World's Smallest Bowling Museum

World’s Smallest Bowling Museum Opens in Santa Cruz

A diminutive exhibit – curated by an archivist at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – has opened in Santa Cruz. The exhibit showcases the history of bowling by the beach with a display of bowling artifacts, photographs and memorabilia from the Boardwalk’s Archives.

The exhibit is housed inside the Boardwalk Bowl, adjacent to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Bowling has a long history in the Santa Cruz beach area. Santa Cruz Seaside Company archives document a 4-lane “duckpin” alley along the Boardwalk in 1909 operated by Victor A. Marini. It’s the earliest recorded activity of the local Marini family, known today for their salt water taffy and local candy shops. 1930 marked the last year of bowling on the Boardwalk, however, duckpin alleys would make appearances in the Boardwalk Casino throughout the first half of the 1940s. A set of antique duckpins is on display in the new exhibit. The Santa Cruz bowling community also shared their own stories and memorabilia. The unique items in the exhibit tell the story of bowling in the Santa Cruz beach area and the people who have played integral roles in creating that history.

SantaCruz Bowling

Santa Cruz County, California is located approximately 70 miles/113 km south of San Francisco and 349 miles/562 km from Los Angeles.  Many visitors choose to take scenic Highway 1 along the California coastline to Santa Cruz, or Highway 17 through the Santa Cruz Mountains. Visitors can also choose to fly in to San Francisco International Airport or Mineta/San Jose International Airport.

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