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Travel BLOG
November 10, 2016

Sunrise, Butterflies and More at Natural Bridges

Photo by @maitoza_nikon

Sunrises aren't always easy to catch. Between work, kids, morning coffee needs, and your desire to sleep, sunup can be a bit of an elusive event. But if you're looking for a sunrise spot worth the effort, try the Westside of Santa Cruz. Thanks to the dramatic coastline of the Monterey Bay, when on the Westside, it seems as if the sun is rising over the Pacific Ocean...and with the whole, "the sun rises in the east and sets in the west" thing, you'll likely have your Instagram followers questioning your #SCSunrise hashtag.  

Photo by @bhavitatoliya

But my absolute favorite Westside sunrise locale is Natural Bridges State Beach. This postcard-worthy beach is always a gem, but fall and winter come with some extra special perks. First, you have more dramatic low tides (and high tides) in the fall and winter months. On those extra low tide days, it's a great time to do a little morning exploration at the tidepools. Another big attraction is the seasonal Monarch Butterflies that make their home in the Eucalyptus trees at the park. Walk over to the Monarch Grove and watch the butterflies take flight in the warmth of the morning sun. And on those chillier days, look closely at the trees to find them clustered together among the leaves and branches. 

Photo by @gina_e13

Are you an early riser and have a go-to morning spot? Share your sunrise photo with us on Instagram by tagging, @VisitSantaCruz! And for all your winter wildlife photos, use #SCWildlife and #SCWhales for possible repost on our page!

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