35 Finest Issues to Do



Santa Cruz, California is a phenomenal coastal city with loads of enjoyable issues to do. The Santa Cruz Seaside Boardwalk is a must-visit, because it is likely one of the oldest seaside amusement parks within the nation. For a extra relaxed expertise, take a stroll by way of one of many many redwood forests within the space or stroll alongside the scenic West Cliff Drive.

Nature lovers may also get pleasure from visiting the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, which options a powerful assortment of uncommon and endangered vegetation from around the globe. And naturally, no journey to Santa Cruz can be full with out spending a while browsing or lounging on the seashore. Whether or not you’re in search of pleasure or leisure, Santa Cruz has one thing for everybody.

1. Eat at Abbott Sq.

Whether or not you’re in search of a fast chew or a sit-down meal, you’ll discover one thing to your liking at Abbott Sq. Market. The buzzing market is situated within the downtown space and has a half dozen cool eateries—from pizza to sushi to burgers.

2. Hike Huge Basin Redwoods State Park

One other good thing to do in Santa Cruz is to hike Huge Basin Redwoods State Park. This stunning state park is residence to among the tallest bushes on this planet and provides quite a lot of totally different mountaineering trails. Whether or not you’re a newbie or an skilled hiker, you’ll discover a path that’s best for you!

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

3. Peak into the Huge Foot Museum

The Huge Foot Museum is the proper place to study one of the elusive creatures in North American folklore. Guests can view a set of footprints, images, and hair samples which were allegedly left by Huge Foot. There may be additionally a duplicate of a supposed Huge Foot nest, in addition to a forged of an enormous footprint that was discovered within the Nineteen Seventies! 

Along with studying concerning the proof for Huge Foot’s existence, guests also can discover the varied theories about its identification. Some consider that Huge Foot is a member of an undiscovered species of ape, whereas others consider it’s a sort of cryptid, or hidden creature. What do you consider?

4. Browse the Titles at Bookshop Santa Cruz

The Bookshop Santa Cruz is not like every other bookstore you’ve ever been to. To begin with, it’s big! There are cabinets upon cabinets of books, organized by style. There’s even a piece for native authors. However the very best a part of the Bookshop Santa Cruz is the workers. They’re all tremendous enthusiastic about studying and so they’re at all times pleased to suggest an excellent ebook. Whether or not you’re in search of your subsequent favourite novel or simply need to browse, the Bookshop Santa Cruz is unquestionably price a go to.

5. Trip the Davenport Swing

The Davenport Pier is situated simply north of Santa Cruz, and  is likely one of the hottest sights within the county. Guests can get pleasure from beautiful views of the ocean and the encompassing shoreline. The pier additionally has a swing, which is a good way to benefit from the view and get some recent air. The swing is open to everybody, and it’s a fantastic place to loosen up and take within the surroundings.

6. See a Present at Del Mar Theatre

In-built 1926, the Del Mar is a historic movie show—one of many first in Santa Cruz County. Designed within the Spanish Colonial Revival fashion, the theater has a traditional pink tile roof and stucco exterior. The Del Mar was initially a single-screen theater, however was transformed to a three-screen multiplex in 1986. Right now, the theater is residence to all kinds of flicks, from classics to new releases. 

7. Take a Whale Watching Cruise

Whale watching is likely one of the hottest vacationer actions in Santa Cruz. Yearly, hundreds of individuals take cruises out into the open ocean searching for these majestic creatures. Whereas there are various various kinds of whales, essentially the most generally seen in Santa Cruz are humpback whales. These huge animals can develop as much as 60 ft lengthy and weigh over 40 tons. Humpback whales are recognized for his or her acrobatic breaches, and their distinctive songs may be heard for miles underwater. Watching these mild giants is an unforgettable expertise, and one which shouldn’t be missed whereas visiting Santa Cruz.

Whale Watching Cruise

8. Stroll Via Downtown Santa Cruz

Downtown Santa Cruz is the proper place to take a leisurely stroll on a phenomenal California day. The streets are lined with bushes and flowers, and there are many locations to cease and benefit from the view. Alongside the best way, you’ll discover loads of retailers and eating places to discover, in addition to a few of Santa Cruz’s most putting structure.

Highlights embody the historic clock tower, the ornate Victorian buildings on Pacific Avenue, and the colourful murals on Locust Avenue. Whether or not you’re trying to do some purchasing or simply take in the ambiance, Downtown Santa Cruz is certain to please.

