Santa Cruz has been
recognized as the last of the real California beach towns.
Packed into its 12 square miles you can find stretches of
beautiful beaches, redwood forests, National Marine Sanctuary,
UCSC, the world famous Boardwalk Amusement Park, a Marina and
Yacht Harbor, Municipal Wharf, a downtown graced with shops,
restaurants and more movie screens per capita than any other
Surfing off of Steamer
Lane, a potboiler landing for Pacific waves, has become one of
the legendary places to ride a surfboard. The waters in and
around Santa Cruz host enthusiasts of sailing, fishing,
canoeing, kayaking, body surfing and just plain toe wiggling.
The Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor hosts a blend of old-world
fishermen and high-tech sailing craft, with row boats,
fair-whether sailors who all share their love of the water
with seals, otters and seagulls. Not quite as legendary, but
sometimes infamous, are the Wednesday night races which, if
you are not participating, can be very entertaining to watch.
You can sometimes find a beach party of sailboat greeters
waiting for the spectacular sights of colorful spinnakers
raising into the sunset-hued sky as they make their way down
For those who prefer
their pleasures on dry land, the Boardwalk's Giant Dipper
rollercoaster -- rated as one of the best wooden coasters in
the world -- has been thrilling riders for more than 75 years.
For something a bit more futuristic, save the world from
intergalactic destruction at the Boardwalk's new virtual
But Santa Cruz is
much more than the beach. Venture down Pacific Avenue to
find a smart new downtown, rebuilt in fine style following
the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. This is
one of the newest "in" spots and an entertaining
place to be day or night.
galleries, sidewalk cafes, theaters, and boutiques, the
downtown reflects the artistic talent of this community. Santa
Cruz has a niche for everyone, local artisans have license to
produce the kinds of paintings, glasswork, sculpture, and
other fine work that can't be found anywhere else. You'll also
find high-tech companies tucked into upstairs offices,
locating here simply because of the ambiance. Don't miss a
chance to see some live theater or performances while you are
in Santa Cruz. Not only is the local talent exceptional, but
Santa Cruz attracts many top-ranked performers from all over
Up on "the hill,"
the University of California Santa Cruz campus is home to some
of the world's finest programs in arts and sciences. This
lovely campus has a vantage point from which to see the beauty
of Santa Cruz. Its backdrop is the still, quiet atmosphere of
majestic redwood groves and its front door welcome mat is
rolling hillsides splattered with wildflowers and ocean
breezes. There are many nature trails on and around the campus
that are open to visitors.
Santa Cruz is the
gateway the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Only about
a half-dozen National Marine Sanctuaries have been set up in
the United States, so it is a rare privilege and should not to
be missed. A visit to the Long Marine Lab, just past Natural
Bridges State Beach, is the ticket to a real education.
They say Santa Cruz
has thrived in some distinct eras; as an old-world fishing
village, an art deco mecca evident in some of its old
buildings like the Coconut Grove, in the fifties-style Beach
parties and beatniks, 60's hippie-free thinking era, and as a
mecca for intellectuals, artists and performers. The rebirth
of this beautiful city since the Earthquake of '89
demonstrates its strength as a destination for vacationers for
one thing remains constant...Santa Cruz is the place to be.
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