (inside Neptune’s Kingdom).”
Dates: December 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23
Tickets: Adult $22 Children 3-12 $17 under 3 Free
Ticket price includes choice of indoor “Holiday” miniature golf, game tokens for the holiday arcade, or Laser Tag .
• All tickets are available at “will call” at Santa’s Kingdom at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
• Arrive 30 minutes prior to departure
• Holiday Train does not go to Roaring Camp
• Parking at the Boardwalk is $5.00 per car
• Order tickets online
• Roaring Camp is located 6 miles north of Santa Cruz in Felton, exit highway 17 at Mt. Hermon Road
• Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is located at 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Whatever time of the year you plan a trip to Santa Cruz, you will always find fun and excitement for the entire family. If you plan a trip in December, you will not want to miss the Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train. It is an affordable and exciting adventure to start your holiday season off with delightful merriment and lots of Christmas cheer.
The Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific Railway Company