9. Stand Amongst the Redwoods at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Nestled among the many rolling hills of central California lies the magnificent Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. This lush wilderness is residence to among the world’s tallest bushes, together with the awe-inspiring redwoods that tower over every little thing round them. These towering giants are a sight to behold, with their huge trunks and sprawling branches spreading into a cover of emerald-green leaves. And simply as spectacular as these towering sentinels is their age: lots of the bushes at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park are nicely over 1,000 years outdated. 

Whether or not you need to take quiet walks among the many bushes, discover hidden pathways tucked away within the forest, or just get pleasure from a while alone together with your ideas, this unbelievable park is certain to thrill and encourage. So why not pack a lunch and head on over for a day in nature at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park? You gained’t be disenchanted!

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

10. Zipline Via the Santa Cruz Mountains

The Santa Cruz Mountains supply among the most stunning surroundings in California. And what higher technique to take all of it in than by zip-lining by way of the tree tops? Zip Line Cover Excursions take you on a journey by way of the redwoods, providing breathtaking views of the forest flooring far under.

You’ll whizz by way of the air at speeds of as much as 40 miles per hour, crossing ravines and rivers as you go. And with eight totally different zip strains to select from, starting from inexperienced persons’ strains to superior “double black diamond” runs, there’s one thing for everybody. So for those who’re in search of an exhilarating journey in one of the beautiful places within the state, that is it!

11. Take the Misplaced Boys Tour

If you happen to’re in search of a enjoyable and adventurous technique to discover the attractive metropolis of Santa Cruz, then look no additional than the Misplaced Boys Tour. This tour is ideal for anybody who loves out of doors adventures, because it takes you deep into the woods of Santa Cruz’s wilderness. You’ll discover wooded areas, hillsides, and even pristine seashores which are seldom seen by locals or guests alike. Alongside the best way, you’ll study native historical past and folklore out of your guides, who’re all true adventurers in their very own proper. 

12. Be Amazed on the Thriller Spot

If you happen to’re in search of a bit little bit of thriller and intrigue in your life, then you have to try The Thriller Spot in Santa Cruz. This quirky attraction is like nothing else you’ve ever seen. Nestled deep within the redwoods, it’s straightforward to overlook for those who’re not paying consideration, however when you enter this distinctive spot, you’ll be reworked into a complete new world. 

Right here, gravity appears to behave in unusual methods, objects defy the legal guidelines of physics, and time stands nonetheless. Whether or not you consider it’s all an phantasm or proof that we don’t perceive the universe in addition to we thought we did, one factor is for certain: on the Thriller Spot, something is feasible. So come uncover what may very well be hiding in plain sight at this mysterious spot and put together to have your mind-blown! And don’t neglect to choose up a sticker in your manner out!

13. Go to Pure Bridges State Seaside 

Pure Bridges State Seaside is a must-see for any nature lover visiting Santa Cruz. The spotlight of the park is the monarch butterfly grove, the place monarchs congregate every year from October to February. monarchs have a really particular habitat requirement, and Pure Bridges is likely one of the few locations on this planet the place they will discover all the weather they should survive. One other spotlight of the seashore is its pure bridge, which was fashioned by centuries of wave motion.

Right now, the bridge is a well-liked spot for picnics and sundown watching. Guests also can get pleasure from exploring the tide swimming pools, or just stress-free on the sand. No matter your choice, Pure Bridges State Seaside is certain to supply a enjoyable factor to do in Santa Cruz.

14. Study To Surf

If you happen to’re trying to grasp the artwork of browsing, there’s no higher place to study than in Santa Cruz. With its infinite sunny days, thriving surf tradition, and world-class rides, that is one seashore city that’s nice for anybody who desires to excellent their expertise on the board. 

Whether or not you’re a seasoned professional or an entire newbie, there are surf colleges throughout city that may show you how to take your sport to the following degree. So for those who’re prepared to hold ten for the primary time or need to dial in your current approach, get your self all the way down to Santa Cruz and learn to surf! So what are you ready for? Seize your bikinis and boards – it’s time to experience these waves!

15. Dangle Out on the Seaside 

California’s Central Coast is a mecca for seashore lovers, and Santa Cruz is definitely no exception. With its delicate local weather, stunning seashores, and laid-back ambiance, Santa Cruz is the proper place to whereas away a lazy summer season day. Pleasure Level Seaside is a superb spot for browsing, sunbathing, and picnicking, whereas close by Seacliff State Seaside provides beautiful views of the shoreline. And naturally, no go to to Santa Cruz can be full and not using a stroll alongside the Boardwalk Seaside. So whether or not you’re trying to catch some waves or simply loosen up within the solar, Santa Cruz is certain to have the proper seashore for you.

