The Californian city of Santa Cruz is famous for its moderate climate, redwood forests and beautiful coastline. Sitting just below San Francisco, on the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, the sunshine city is a beach goers paradise.
Things to do in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is home to one of the oldest beachfront amusement parks on the west coast, located on the Beach Boardwalk. After loading up on sugar-coated doughnuts, take a ride on the Giant Dipper for an old-school American adrenaline rush.
For an action-packed day of sun, sand and sports, head to Twin Lakes State Beach where you can enjoy surfing, kayaking and sunset stand-up paddleboard classes. Afterwards, retire to the Crow’s Nest Restaurant to dine on fresh seafood fettuccine and delicious grilled dishes.
Downtown Santa Cruz is perfect for strolling around at a leisurely place. Hop from boutique shop to quirky cafe in search of the perfect souvenir or hire a bike to zip around the area like a local. For a sweet treat, head to the Santa Cruz Farmers Market to pick up some baked goods.
Seymour Marine Discovery Centre is an educational centre located next to Natural Bridges State Beach. Children and adults alike can wander around the interactive science exhibits and dip an arm into the aquarium’s touch pools. Make sure to get a picture in front of the large blue whale skeleton outside.
Getting around Santa Cruz
Mineta San Jose International Airport is under one hour north of Santa Cruz, and Monterey Regional Airport is the same distance to the south. Once in town, the downtown district is pedestrian-friendly, though the metro bus service runs regularly for longer trips.