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Issues to do in Santa Cruz, California

House to sandy seashores and plush redwood forests, Santa Cruz is stuffed with journey and rest at each flip. There are many boardwalks and state seashores to discover, in addition to native bakeries and wineries to bask in. Anyplace you cross, you’ll be met with breathtaking perspectives and surroundings.

Santa Cruz is understood to be some of the stunning coastline cities in California and we will see why. Right here’s our shortlist of favourite issues to do in Santa Cruz in your subsequent talk over with!


Aerial view of the amusement park - Santa Cruz Boardwalk - Things to do on a California Road Trip

1. Santa Cruz Seashore Boardwalk

As California’s oldest amusement park, the Santa Cruz Seashore Boardwalk has been exciting guests for over 100 years. Full of heart-racing curler coasters and mawkish carnival video games, the Santa Cruz Seashore Boardwalk is a landmark located proper at the sandy shores of the Monterey Coast.

One of the most boardwalk’s most renowned rides is the Massive Dipper Curler Coaster, which is regarded as the most productive wood curler coaster on the earth. When you’d somewhat spend the day enjoyable, you’ll be able to all the time step all the way down to the coastline for a day of solar and water sports activities.

  • 400 Seashore St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Journey and arcade hours range

Senset view of Natural Bridges state Park in Santa Cruz California - Road trip guide

2. Herbal Bridges State Seashore

Herbal Bridges State Seashore is likely one of the maximum loved Santa Cruz attractions. The impressive rock formation, and then the park was once named, stands within the ocean close to the coast. The rock’s bridge-like construction was once carved over centuries of harsh wind and waves.

But even so admiring the rocky bridge, guests come to Herbal Bridges State Seashore for flora and fauna viewing. The tide swimming pools are domestic to sea stars and crabs, whilst sea lions and dolphins play additional out within the water. When you’re fortunate, you may spot a humpback whale enjoying close by!

  • 2531 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Day by day, eight a.m. – Sundown

Aerial View of the Santa Cruz Wharf - Tourist Attractions

three. Santa Cruz Wharf

Between the connoisseur eating places and memento retail outlets, the Santa Cruz Wharf is bustling in any respect hours of the day. The dock juts virtually three,000 toes into the water, making it the longest pier within the Western United States.

There are dozens of bars and eating places to make a choice from, each and every one providing exceptional perspectives of the encompassing ocean. When you’re taking a look to catch your personal dinner, then you’ll be able to additionally fish off the perimeters of the wharf.

Then again, the captivating sea lions are by means of a ways the primary appeal. You’ll in finding them enjoying within the water or sunbathing at the wood planks of the pier.

  • 21 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Day by day,  five a.m. – 2 a.m.

Lighthouse and Surf museum in Santa Cruz - Road Trip Stops in California

four. Santa Cruz Browsing Museum

Situated throughout the historical Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, the Santa Cruze Browsing Museum showcases the previous 100 years of browsing historical past. You’ll be informed concerning the town’s well-known surf scene and the way the game has impacted its tradition during the last few many years.

This small, captivating museum incorporates an infinite choice of memorabilia, like pictures, movies, or even antique surfboards. Everybody from beach-lovers to hard-core surfers will stroll clear of the museum with a deeper appreciation for Santa Cruz’s maximum liked interest.

  • 21 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Day by day,  five a.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Unfastened

View looking up at Redwoods inside of Henry Cowell Redwoods Sate Park - Things to do in Santa Cruz

five. Steam Educate via Redwoods

Hop aboard the Redwood Wooded area Steam Educate for a historic exploration of one among Santa Cruz’s maximum scenic landscapes. This 19th-century locomotive chugs throughout the towering redwood groves to the height of Endure Summit.

This open-air experience is totally narrated by means of your a professional conductor and information, who will gladly let you know the historical past of the park. You’ll additionally be informed extra concerning the locomotive trade within the 1800s and the way the trains proceed to run to at the moment.

Even supposing a steam teach experience is a amusing and academic Santa Cruz appeal, it additionally boasts one of the vital very best perspectives within the town. It’s the best option to immerse your self within the herbal great thing about the grand redwood woodland!