16. Take a Steam Practice Via the Redwood Forest

On the lookout for a novel and adventurous technique to discover the attractive Santa Cruz Mountains? Look no additional than Roaring Camp Railroads, the place you may take a scenic steam practice experience by way of the beautiful redwood forest. As you wind your manner alongside the tracks, you’ll be capable to take in all of that beautiful pure surroundings, from luxurious groves of banana bushes to majestic stands of towering evergreen bushes. 

Alongside the best way, preserve a watch out for wildlife like deer, hawks, and even black bears, who name this a part of California residence. 

17. Santa Cruz Seaside Boardwalk 

On the Santa Cruz Seaside Boardwalk, there is no such thing as a scarcity of issues to do and see. Whether or not you need to take a look at your nerves on the large dipper curler coaster or go on a deep-fried twinkie meals journey, there’s something for everybody right here. The boardwalk has been an area favourite for generations, and its central location proper on the ocean makes it a preferred draw for vacationers as nicely. 

With a lot pleasure occurring throughout you, it’s straightforward to see why the Santa Cruz Seaside Boardwalk has change into a must-visit vacation spot for individuals of all ages. So for those who’re in search of some good old school enjoyable on the seashore, then make sure to add this attraction to your itinerary right this moment!

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

18. Trip the Santa Cruz Seaside Practice

The Santa Cruz Seaside Practice is a novel and enjoyable technique to expertise the fantastic thing about Santa Cruz. The practice departs from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and travels alongside the coast, offering beautiful views of the ocean and cliffs. There are additionally a number of stops alongside the best way, permitting passengers to discover the seashores and tide swimming pools. The practice is a good way to spend a day, and it’s a fantastic possibility for households or teams.

19. Go to the Santa Cruz Mission

On the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park you may wander by way of restored buildings relationship again to the late 1700s and early 1800s, marveling on the craftsmanship of the unique settlers. Additionally it is residence to the one constructing left of the twelfth California Mission. 

When the Spanish first got here to California within the early 1700s, they’d grand visions of creating settlements all through the area. One such settlement was Mission Santa Cruz, which was established in 1791 on the northern edge of what’s now Santa Cruz, CA. From its humble beginnings as a small adobe chapel, Mission Santa Cruz grew to change into an integral a part of California’s historical past. 

Right now, Mission Santa Cruz serves as a reminder of the early days of European colonization in California and a testomony to the enduring spirit of this historic neighborhood. Although it has developed considerably over time, Mission Santa Cruz stays a proud image of this distinctive nook of America.

20. See the Works at Santa Cruz Museum of Artwork & Historical past (MAH)

If you happen to’re in search of a enjoyable, family-friendly place to spend a day, then the Santa Cruz Museum of Artwork & Historical past is the proper spot. With its vast number of reveals overlaying every little thing from native historical past to fashionable artwork, this incredible museum has one thing for everybody. Whether or not you’re serious about trying out one among its rotating reveals on world cultures or perusing its traditional movie assortment, this superior museum provides tons of distinctive and fascinating experiences. 

21. See the Summer time Shakespeare Present

Whether or not you’re a Shakespeare buff or simply in search of one thing enjoyable to do, you gained’t need to miss this 12 months’s Summer time Shakespeare Present in Santa Cruz! Each summer season, the town of Santa Cruz hosts a Shakespeare present on the seashore in entrance of hundreds of adoring followers. The forged and crew work tirelessly for months to excellent the retelling of tales like Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet.

22. Go to the Santa Cruz Browsing Museum

Positioned proper on the seashore in stunning Santa Cruz, the Browsing Museum is a must-see for any true browsing fanatic. With its huge assortment of classic surfboards and different artifacts, this museum provides a novel have a look at the historical past of one among California’s most iconic pastimes. Whether or not you’re an skilled surfer your self or simply love to observe the waves roll in, this museum is certain to amaze and entertain. 

From historic Hawaiian boards to the most recent state-of-the-art gear, the Browsing Museum has one thing for everybody, making it a must-stop on any journey to Santa Cruz. 

23. Take the Santa Cruz Trolley

The Santa Cruz Trolley is a good way to see the town and get round with out having to fret about site visitors or parking. The trolley makes stops at the entire main sights on the town, together with the Santa Cruz Seaside Boardwalk, the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, and downtown Santa Cruz. It’s additionally a good way to get to and out of your resort for those who’re staying in one of many downtown resorts.

