While most vacationers go to southern California for its ocean beaches and warm weather, California ocean hotels can be found all along the coast of the state, including Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is the home to breathtaking beaches, various city parks and beautiful community art. This diverse community is entertaining for adults and children alike. Here are a few things you can explore while you’re visiting.
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk contains a seaside amusement park, equipped with a rollercoaster, arcade games and carnival vendors. This half-mile long children’s paradise has more than 34 rides and will keep a smile on your child’s face for days. With many restaurants and shops located on and around the boardwalk, parents are able to have a little fun, too. There is an admission price for the amusement park, however there are season or holiday passes available in order to accommodate tourists.
As a reprieve from the bustling boardwalk, visitors can check out the artwork located all around Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz City Art works with various partners to bring murals and sculptures into to public areas such as beaches and parks. This art initiative allows both locals and tourists the opportunity to experience local artists and their work. The purpose of the Art Commission is to enhance the aesthetic appeal and culture of Santa Cruz. It’s often fun to walk around the city with no agenda and discover the visible and hidden artwork that so many talented artists have created.
Cowell Beach, just north of Main Beach in Santa Cruz offers nice waves for ocean swimming activities. Whether you’re interested in surfing, boogie boarding or just want to soak up the sun, you’ll be content here. One should be cautious however, when swimming because the swells, currents and winds in this area can quickly change and become dangerous. Stay close to shore and be sure children are wearing life preservers if they are not strong swimmers. During spring break, and weekends in the spring, summer and fall there is a lifeguard on-duty, however children should not be left to swim unattended.
Santa Cruz is located near many great areas in northern California including San Francisco, Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Making a day trip to one of these destinations can be fun for you and your fellow travelers. Just about an hour drive from Santa Cruz, San Francisco offers many sights for tourists including the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower and the classic trolley cars. Just south of Santa Cruz is Monterey, home to the world famous aquarium. Carmel-by-the-Sea is a charming village with high-end shops and cobblestone streets located near the breathtaking Pebble Beach golf course.