Are you looking to get out of town for a long weekend? Santa Cruz might just be calling your name. This sun-soaked town boasts some of California’s most desirable beaches, which make it the perfect place for surfing, swimming, or spending a day on a boat. Abundant in state parks and natural reserves, Santa Cruz county also offers much more than just ocean fun. You can camp, hike, go on nature walks, or check out the funky town known for its local art, music, and culinary scene.
1. Get in touch with nature at state parks
Santa Cruz has no shortage of natural beauty, so nature lovers will have their pick of some incredibly beautiful state parks. California’s oldest state park, Big Basin Red Woods is in Santa Cruz county. Hike through the corridors of mammoth redwoods or camp overnight at one of the park’s campgrounds. Natural Bridges State Park is another sight you can’t miss. You can find a picturesque natural bridge sitting on an expansive beach at this coastal state park, which is also a perfect locale for swimming, surfing, and walks. The park also happens to be a popular spot to see the monarch butterfly migration that occurs from October through early February each year.
2. Jumpstart your journey to healthy living
Have you been meaning to find a path to a healthier lifestyle? Sometimes it is easy to let life’s challenges take over, but there is never a better time than the present to take control of your choices and prioritize your health. When you’re in the area, pay a visit to the weight loss clinic in Santa Cruz, which offers the opportunity to explore weight loss programs. The clinic’s small team comes with years of experience and extensive training. They are dedicated to optimizing your health and equipping you with sustainable lifestyle changes. Specialists will develop a personalized wellness program, inclusive of diet plans, nutrition, and exercise, which will fit your specific physical and mental needs. Jumpstart MD’s programs are based on extensive clinical research, thus ensuring you have the best methods to achieve weight loss in a healthy way.
JumpstartMD Santa Cruz
Address: 820 Bay Ave. #111, Capitola, CA 95010
Phone #: 831-331-4178
3. Grab a surfboard and catch some waves
This coastal town is abundant in sandy beaches and breaking waves, making it a haven for seasoned surfers and first-timers. Nicknamed “surf city,” Santa Cruz has countless beaches with water ranging from gentle waves to crashing swells. First-timers should head to Cowell Beach where the waves are calm and long, making it a great spot to practice. For surfing pros, there are a number of hotspots including 30th and East Cliff and Steamer Lane, which offer intense and incredible waves. Even if you’re not a pro, these beaches are a great place to find a spot in the sand and watch some of California’s best surfers ride some waves.
4. Explore downtown
Downtown has plenty to offer, and you can easily spend a day or two checking out the local scene. Take a stroll down the boardwalk and then head to the wharf to look for sea lions lounging on the docks. The wharf also has some of the best seafood in town, so come hungry and head to places like Riva Fish House to fill up on prawns and oysters while overlooking panoramic views of Monterey Bay. Santa Cruz is also known for its thrifting and art scene, so if you’re looking to indulge your creative side, head to some eclectic thrift shops. And if you’re around on the first Friday of the month, the town comes alive with galleries and shops showcasing work of local artists alongside live music, turning it into a festival-like atmosphere.
5. Disconnect at Hidden Peak Teahouse
If you’re after a truly unique and grounding experience, be sure and head to Hidden Peak Teahouse during your trip.
Hidden Peak is much more than just a destination. This space is founded on the belief that a cup of tea can change your day. Digital-free, alcohol-free, and caffeine-free, the Teahouse is intentionally designed to create an ambient, calming atmosphere where friends and strangers alike can disconnect from distractions and connect over a simple cup of tea.