On the edge of Monterey Bay is Santa Cruz. The city is named for the Spanish words Holy Cross. This city is a California coastal paradise and it’s the very spot where Hawaiian royalty introduced the sport of surfing here to locals. Surfing has been part of the Santa Cruz culture ever since. This region is also known to many as wine country
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is famous everywhere. It’s California’s eldest amusement park. This mile-long beach between San Francisco and Monterey is accessible by highway, Amtrak or shuttle from two airports. It’s an entertainment complex, amusement park, casino arcade, bowling alley and place for picnics, beach play and ocean water sports. There’s so much fun to be had here with constant events, shopping, food and games. A trip to this city isn’t complete without time spent enjoying the ocean air; the great food and time spent digging your toes into beautifully hot sand.
There are many other things to do in the area too including historical walks, camping and fishing, the Lighthouse Surfing Museum, a modern museum, art galleries and phenomenal nightlife. You can also go on a tour of wine country, stay at bed & breakfasts, taste the food and wine of this region and enjoy the country antiquing and organic food markets galore.
For a majestic ocean view, check out the Wharf where there are constant events. Santa Cruz’s three hundred plus days of sunshine every year make this a great vacation destination. You can rent a boat at the Wharf, see the Critters & Creatures or visit the Wharf Aquarium and see a fantastic ocean habitat for free. The aquarium project is a six hundred gallon tank where local ocean life is brought in and carefully displayed for a time and then returned to their natural habitat. This makes the aquarium a different experience at every visit.
Santa Cruz is so near to Silicon Valley that many residents are commuters. It’s a good life in this city with many amenities, 54,000 residents, The city has recovered well from the devastation of 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake but is listed as one of the most expensive places to buy a home in North America. The University of California Santa Cruz accounts for a population of over ten thousand, which attributes to the housing increase.
So whether you’re interested in surf, sand, wine or a bit of everything, this is a great place to visit!