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January 26, 2016

5 Beautiful Spots to Enjoy Birds in Santa Cruz County

Sandpippers - Photo courtesy of Lisa SheridanSandpippers - Photo courtesy of Lisa Sheridan
 
Marbled Murrelet and Peregrine Falcon may sound like foot-tapping bands at the weekly farmers market, but they’re actually the names of rare birds you may spot in Santa Cruz County. The region’s feathered friends extend beyond the gulls that cozy up to your bowl of clam chowder at the wharf. Situated along the Pacific Flyway -- a prominent migratory path that stretches from Alaska to Patagonia -- Santa Cruz plays host to hundreds of bird species. No experience necessary here. Just head to one of the spots listed below and see for yourself!

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January 22, 2016

Winter Beach Treasures!

Photo by @seeninsantacruz in DavenportPhoto by @seeninsantacruz in Davenport
Summer or winter, just about everyday is a beach day in Santa Cruz. Sure, winter beach days call for a few more layers and a little less sunscreen, but they often lead to some great finds! Wildlife is in full bloom during the winter months with gray whales offshore, elephants seals, lots of birding, and great tidepooling. The winter swells & surf stir up the coast and bring lots of creatures and other treasures to the shore. Check out some AMAZING recent Santa Cruz County winter finds!

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January 14, 2016

Visit the Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo!

Photo by Instagram, @aydan_elizPhoto by Instagram, @aydan_eliz
Año Nuevo in the winter months is a must. Elephant seal bulls battle it out in the surf while females come ashore to birth their pups. It’s wildlife at its best and the setting couldn’t be better. Plus, from mid December through March 31st, knowledgeable docent naturalists give park goers a guided tour chock full of facts during your up close and personal look at these gigantic creatures.

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December 17, 2015

Start the New Year with an Inspiring Hike

All Photos by Garrick RamirezAll Photos by Garrick Ramirez
Say “Auld Lang Syne” to holiday indulgences and start the New Year fresh with an inspiring hike in a beautiful setting. On January 1st, state parks throughout the country will ring in 2016 with First Day Hikes, a fourth annual program that offers free, guided hikes to all. Below, we’ve assembled a guide to outings being offered in Santa Cruz County. Hikes vary in length and rigor but all are designed with families in mind. So add a warm jacket and some outdoor gear to your holiday list and hit the trails with us on New Years Day.

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November 19, 2015

Winter Wildlife Watch: Elephant Seals

Photo by Instagram, @wpgsfo Photo by Instagram, @wpgsfo
The secret's out! Winter is the BEST time to visit Santa Cruz for some great wildlife watching! And one of our winter must-sees - the elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Park!

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