4 Fun California Beaches With Ferris Wheels - California is For Fun (2024)

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The beaches in California are some of the best in the country. In addition to surfing, swimming, and enjoying the views, some of these beaches have amusem*nt parks, piers, and even ferris wheels right on the beach.

These iconic California beaches are where a day at the beach meets a day at the fair. Imagine riding a ferris wheel with views of the ocean, or spending the day exploring seaside amusem*nt parks that are filled with food courts, games and rides.

That is exactly what you will find at these beaches. Here are five beaches in California where you can ride a ferris wheel and enjoy a day of fun for the entire family.

Table of Contents:

1. Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

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The Santa Monica Pier is the only amusem*nt park located on a pier on the West Coast. This unique amusem*nt park is also the home to the Pacific Wheel.

The 130-foot Pacific Wheel offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the Los Angeles Skyline. This is the only ferris wheel in California that is actually over the water.

The amusem*nt park where this ferris wheel is located is called “Pacific Park” and has been named one one of California’s best amusem*nt parks.

There are 12 other popular rides including the West Roller Coaster, they are all located on the pier.In addition to the rides, there is a classic arcade, and a trapeze school (no experience required).

Next to the pier is the Heal The Bay Aquarium, and the famous Ocean Front Walk. This wide paved walkway runs along the beach from the pier and is lined with shopping, and restaurants.

2. Balboa Fun Zone, Newport Beach

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The Balboa Fun Zone is located on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. This amusem*nt park sits right next to the ocean.

While this is not the largest ferris wheel on this list, visitors have enjoyed riding the Balboa Fun Zone Ferris Wheel since 1936. From the top you can see views of Catalina Island and Newport Bay.

If you ride the ferris wheel at night you can also see the lights of the harbor below. There are some other fun things to do near the ferris wheel and within the Balboa Fun Zone.

There is the Bayside Bungee Jump Trampoline, a chance to climb a palm tree, or you could ride the giant Happy Swing. The Balboa Fun Zone also has an arcade and game room.

You could purchase tickets for the Harbor Cruise. This narrated boat takes you around Newport Harbor, gives you a chance to get up close and insider information on the million dollar beachside homes, and you will probably spot some fun Sea Lions along the way.

There are also nearby restaurants, including the popular sit down historic Harborside Restaurant that is right next to the Fun Zone and has great views of the Bay.

3. The Pike, Long Beach

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The Pike Ferris Wheel is not actually right on the beach, but it sits on a grassy area next to the Pike Outlet Mall which is near the ocean.

From the top of the Pike Ferris Wheel you can see views of the Pacific Ocean and the historic Queen Mary Ship that is permanently docked out in Long Beach.

There are no other rides, and you can only actually see the ocean from the top of this ferris wheel, but it is very cheap to ride and would make for a fun activity if you are in the Long Beach area.

4. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz

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Today the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk doesn’t have a ferris wheel. They did have one for nearly 60 years, but it was retired in 2018.

Even though this amusem*nt park doesn’t currently have a ferris wheel, this is one of the best seaside parks in California and there are some other great rides too, so I have included it on this list.

This oceanfront amusem*nt park has been a summertime family favorite of California visitors and locals since 1907. It is located just steps from the City of Santa Cruz and sits right on the beach.

Many consider the Santa Cruz Boardwalk as one of the best seaside parks in the world. The boardwalk itself runs along a wide sandy beach and is right next to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The entire boardwalk as well as the Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster and the Looff Carousel have been declared as California Historic Landmarks.

The beach located next to the boardwalk is a great spot to spend a relaxing beach day. You can also sometimes spot sea otters, dolphins, sea lions, and whales swimming off shore. Admission to the boardwalk is free and tickets for rides are affordable.

The boardwalk features games, a variety of fun food choices, sit down restaurants, and booths for soventires. There are over 40 different rides to choose from and other fun activities like laser tag, bowling, an indoor arcade, and mini golf.

While this California beach doesn’t have an actual ferris wheel, they do have the Sky Glider that runs along the boardwalk and offers a chance to see some incredible views of this classic seaside amusem*nt park.

While all these ferris wheels are not right on the beach, they all have ocean views. Here is an overview of each one.

Ferris Wheels on the Beach in California

  • Pacific Wheel (Pacific Park) – The biggest ferris wheel (85′) in California. Located on the Santa Monica Pier.
  • Balboa Ferris Wheel (Balboa Fun Zone) – A 45′ ferris wheel that sits on the Balboa Peninsula next to the Newport Bay Harbor.
  • The Pike Ferris Wheel (Pike Outlet Mall) – You can only see distant ocean views from the top. It is located next to the Pike Outlet Mall in Long Beach.
  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Ferris Wheel – This ferris wheel was removed in 2018. You can ride the Sky Glider instead for some great beach views.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

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This article discusses various beaches in California that have ferris wheels and amusem*nt parks. Let's go through each concept mentioned in the article:

Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

The Santa Monica Pier is an amusem*nt park located on a pier on the West Coast. It is home to the Pacific Wheel, which is the only ferris wheel in California that is actually over the water The amusem*nt park, called "Pacific Park," offers other popular rides, a classic arcade, a trapeze school, and attractions like the Heal The Bay Aquarium and the famous Ocean Front Walk.

Balboa Fun Zone, Newport Beach

The Balboa Fun Zone is an amusem*nt park located on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. It features a ferris wheel that has been enjoyed by visitors since 1936. From the top of the ferris wheel, you can see views of Catalina Island and Newport Bay The Balboa Fun Zone also offers other attractions such as the Bayside Bungee Jump Trampoline, a giant Happy Swing, an arcade, and a game room. Visitors can also take a Harbor Cruise to explore Newport Harbor.

The Pike, Long Beach

The Pike Ferris Wheel is located next to the Pike Outlet Mall in Long Beach. While it is not right on the beach, it offers views of the Pacific Ocean and the historic Queen Mary Ship, which is permanently docked in Long Beach The Pike Ferris Wheel is affordable to ride and can be a fun activity if you are in the Long Beach area.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is an oceanfront amusem*nt park located in Santa Cruz. Although it doesn't currently have a ferris wheel (the previous one was retired in 2018), it is still considered one of the best seaside parks in California The boardwalk features the Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster, the Looff Carousel, and over 40 different rides. Visitors can also enjoy activities like laser tag, bowling, an indoor arcade, and mini golf. The boardwalk is adjacent to a wide sandy beach and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, where you can sometimes spot sea otters, dolphins, sea lions, and whales.

In summary, the article highlights several beaches in California that offer ferris wheels and amusem*nt parks. These attractions provide opportunities for families to enjoy a day of fun and entertainment while enjoying ocean views.

4 Fun California Beaches With Ferris Wheels - California is For Fun (2024)

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