24. Benefit from the Santa Cruz Wharf

Positioned alongside the attractive Santa Cruz coast, the Wharf is likely one of the most iconic spots in all of California.  A whole bunch of boats sail into the marina day by day, filling its docks with a festive ambiance and an infinite array of colours.. Whether or not you’re in search of some nice seafood or simply need to wander alongside the scenic boardwalk and watch the waves roll in, there’s one thing for everybody on the Wharf.

Santa Cruz Wharf

25. Go to the Seaside City of Capitola 

The seaside city of Capitola is a must-visit for anybody in search of a enjoyable and stress-free trip. This charming city is situated on the Monterey Bay and is thought finest for its colourful homes, which line the cliff that overlooks the seashore. Along with its picturesque setting, Capitola additionally provides quite a lot of actions to maintain guests entertained. The city has various retailers and eating places, in addition to a pier the place you may go fishing or just benefit from the view. There may be additionally a seashore the place you may sunbathe, swim, or surf. 

Seaside Town of Capitola 

26. Discover the Seymour Marine Discovery Middle

The Seymour Marine Discovery Middle is a superb place to study concerning the ocean and the animals that stay there. It’s a public aquarium and marine training facility, situated on the UC Santa Cruz campus. The middle homes greater than 30 sharks, rays, and different fish in its million-gallon Outer Bay exhibit. Guests also can see big kelp, anacondas, and African penguins. 

27. See the SS Palo Alto

The SS Palo Alto is a shipwreck that’s situated off the coast of Santa Cruz. The shipwreck is seen from the shore and is a well-liked spot for scuba diving. 

The SS Palo Alto was a cargo ship that was deliberately sunk in 1919 to create a synthetic reef off the coast of California. The shipwreck is now a preferred vacation spot for scuba divers, who can discover the within of the ship and see firsthand the way it has been slowly deteriorating over the previous century. However, it is usually seen from the shore making it a preferred spot for photographers.

SS Palo Alto

28. Stroll Throughout the Felton Coated Bridge

The Felton Coated Bridge is a phenomenal instance of nineteenth century engineering. Positioned within the small city of Felton, California, the bridge spans the San Lorenzo River and was in-built 1892. It’s one among solely a handful of lined bridges nonetheless in existence within the state. The bridge is open to pedestrians and it’s a standard spot for picnics and fishing. 

29. Get at Cone at The Penny Ice Creamery

The Penny Ice Creamery is a must-visit vacation spot for any ice cream lover. This native gem has been successful awards and raving critiques ever because it first opened again in 2009. With its progressive flavors, recent substances, and enjoyable ambiance, it’s no surprise that the Penny Ice Creamery has change into such successful with guests and locals alike. Whether or not you might be in search of one thing traditional or one thing completely sudden, the proficient group at Penny can have you coming again for extra time and again.

30. Go to the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Backyard

The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Backyard is a gem within the coronary heart of the Santa Cruz mountains. The backyard is residence to over 150 totally different species of vegetation, together with cacti, palms, and ferns. Plus, with its pristine grounds, majestic bushes, and colourful array of blooming flowers, it’s a paradise for nature lovers from all around the globe. However what really units this botanic backyard aside is its dedication to preservation and conservation. The arboretum works intently with native organizations to guard species which are indigenous to this area, reminiscent of the enduring Santa Cruz redwood tree. 

31. Verify Out Walton Lighthouse

The Walton Lighthouse is a Santa Cruz landmark that has been guiding ships to security for over 150 years. In-built 1858, the lighthouse stands on a rocky outcropping simply offshore from the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. 

Guests can take a brief hike to the lighthouse for spectacular views of the coast and an up-close have a look at the historic construction. The Walton Lighthouse is finest recognized for its distinctive Fresnel lens, which magnifies mild to offer a robust beam that may be seen for miles. Right now, the lighthouse is totally automated, but it surely nonetheless serves as an necessary navigational help for ships passing by way of Santa Cruz waters.

Walton Lighthouse

32. Stroll the Scenic West Cliff Drive

There’s nothing fairly like a stroll or bike experience alongside West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz. The attractive views of the Pacific Ocean and the glowing seashores under make this one of the scenic spots within the metropolis. Whether or not you’re a seasoned bicycle owner or simply in search of a calming day trip within the solar, West Cliff is certain to be one among your favourite locations to discover.