  • 5401 Graham Hill Street, Felton, CA 95018
  • Day by day rides
  • $23-$32

woman shopping at Santa Cruz Farmers Market - Things to do in Santa Cruz

6. Native Farmers Marketplace

Store for locally-sourced produce and dine on connoisseur treats with a commute to a farmer’s marketplace in Santa Cruz. You’ll in finding dozens of meals stalls and cubicles promoting the whole thing from pasture-raised meats and home-brewed beer to crafted home items and freshly baked pastries.

Relying at the time of yr, there are 5 major farmers’ markets to talk over with. A number of of the markets are Santa Cruz staples and feature been running for over 25 years. No longer simplest will you be looking for moral merchandise, however you’ll even be supporting native jobs and selling small companies.

  • Downtown, Felton, Reside Oak, Scotts Valley, Westside
  • Hours range

Woman ordering at Companion Bakeshop - Santa Cruz Places to Eat

7. Santa Cruz Significant other Bakeshop

The odor of freshly baked bread and pastries radiates from the mouth-watering Santa Cruz Significant other Bakeshop. This captivating bakery may be a restaurant and serves sizzling espresso and light-weight snacks for breakfast or lunch.

Even supposing the Santa Cruz Significant other Bakeshop began out making sourdough bread, they’ve expanded to promote quite a few scrumptious treats. You’ll take a look at vegan oat bars, sticky cinnamon buns, or even oven-baked pizzas. We additionally suggest attempting the candy or savory galettes for a extra filling meal.

Westside Santa Cruz

  • 2341 Venture Side road, Santa Cruz CA
  • Tuesday to Friday 7 a.m. – five p.m., Saturday-Sunday eight a.m. – three p.m.

Downtown Santa Cruz

  • 725 Entrance Side road, Santa Cruz CA
  • Monday to Thursday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday-Saturday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sunday eight a.m. – 6 p.m.

View of Abbot's Square in Santa Cruz

eight. Abbott Sq. Marketplace

Situated within the coronary heart of Santa Cruz, the Abbot Sq. Marketplace is a full of life leisure venue stuffed with eating places and cafes. This fashionable outside area additionally hosts quite a few leisure, together with artwork exhibitions and reside track, making it the high spot for a amusing evening out with pals.

Whether or not you’re beginning your weekend with a powerful shot of coffee or finishing the evening with a home made cocktail, you’ll in finding one thing that sparks your pastime in Abbot Sq. Park!

  • 118 Cooper St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Sunday – Thursday 7 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 7 a.m. – 12 a.m.

nine. Berry Creek Falls

When you have a unfastened weekend and need to know what to do in Santa Cruz, we suggest trekking as much as the Berry Creek Falls. This standard 11-mile hike takes you throughout the dense woodland round steep canyons and ascends virtually 1,000 toes above the bottom.

Midway throughout the five-hour hike, you’ll stumble upon two stunning waterfalls. It’s a shocking view that’s contrasted in opposition to the deep brown and inexperienced bushes of the redwood woodland, which makes it one among our favourite issues to do in Santa Cruz.

Total, it’s a leisurely hike that may be finished by means of maximum intermediate to complicated hikers. The path is open year-round however may also be muddy within the early spring if it has rained.


10. Sea Lions at Santa Cruz

When in Santa Cruz, you will have to forestall by means of the water to mention hi to town’s maximum cute citizens! You’ll in finding them slumbering, enjoying, and swimming within the shallow waters of Monterey Bay. If you need a assured sighting, the Santa Cruz Wharf is referred to as the most productive sea lion recognizing floor.

Then again, you’ll be able to additionally in finding harbor seals perched at the rocky islands and bays across the town. We heard that the Wilder Ranch simply north of Santa Cruz may be an excellent spot to peer those hilarious, fuzzy creatures.


11. Coastal Power

Essentially the most well-known coastal force in Santa Cruz is down Freeway 1. Stretching over 700 miles, Freeway 1 takes you from Mendocino Nation via Santa Cruz after which the entire option to Orange County.

Even supposing it will take a couple of days to finish all of the adventure, a brief force down the coast will nonetheless come up with that nostalgic street commute feeling. You’ll have panoramic perspectives of the Santa Cruz Seashore Boardwalk, Santa Cruz Wharf, and the Wilder Ranch State Park.

Remember to get the risk to prevent at a couple of seashores or parks to benefit from the recent, crisp air from the sea!


