Santa Cruz is the largest city of Santa Cruz County in California. Situated on the northern edge of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz is popular due to its moderate climate, natural environment, and several miles long coastline. While initially, the city was dependent on industries like gunpowder, lime, and agriculture, it reestablished itself as a beach resort community in the late 19th century.
If you love nature, Santa Cruz is the perfect place to visit. The city has so much more to offer than just its beaches and the coastline. Here is a list of things to do when you visit this beautiful city.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Built in 1907, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a mile-long boardwalk and amusement park. The whole feel of the place is very 80s and features some classic rides like the Looff carousel and the Giant Dipper both of which are national landmarks. You will also find an arcade, mini-golf course, and a bowling center at the place.
You can take a walk on the beach and watch the sunset. Also, don't forget to try the several foods stands offering corn dogs, corn, deep-fried artichokes among several other food choices.
Opened in 1940, Mystery Spot is a California Historical Landmark. The gravity at this beloved place works differently. The tour guides are very funny and keep you entertained throughout the tour while they tell you about the history and showcase some of the gravitational anomalies.
If you are in Santa Cruz, the Mystery Spot is a great space to kill an hour and take some awesome photos. The tickets are cheap as well.
Roaring Camp Railroads
If you want to experience the redwoods that Santa Cruz is famous for, do yourself a favor and head to the Roaring Camp Railroads. The one-hour 15 minutes long train ride takes you up to the summit of Bear mountain and offers a different perspective and view of the redwoods. The conaductor narrates the story of Roaring Camp and the history of how the 19th-century steam train and tracks were originally used to haul Redwood logs off the mountains.
Visitors can also tour an old-fashioned general store and enjoy special events hosted by Roaring Camp Railroads during Halloween and the holidays. While the tickets may be expensive but it is well worth it.
West Cliff Drive
West Cliff Drive is a 3-mile long path that offers some of the best views of the county. Whether you want to go for a morning jog or an evening stroll, you will not be disappointed. You can witness some of the most beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and if lucky watch dolphins and whales at Lighthouse point. Your trip to Santa Cruz is not complete without spending a few hours and absorbing the ocean breeze at West Cliff Drive.
Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Seymour Marine Discovery Center is an indoor and outdoor natural science museum that is perfect to learn about the local marine life and its conservation. The place features an aquarium filled with rockfish, jellyfish, and even sharks. One of the most popular exhibits is the whopping 87 feet long blue whale skeleton.
The discovery center has several interactive exhibits and you can even touch a shark or experience scuba diving without getting wet. It is recommended you sign up for one of the guided tours to get the most out of your visit to the Seymour Marine Discovery Center.
The place is a must-visit for people visiting Santa Cruz, especially if you have kids. Sundays at the Discovery Center are dedicated to families that want to have fun and enjoy doing arts and crafts together while learning about marine life.
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