Santa Cruz

The Boardwalk on the beach of Santa Cruz
Photo by: Matt314, Creative Commons

The northern edge of Monterey Bay in California is home to the city of Santa Cruz. The city is widely known for its beautiful beaches, coastal redwood forests, and mild climate, making it a popular resort community.

Located a little more than a hundred miles south of San Francisco, Santa Cruz offers tired workers and visitors a quick beach getaway from the hustle and bustle of the big city with its 29 miles of sunny coastline. The city is home to some of California’s best beaches, which enjoy warm and mostly dry summers thanks to the mild climate of the area. Visitors may enjoy a myriad of activities on the beaches including surfing, volleyball, sailing, diving, and of course, swimming.

Visitors may also visit the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which is the oldest amusement park in California, located along the coast of Monterey Bay. Founded in 1907, it is one of the few seaside parks on the US West Coast and is home to a 1911 Charles I. D. Looff Carousel and a 1924 Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster. Despite their age, these two rides are still in operation. Traditional carnival games and snack booths mix in with a more modern laser tag arena, video arcade, and miniature golf course on the Boardwalk.

There are also many parks and open spaces within the city, in addition to the coastal redwood forests which line Monterey Bay. Outdoor enthusiasts may enjoy hiking among tall redwood trees, going out on picnics, playing outdoor sports, and observing wildlife in the greenbelt areas of the city.

Downtown Santa Cruz is the city’s cultural center, with many museums, art galleries, bookstores, and historical buildings to see and visit. The city also celebrates many festivals, including Shakespeare Santa Cruz, which is an annual where some of Shakespeare’s plays are performed among the redwood trees, and the Santa Cruz Film Festival, where independent filmmakers may show off their works.

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