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Travel BLOG
December 28, 2017

Fan Favorites: Best of 2017

Photo by @quistwe

2017 is wrapping up and we’re taking a look back to see what our fans loved most on our Facebook and Instagram feeds. Sure, beach photos are always a hit, but we wanted to see what else our fans loved throughout Santa Cruz County. Take a look below for some of the Best of the Best of 2017 based on fan likes, comments, and shares. Enjoy the gallery and rest assured that we will keep providing more of this wildly beautiful, adventurous, and inspiring Santa Cruz content in 2018! And don't forget to keep tagging #VisitSantaCruz in your posts!

Facebook Faves:

#1 Facebook Post of 2017
On June 2, 2017, Santa Cruz and the surfing world lost a legend. On July 9th we went live to let our fans be a part of the historical paddle out in Jack O'Neill's honor. It was a day full of love, nostalgia, and celebration of life for the man who called Santa Cruz home and revolutionized surfing around the globe. Relive that beautiful day where thousands gathered in his honor by checking out the live video feed and see a few of our favorite photos from that memorable day below.

Photo by @1mandabear

Photo by Allen Hughes Photography

Photo by Howard Boots McGhee

Major Moon Love
Yes, we definitely have some Best of 2017 sunrise and sunset shots, but this moon shot was off the charts at Twin Lakes State Beach and our Facebook (and Instagram) fans were loving this view!

Photo by @steven_b_herbert

Boardwalk Nights
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a forever favorite. Rides, games, delicious bites, special holiday events, and summer movies and bands on the's hard not to love this place! And bonus, it's even more magical when the sun goes down! 

Photo by @jschwab_24

Give Me the Top Spots
Fans really seemed to appreciate a list of best spots in any given category. A few we shared over the last year: Top Spots to Tide Pool, Most Scenic Picnic Spots, Top Waterfront Walks, Top Hotel PoolsBest Bloody Marys, and so many more. These posts take the guesswork out of where to go; they give a little snapshot of suggestions and leave the reader to decide on where they want to explore. One that seemed to hit a cord with our fans was our, Dine Al Fresco: The Top 20 Patios in Santa Cruz County piece. We can say for sure, these perfectly digestible guides to all things food, drink, outdoors, family-friendly, art, culture, and attractions will continue in 2018; and please, let us know if there's a list or topic you'd like to see from us!

Insider's Scoop
Facebook fans value the secret spots, the must-sees, and the visual itineraries that spark travel inspiration. One example from the year was our Top 5 Scenic Drives featuring gorgeous roadways throughout the county. One favorite - this North County coastal scene in Davenport

Photo by @jessebentz

Event Love
Classic Santa Cruz events were big winners again this year. Event info is easily seen and shared on Facebook and favorites like the 25th Annual Aloha Polynesian FestivalWelcome Back Monarchs and Friday Night Bands on the Beach at the Boardwalk were inspiring thousands to get out and enjoy the fun. Expect us to keep sharing info on the best Santa Cruz County events! And, for the second year in a row, we headed to the ever popular holiday event, the Lighted Boat Parade, to take video and share the festive fun with our fans!

Video and Going Live
Video continues to be a hit on Facebook. We shared several live videos that fans appreciated - whether it was from the trails, coastal bluffs, the Santa Cruz Wharfor from an event, our fans loved getting a peek into Santa Cruz live. Back in March, we posted live from Henry Cowell and the sound of the rushing creek, post-rain, was helping thousands escape to the redwoods from their devices.

Photo by @raendsley

Winter Wonderland
King tides, rainbows, whales breaching, waterfalls, and holiday events have been loved by fans this winter. This rainbow photo is a nice reminder that Santa Cruz is beautiful in any weather!

Photo by @lolotaytayy

Instagram Faves:

#1 Instagram Post of 2017
Winter always brings some amazing sunsets and this recent sunset from Seacliff State Beach is one we will not forget!

Photo by @kellie.salgado

Cliff Wonders
Hard not to love a coastal cliff photo from the Eastside or Westside...especially at sunset.

Photo by @shebframe

North Coast Treasures
The less developed northern coast of Santa Cruz became a more widely known must-see in recent years. Places like the Old Davenport Pier and Shark Fin Cove are arguably two of the most Instagram-able locales in the county. Yep, we agree.

Photo by @erinsgarcia

Bird's Eye View
Beauty on another level, the drone photos shared surprised us all with how utterly gorgeous the California coast is. Take this one for example, most visitors have walked the famous West Cliff Drive - and they know it's stunning - but a look from above gives a new perspective on the impressive curves of the coastline. Levy Media Works is one of our favorites, and our fans' favorites, for over the top Santa Cruz shots.

Photo by @levymediaworks

Getting Lost in the Woods
Our Instagram followers appreciate the whole, wanderlust, #OptOutside vibe. Fans loved the road views that not only showed the beauty of the Santa Cruz Mountains, but also embodied that, “let’s just drive and see where we end up” feeling. 

Photo by @nomadcyclingapparel

Boardwalk Classics
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is another top Instagram photo location. The beachfront rides, games, vibrant colors, delicious treats, and 'endless summer' atmosphere make it an iconic photo op that's always a must when visiting. And this year, the Boardwalk continued to surprise with some major improvements and additions to the park - one being this seating area and the ICE SKATING that was happening right behind this photo! Oh, and these epic clouds and sunset are pretty spectacular too.

Photo by @sarahcurrydesign

Thanks for taking a look at the Best of the Best of 2017 and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more of your favorites in 2018! Happy New Year!

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