Santa Cruz, located on the northern edge of Monterey Bay 75 miles south of San Francisco and 32 miles from San Jose boasts redwood forests and a stunning coastline and is known as one of America’s surfing capitals. Santa Cruz County beaches offer the perfect setting for seaside fun. Whether you enjoy surfing, playing beach volleyball, or hiking along the coastal bluffs. Spend the day sailing, kayaking, surfing, paddling or head out further into the ocean for a fising trip or whale watching. Spend some time with the kids enjoying the amusements on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk with over 35 rides, restaurants and shopping.
Santa Cruz County is one of the few places where a trail can begin in a redwood forest and end on the beach. Hiking trails wind past majestic old-growth redwoods and graceful waterfalls at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Wilder Ranch State Park, and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Santa Cruz County has 14 state parks in all, including Natural Bridges State Beach, Manresa State Beach. With over 70 wineries and tasting rooms, the Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation is one of the oldest wine regions in the United States, known for award-winning Pinot Noir and other wines. From quaint shops in downtown Santa Cruz to specialty shops in Capitola Village and the Capitola Mall beyond town, to antique shopping in Soquel Village and Aptos, there is something for everyone. Check out a hip bistro serving modern California cuisine, a neighborhood café, a sunny outdoor terrace with a view of the Monterey Bay or a gourmet fine dining restaurant. You will be spoiled for choice.