Woman walking through the UCSC Arboretum Santa Cruz California - Things to do

12. UC Santa Cruz Arboretum

Teeming with unique vegetation and flowering cactuses, the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum incorporates one of the most greatest collections of uncommon vegetation from around the globe. Even supposing the arboretum to start with began as a eucalyptus lawn within the 1960s, it has grown domestic to hundreds of various species, from virtually each form of local weather.

You must simply spend a couple of hours strolling throughout the tranquil gardens admiring the other vegetation and sculptures. The reveals are divided by means of area and come with the Australian Lawn, South African Lawn, and South American Lawn. There’s additionally an attractive California Lawn stuffed with willows, cottonwoods, and ponderosa pines. Don’t fail to remember to talk over with the Aroma Lawn and Uncommon Fruit Show off to peer a few of your favourite herbs and edibles.

  • 1156 Top St, Santa Cruz, CA 95064
  • Day by day nine a.m. – five p.m.
  • $2-$five

2 wine glasses in front of tasting menu at a Door County Winery - Things to do

13. Wine Tasting

Santa Cruz is domestic to over 70 other wineries and style rooms. Because of its distinctive microclimate and mineral-rich soil, the grapes from Santa Cruz produce one of the vital very best wines to return from California.

For scenic winery perspectives, head to Ridge Vineyards and Beauregard Vineyards, two family-operated wineries. Close to town middle sip on Pinot Noir from Storrs Vineyard and Vineyards or merlot from Bottle Jack Wines.

Maximum tasting charges are waived with the acquisition of a bottle of wine. That implies there’s much more incentive to pattern as many as you’ll be able to!


West Cliff Drive - Lighthouse State Beach Santa Cruz California

14. West Cliff Power

Winding 3 miles along the Pacific Ocean, the West Cliff Power begins at Santa Cruz Wharf and takes you via one of the vital town’s very best sights, like Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz Browsing Museum, and Lighthouse Level. We propose preventing at Herbal Bridges State Seashore or Cowell Seashore for panoramic 360-degree perspectives.

The paved path makes it very best for cyclists, runners, canine walkers, or joggers. Come for an early morning walk or a overdue night view of the sundown.


Cliffs of Lighthouse Fields State Beach - Places to visit in Santa Cruz

15. Lighthouse Box State Seashore

Maximum surfers in California will learn about Lighthouse Box State Seashore. The coastline is understood for having one of the vital largest waves in all of Santa Cruz! The coastline is so well-known for browsing that it in truth properties the Santa Cruz Browsing Museum, which is situated throughout the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse.

But even so browsing, you’ll be able to additionally hire boogie forums or arrange a picnic at the sand. There also are a number of strolling trails across the coastline if you desire to opt for a relaxed stroll.

There’s quite a lot of flora and fauna staring at in Lighthouse Box State Seashore. When you come all over the wintry weather, you’ll see monarch butterflies that experience migrated over from the Rocky Mountains. You may also in finding a number of cute sea lions sunbathing at the neighboring rocks.


16. Thriller Spot

Be ready to be wowed and amazed at Thriller Spot, one among Santa Cruz’s hottest road-side sights. Situated within the redwood forests, Thriller Spot will boggle your thoughts with its gravity-defying area.

Input an international of phantasm, the place balls roll uphill and other folks can stand parallel on partitions. Legend has it that scientists have now not been in a position to determine the magic at the back of Thriller Spot, for the reason that regulations of physics appear to totally disappear whenever you step within. Both means, it’s price a talk over with for a couple of pictures and laughs.

  • 465 Thriller Spot Rd, Santa Cruz, CA 95065
  • Day by day 10 a.m. – four p.m.

17. Sundown State Seashore

California is domestic to one of the vital very best seashores in the USA, and the Sundown State Seashore isn’t any exception. Situated only a 30-minute force from Santa Cruz, Sundown State Seashore is an infinite, sprawling coastline the place you’ll be able to get away the bustle of town.

Spend the weekend sunbathing, swimming, and boogie boarding within the ocean. When you have a fishing license, you’ll be able to additionally catch sardines and striped bass off the shore.

If a couple of hours at the coastline aren’t sufficient, deliver your RV or tent and camp at the white-sand coastline. There are a number of campsites and hookups to be had for hire. Between the comfortable surroundings and the improbable perspectives of Monterey Bay, you gained’t ever need to depart Sundown State Seashore!

  • Sundown Seashore Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076
  • Open 24 hours

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