Photo by Rachel Endsley
Sure, the rain might have you dreaming of a cozy nook and a warm cup of coffee, but don’t sell yourself short this season! Wet weather can bring some of nature’s best into the limelight, and let’s be honest, a great cup of coffee isn’t hard to come by in Santa Cruz! So put the latte on hold and check out some of our favorite rainy day nature finds that will get you outside and enjoying the season!
Photo courtesy of @withniu at Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Now that we’ve got some precipitation, waterfalls and streams are flowing with a bit more gusto. Some great waterfalls can be found at Big Basin, Fall Creek, and Nisene Marks. See more details on our blog dedicated to waterfall hikes in Santa Cruz County.
Photo courtesy of @dance110186 at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
NEWTS, BANANA SLUGS, AND MUSHROOMS, OH MY!
Kid or kid at heart, who doesn’t love a good old fashion mushroom or banana slug hunt? It’s hard to walk a wet trail and not keep track of how many bright yellow banana slugs you see along the way. The newt hunt can be a bit more of a challenge, but those cool looking creatures are always exciting to find. And for mushrooms, a great way to keep track of how many types you find is by taking a photo of each. My record - 16 different species on an hour long hike in Henry Cowell. Get on the trail, take some photos and be sure to tag @VisitSantaCruz to share your finds!
Photo courtesy of @neilsimmonsphotography at the Harbor Beach/Twin Lakes Beach
SWELLS, SHELLS, AND WHALE TALES
Those stormy swells can be quite a sight. Surging waves, moody hues, and an uptick in marine life sightings make beach visits worth every soggy second. The wet weather can also bring some drastically high and low tides, and on those negative tide days, tide pooling and shell searches can be top notch. But as always, remember to respect the power of the ocean and stay safe! Take a peek at some of the county's best beaches and get planning!
Photo courtesy of @glennmwhite at the UC Satna Cruz Arboretum
ADDITIONAL RAINY DAY FAVORITES
Put on some rain boots, grab your coat and explore the beautiful gardens at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. Acres of native and exotic plants lend lots of opportunities for photos, and be sure to keep an eye out for those rare white hummingbirds everyone's been swooning over!
Sure, the majority of the exhibits are indoors, but the Seymour Marine Discovery Center is a perfect rainy day adventure. Explore the world of marine life and conservation and enjoy stunning coastal views while you're there!
Photo courtesy of Garrick Ramirez