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Travel BLOG
August 15, 2012

Summertime Activities at the Santa Cruz Harbor

One of my favorite spots in Santa Cruz is the Santa Cruz Harbor, just off of East Cliff Drive, and there is no better time to head down to the Harbor than in the summer. From the restaurants, to the Wednesday night sailboat races to beach volleyball there is always something to do in this vibrant community. Here are a few favorite events happening throughout the summer in the Santa Cruz Harbor. Wednesday Night Sailboat Races: From March – October each Wednesday you will find a parade of sailboats caravanning out to the open water from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM. Spectators are scattered all over the harbor from the lighthouse just off Seabright Beach to the balcony of the Crow’s Nest, a popular Santa Cruz restaurant. If you have ever gone to a Wednesday night sailboat race you know it’s not a race at all. It’s a time to get together with family, friends or take your dog for walk and just soak in the Santa Cruz community. Everyone has a great time from the spectators to those in the boats waving out to the crowd, you feel like part of a bigger community, a community that loves where they live. Thursday Night Beach Parties at the Crow’s Nest: Every Thursday from June 14th – August 30th at the Crow’s Nest, enjoy live music, a stunning ocean view and a delicious barbecue on the beach. The Crow’s Nest is known to locals as the place to go and relax, enjoy a beverage, eat some good food, and catch up with friends all with an amazing ocean view as the backdrop. The barbecue is on the beach, allowing you the perfect opportunity to watch a game of volleyball or paddlers gliding through the harbor. Free Water Taxis: Looking to get from one side of the harbor to the next, but don’t have a boat? No problem. Operating on weekends and holidays from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Memorial Day – Labor Day) there are four free inner-harbor water taxi stops - perfect for hopping from one side to the other. Santa Cruz Whale Watching: Catch a glimpse of our largest ocean friends in the Monterey Bay.  Head out to sea on a 60 foot charter boat to get a view of the bustling sea life in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.  Guests have the possibility of seeing seven different whale species (depending on the time of year), sea lions, seals, otters, sea birds, and so much more!  Tours leave daily from the harbor and last about four hours. Chardonny II Sailing Charters: Watch the Wednesday Night Sailboat races beyond the dock and schedule a ride on the Chardonny II Sailing Charters. Aboard the 70-foot luxury sailing yacht, you will be treated to an incredible experience. They offer a number of daily sails from sunset rides and Tuesday neighborhood night, to Champagne brunch and even whale watching tours. This amazing experience takes you beyond the land-restricted sightseeing you can only do on foot. Kayak Connection: Want to get a closer look at the ocean?  Paddle out to sea on a kayak tour or a stand-up paddle board lesson leaving daily from the harbor.  Get some exercise and take in some fantastic sites.   Get a view of Santa Cruz from the ocean and you may just catch a glimpse of some dolphins, otters, sea lions, or even a whale! The Santa Cruz Harbor fosters a fun, community-driven environment, rich with vivacious activity.  Beachgoers can enjoy a lazy day in the sand, take in gorgeous public art displays, listen to the sweet sounds of the Santa Cruz Ukulele Club, play some beach volleyball, and explore all that the harbor has to offer.  See you on the docks!    


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  • Mary Lindsay 6 years 33 days ago
    The 65' O'Neill Catamaran sails out of the harbor, and has sunset sails, winemaker sails, whalewatch sails, sails to watch the Wednesday night races and a whole lot of opportunities to get out on Monterey Bay. It's a shame it wasn't mentioned. Plus, it is part of the O'Neill Sea Odyssey foundation program which encourages the protection and preservation of our living sea.