2014 marks twenty years of living in Santa Cruz for me, and one thing I can’t get over is how much I still have to explore and experience in this area. So this year, I have a simple bucket list to get out, see and do more in this place I love and call home.
There are over 29 miles of beaches in Santa Cruz County and I’ve probably only visited a third of them. With four kids in tow, I tend to stick to my family’s tried and true spots. But this year, I want to break old habits and discover new sandy playgrounds and waves.
I’ve been geeking out on the new National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated map that covers all of Big Basin/Santa Cruz Parks and Preserves and I want to hike ALL THE TRAILS! Now that my kids are older and can handle longer, steeper hikes, I want to take advantage and bump our nature walks up to the next level in 2014.
After a successful first family camping trip last year, we are ready and raring to go again this spring and summer. Camping was a big part of my childhood and I want to be sure to pass the same cherished memories on to my children. Santa Cruz County boasts an array of campgrounds from the redwood forest to the beach- many of these places we know by day, but by night, they will be a whole new adventure!
4. Festivals and Events
Santa Cruzans like to celebrate everything from fungus to birds, wine to chili, begonias to guitars. The Japanese Cultural Fair, Polynesian Cultural Festival and Downtown Holiday Parade are solid traditions for my family, but this year we added to the fun by attending Thunderbirds on the Wharf, Welcome Back Monarchs Day and the First Annual Mole and Mariachi Festival. There is much more in store next year as 2014 marks some extra special anniversaries: the Wharf turns 100 (I hear there will be fireworks!), and California State Parks turns 150! Keep your eye out for festivities and start marking those calendars!
5. Wine Tasting
After all the family time mentioned above, I would love some mini-getaways with my husband. With over 70 wineries and tasting rooms in Santa Cruz County, wine tasting could be a bucket list in itself! Whether we cover the Corralitos Wine Trail, head into the Santa Cruz Mountains, or try a little bistro downtown, I would love to raise a glass and toast to a brand new year of adventures and memories in Santa Cruz.
What’s on your Santa Cruz bucket list? Let us know in the comments!