Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – Photo Credit Burritocover
Santa Cruz. 29 miles of sun-kissed waterfront lands, the California climate, second-growth redwoods, killer shopping, surfing, boardwalks, wine tours … there is no shortage of amazing ways to spend time in this popular West Coast destination. So if you’re a local, this list is to remind you to get out and see what you’re missing. And if you’re from out of town and you’re heading there for some R&R, make the most of your Santa Cruz vacation rentalsby ticking off some of the lovely items on this list.
Most folks have a similar list of concerns when they’re planning vacations. The short list probably goes something like this:
- What will this vacation cost?
- When is the best time to go on this vacation? How will weather affect my vacation?
- How long should this vacation be, and will I be able to see/do everything I want to?
Santa Cruz makes most of these questions fairly simple; the weather is mild most of the year, and whether your budget allows for a sumptuous season or just a tightly-budgeted weekend, there are always things worth seeing.
- Visit the Redwoods. Much of California is home to majestic Redwood Trees. These enormous forest sentinels dominate some of Santa Cruz’ beautiful campgrounds, and taking a late-night or afternoon train ride through the Santa Cruz mountains and beaches is unforgettable.
- Whale watch at Monterey Bay. If you like the rolling glory of the sea and want to see some of the largest oceanic citizens in the up close and personal, Monterey Bay is the place to be. This salty sanctuary has given visitors sightings of orca, blue whales, and humpback whales. Plan ahead and take advantage of migration patterns.
- Surf. If you’re in Santa Cruz, odds are you like the water. If you can swim, you can give surfing a try, as well. Home to several surfing invitationals, the area – a National Surfing Sanctuary, if you didn’t know – boasts some of the best waves around.
- Hike. If you’re outdoorsy and you like waterfalls, you need to visit Big Basin. This Redwoods state park boasts several beautiful falls, including the renowned Berry Creek Falls, Silver Cascade, and Golden Cascade.
- Check out the Mystery Spot. Okay, so this one’s a little off-kilter, but it’s a blast. The Mystery Spot – where trees grow sideways and water flows uphill – is a “gravitational anomaly” that draws huge crowds in the busy season. Go enjoy – or debunk – at your leisure.
- Visit one of the world’s smallest jails. The Davenport Jail has been decommissioned since 1936. Today it’s a historical museum and attraction, where you can quite literally “go to jail.” The best part? The whole place has only two cells.
That’s the best – and strangest – of sunny Santa Cruz, in a nutshell. Of course, there are dozens of things that could have been on this list, and enough to do to occupy a lifetime. Take a trip to Santa Cruz and see for yourself. It’s worth every moment.
Marietta grew up in California. Now that her friends all seem to have the travel bug, they are constantly asking her what they should see when they are in CA.
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