Photo by Lisa Fay Larson
Santa Cruz is known for its phenomenal wildlife viewing opportunities. Year round whale watching, birding, otters and elephant seals, and seasonal monarch butterflies have put Santa Cruz County on the map for nature enthusiasts! And now, visitors and locals can have a new and improved Santa Cruz County Wildlife Watching Guide right in their own hands - for free!
Famed for its ancient redwoods, cascading waterfalls, and epic hikes, Big Basin Redwoods State Park
hides a lesser-known coastal region with an identity and landscape all of its own. Named for the grizzly bears that once roamed its lush grounds, Rancho del Oso
is a hidden gem with a dazzling spring wildflowers, enchanting marshlands laced with hiking and biking trails, and a magnificent nature center housed in a historic home once occupied by the family of President Herbert Hoover.
Bring out Dad's inner kid this Father's Day! Shovel in a hearty pancake breakfast alongside your local firefighters, hike or steam-train into the redwoods, learn about art and science, grab some BBQ, or all of the above. We've got events around Santa Cruz County that will celebrate Pops all day long! Check out more info below. Cheers to you, Daddy-O!
Photos by Garrick Ramirez
While news of a historic adobe might get lost amidst today’s flurry of sensational clickbait, we assure you that the Castro Adobe is a very special place. In addition to its gorgeous setting within Watsonville’s bucolic Larkin Valley, the 1850 adobe is a fascinating restoration project, an active archeology site, and a virtual glimpse into the region’s lively past. In its 168 years, the adobe has never officially been open to the public. Now, thanks to Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks who is leading restoration efforts, the Castro Adobe offers free, monthly open houses that offer visitors a unique opportunity to tour the property, witness its captivating restoration, and maybe munch a few freshly made tortillas in the process.
Among Santa Cruz’s best kept secrets, the Loch Lomond Recreation Area
might be the most spectacular. Hidden amidst the lush redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the glistening lake draws visitors with scenery, serenity, and activities such as boating, picnicking, and hiking. And now that Loch Lomond is open for the season, it’s the perfect time to discover this awesome recreation area. And no, you won’t find any sea monsters.