SANTA CRUZ
SOME OF THE REDWOODS IN THE AREA1,000+ YEARS OLD
DAYS OF SUNSHINE EACH YEAR300+
DISTANCE FROM SAN FRANCISCO75 MILES
Santa Cruz is a city in Northern California. It sits on the northern side of Monterey Bay (across from the city of Monterey). The main tourist attraction is the beach. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk makes for a fun date night. The city is a classic beach town, with an amusement park on the beach (more on this later) and the Santa Cruz Wharf.
  • THE BAY

    The city claims to be the true “Surf City USA” (although Huntington Beach has trademarked the name). The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is a popular spot to learn the history of surfing. In addition to riding the waves, many tourists enjoy beach days and boating. The whale-watching is great in the bay.

  • HISTORIC SANTA CRUZ

    Santa Cruz has several registered historic districts. Pacific Avenue is the main street with historic buildings. The street has restaurants, boutiques, and great ice cream shops. Another area to see is the Mission Hill Historic District.

  • REDWOOD FOREST

    The Santa Cruz Mountains are home to some huge redwood trees. Many of these trees are over 1,000 years old.

  • SOCIAL ACTIVISM

    Santa Cruz has a long history of being on the forefront of social issues and is very left-leaning. The city has several organizations that have historically promoted equality, campaigned for the legalization of marijuana, and denounced wars.

THE WEATHER
  • Winter is the rainy season, and Santa Cruz does get more rain than many other coastal California cities. The temps stay in the 60s. Winter is the off-season for tourism.

  • Early spring is wet, but the area dries out by May. May can be a good time to visit as the weather looks a lot like summer.

  • Summers are beautifully mild, with lots of sunshine and temps in the 70s. The beach is alive with activity.

  • Fall is a fantastic time to visit. The crowds tend to die down. The colors change in the nearby forests, and the weather is still in the mid-70s.