Welcome to California. With 300 days of sunshine a year and over 46 kilometers of beaches, it’s no surprise that Santa Cruz is the classic American beach town, home to a retro-cool seaside amusement park, and birthplace of mainland US surfing, California’s iconic sport. A mere 90-minutes south of San Francisco, hire a convertible, grab your Wayfarers, and hit scenic Highway 1 for your very own Cali road trip, taking in spectacular secret beaches such as the beautiful Davenport Landing Beach with its striking rock formation at Shark Tooth Cove.
But Santa Cruz is more than just a coastal destination; this Golden State treasure trove is packed with real gems. Featuring 14 state parks and beaches, once you’ve learnt to surf, head into the mountains (it sounds like a long journey, but they’re about 15 minutes away – oh how we love you Santa Cruz) and zip-line through redwood trees almost 90 meters high and over 1,800 years old. And the oenophiles among you are in for a real treat: Santa Cruz is home to over 70 family-run vineyards and wineries that specialize in small-yield, handcrafted wines, as well as hip, microbreweries and ale houses. Abundant farm-to-table offerings created from plentiful, fresh produce and artisan-crafted edibles are distinctly “California” in taste and freshness.
Sea, sun and surf are three ingredients that always draw us to a destination. But when you add mountains, vineyards, microbreweries, and world-class food into the mix, we come back time and time again.