Santa Cruz, situated on the northern shore of Monterey Bay, is a long-time favorite of Californians and most noted for the Beach Boardwalk. There's much more in Santa Cruz, though, so spend a few days and enjoy some fun in the sun.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, since the first carousel was delivered in 1921, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk has consistently offered quality entertainment and amusements for the entire family. Admission to the Boardwalk is free and don't miss the free entertainment on Friday nights!! A variety of ride packages are available, individual ride prices are from $1.60 - $3.60.
Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, the largest working wharf on the west coast, offers dining, shopping, festivals and events, and tons of water activities.
The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, the 1st surfing museum in California, is housed in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse/ Overlooking internationally renowned surfing hotspot Steamer Lane, the museum traces over 100 years of surfing history in Santa Cruz.
Mission Santa Cruz, the 12th of the 21 Franciscan missions, was dedicated in 1791. View the original mission and a variety of buildings added through the last 200 years.
The Museum of Art and History features four galleries on three floors with exhibits, family activities, and tours, PLUS three historical sites: The Octagon Building (Museum Store), the Evergreen Cemetery and the Davenport Jail. McPherson Center, 705 Front St., Open Tues - Sun
Roaring Camp is a recreation of an 1880s logging town complete to its steam-powered saw mill and period buildings including a general store, depot, opera house, school house, and the two railroads: a narrow-gauge track that climbs through virgin redwood forests and a standard gauge track that travels down the scenic San Lorenzo River gorge to the beach at Santa Cruz. Visit Felton Covered Bridge Park and historic sites in Felton, (map) just 1/2 mile before your arrival at Roaring Camp.
Explore 5,000 acres of coastal wildlands with 34 miles of hiking, equestrian and biking trails at Wilder Ranch State Park. The site was originally the main rancho supplying Santa Cruz Mission and the surrounding grounds include Victorian homes, gardens, and historic adobe.
Unique beach north of Santa Cruz, Natural Bridges State Park is great for swimming, surfing and windsurfing and exploring tide pools at low tide. Also the site of the wintering of the Monarch Butterfly, as well as favorite location for migrating whales, seals and otters.
Big Basin State Park is California's oldest State Park, established in 1902 and home to the largest continuous stand of Ancient Coast Redwoods south of San Francisco. 80 miles of trails cover lush canyons, chaparral-covered slopes, waterfalls and of coure, the Redwood groves. In Boulder Creek, 25 miles from Santa Cruz. Camping available.