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Things To Do
Santa Cruz County is a cultural and entertainment haven.  Whether you're on a romantic getaway, family excursion, outdoor adventure or restful retreat, we have it all here in Santa Cruz County - the perfect vacationer's paradise.  Below we have compiled our favorite places to see and things to do.  If you need help planning your day, be sure to consult one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members.  You'll be pleased you did.  We have also bookmarked our favorite places on our Internet kiosks. Simply surf online at no charge and print the information you desire.  There's so much to experience that you may not want to leave!
Hotels
Tourist Spots
Beaches
Parks
Shopping
Golf Courses
Wineries
Dining
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    Ethnic
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Downtown Santa Cruz
Want a special shopping or dining experience? Bustling Downtown Santa Cruz is known for an eclectic array of shops, cafés and entertainment.
  • Outdoor cafés
  • Unique shops
  • Kuumbwa Jazz Center
  • Catalyst Club
  • Museum of Art & History

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Experience this historic, admission-free family destination along the beach.
  • 35 amusement rides
  • Roller coaster, a national historic landmark
  • Carousel, a national historic landmark
  • Mile-long main beach

Santa Cruz Wharf
Take a scenic walk or drive on the longest wharf on the West Coast, and the longest structure reaching into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
  • Romantic waterfront dining
  • Shopping for gifts from the sea
  • Boat cruise on the bay
  • License-free fishing from wharf
  • Kayak lessons & small boat rental
  • Frolicking sea lions

Lighthouse Area
Enjoy the mix of surfers, tourists, joggers and bicyclists at one of California’s last urban open headlands.
Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor
Witness the display of sailboats, commercial vessels and kayaks slip in and out of this colorful harbor.
  • Superb views at Aldo’s Café and Crows Nest Restaurant
  • Dining and brunch on the Chardonnay sailing yacht
  • Whale watching and fishing excursions
  • Kayak lessons and rental
  • Free water taxi throughout harbor
  • Marina 2-mile interpretive path

Golfing
Challenge your skills at many fine local golf courses, including Pasatiempo, named by Golf Digest as one of the top 3 courses in California along with nearby Pebble Beach and Spyglass.
  • Pasatiempo Golf Course - Santa Cruz
  • De Laveaga Golf Course - Santa Cruz
  • Seascape Golf Course - Aptos
  • Pajaro Valley Golf Course - Watsonville

Beaches
Bask in the sun, stroll along the sand and absorb the beauty of the Monterey Bay.  The panoramic coastline of Santa Cruz County is dotted with pristine beaches offering peace and solitude.
  • Natural Bridges State Beach
  • New Brighton State Beach
  • Seacliff State Beach
  • Rio Del Mar State Beach
  • Manresa State Beach
  • Sunset State Beach
  • Palm State Beach

Walking, Hiking & Mounting Biking
Delight in the great outdoors, from challenging hikes and mountain bike excursions to leisurely walks on trails and paved pathways.  On short loop trails at Henry Cowell and Big Basin, you can behold the majestic redwood tree, the world’s tallest living species.
  • Wilder Ranch State Park
  • Henry Cowell State Park
  • Big Basin State Park
  • Nisene Marks State Park
  • UCSC Campus
  • Pogonip City Park

Wineries & Wine Festivals
Sample some of California’s finest and be sure not to miss the annual Vintners’ Festival and other festivals that showcase local vintages.  Several wineries have daily public tasting.
  • Bargetto Winery
  • Bonny Doon Vineyard
  • Hallcrest Vineyards
  • The Organic Wine Works
  • Storrs Winery
  • Santa Cruz Art, Wine & Jazz Festival in May
  • Boulder Creek Art, Wine & Music Festival in May
  • Cabrillo Music, Art & Wine Festival in August
  • Scotts Valley Art under Oaks in August
  • Capitola Art & Wine Festival in September
  • Summit to Sea Wineries:  Burrell School, Hunter Hill, Loma Prieta, Poetic Cellars, Vine Hill

Wildlife Discovery
Witness the migrations of Monarch butterflies, elephant seals, whales, birds and much more.  The local area offers sanctuary to many species of wildlife in search of rest and nourishment.
  • Natural Bridges State Beach, Monarch butterflies & tide pools
  • Seymour Marine Discovery Center & Long Marine Laboratory
  • Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
  • Elkhorn Slough, world-renowned wetlands wildlife and ocean sanctuary
  • Wetlands of Watsonville, surviving coastal marshlands
  • Ano Nuevo State Reserve, elephant seal mating ground
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium

Family Fun
Journey on a historic steam train, stroll through a mystical forest, go back in time at Santa Cruz Mission and Wilders Ranch, enjoy the thrill of NASCAR and much more.
  • Roaring Camp Railroads
  • Mystery Spot
  • Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
  • Wilder Ranch State Park
  • Watsonville Speedway
  • Bonfante Gardens Family Theme Park
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium

Capitola Village
Stroll through the oldest seaside resort area in California with many fine ocean view restaurants. Home of the annual Begonia Festival, Capitola Art & Wine Festival & the Wharf to Wharf Race.
  • Boutique shops and galleries
  • Capitola Wharf
  • Capitola Beach
  • Shadowbrook Restaurant, reached by historic cable car
  • Capitola Mall nearby, largest in the County
  • Soquel Village nearby, haven for antique shoppers
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