The route itself is about 5 miles lengthy, following alongside the shoreline from Pleasure Level all the best way as much as Pure Bridges State Seaside. 

As you stroll or experience, you’ll see individuals fishing, working, and picnicking alongside the trail. If you happen to’re fortunate, you may even get a glimpse of some whales or dolphins splashing within the water! 

33. Take a Stroll Via Wilder Ranch State Park

Whether or not you’re in search of a leisurely stroll or an adrenaline-pumping exercise, Wilder Ranch State Park is certain to please. This park options miles of trails for mountaineering and biking, in addition to a stunning shoreline for picnicking, fishing, or just taking within the views. You may also discover the historic Victorian farmhouse or study concerning the space’s historical past on the museum. And for those who’re feeling adventurous, there’s even a zipper line! Whether or not you’re in search of a leisurely stroll or an adrenaline-pumping exercise, Wilder Ranch State Park is certain to please.

34. Go Wine Tasting within the Santa Cruz Mountains 

The Santa Cruz Mountains supply a novel wine tasting expertise. Beauregard Winery is ready amongst the redwoods, and their wines replicate the pure terroir of the area. The Regale Vineyard is situated in an outdated stagecoach cease, and their focus is on small-batch, single winery wines. Each Beauregard and Regale supply quite a lot of tastings, from conventional flights to extra intimate reserve tastings. 

Whether or not you’re a wine aficionado or simply trying to strive one thing new, a Santa Cruz Mountain wine tasting is certain to please.

35. Go Espresso Store Hopping

On the lookout for a fantastic espresso store in Santa Cruz? You’ll be able to’t go improper with eleventh Hour, Verve, or Cat & Cloud. eleventh Hour is thought for its killer espresso and baked items, whereas Verve is a favourite amongst native espresso aficionados. And for those who’re in search of a relaxed vibe, Cat & Cloud is the place for you. All three espresso retailers supply their beans from native roasters, so you already know you’re getting the freshest cup of espresso round. So whether or not you’re in search of a fast caffeine repair or need to spend a while chatting with pals, make sure to try one among Santa Cruz’s superb espresso retailers.

. . .

There are many enjoyable issues to do in Santa Cruz, from exploring the colourful downtown space to visiting the world-famous Santa Cruz Seaside Boardwalk. And naturally, no journey to Santa Cruz, California can be full with out taking a experience on the enduring Large Dipper Curler Coaster. Whether or not you’re in search of a calming getaway or an action-packed trip, Santa Cruz has one thing for everybody.

What are a few of your favourite issues to do in Santa Cruz? Tell us within the feedback under!

Finest Suggestions for Visiting Santa Cruz, California

Getting There: Mineta- San Jose Worldwide Airport is a serious hub and most airways will fly into it. You’ll be able to simply test for the very best fare offers at Skyscanner, which additionally has the choice to decide on ‘most cost-effective month’ because the departure to search out the bottom priced dates to fly to your vacation spot. From the airport to the town heart, you may take a shuttle, lease a automotive, or take a taxi or a bus.

The place to Keep in Santa Cruz: It’s finest to remain close to the town heart, public transportation or the world that you’ll be spending essentially the most time in. Hampton Inn Santa Cruz West, Ca is a superb alternative within the Westside, Santa Cruz. For one thing on the inexpensive facet, strive Santa Cruz Hostel situated in Westside, Santa Cruz. For a resort with a bit extra extravagance, ebook a room on the Dream Inn Santa Cruz. Or search some nice offers on resorts of your alternative at Reserving.com. If you happen to’re in search of extra of a house ambiance (or are touring with a bunch of individuals), head over to Airbnb that has homes, residences and even only a room for lease in each worth vary. 

Getting Round: Driving in a brand new vacation spot generally is a little bit of a problem, however for those who select to lease a automotive, RentalCars.com has nice offers. In case you are not renting a automotive, there are many different choices. Taxis, Lyft and Uber can be found all around the metropolis. For a extra finances pleasant possibility, you may take the public bus or metro

Finest Excursions in Santa Cruz: You’ll find among the high excursions at Get Your Information or Viator, and listed below are among the high ones. excursions:

Insurance coverage: It’s at all times a good suggestion to journey totally insured so you might be protected in case of journey cancellations or medical emergencies. You’ll be able to try pricing at Travelex Insurance coverage

This put up might include affiliate hyperlinks. If you happen to make a purchase order by way of my hyperlinks, I earn a fee that helps to maintain this weblog working—at no additional value to you. You’ll be able to learn my full disclosure right here.

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