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Travel BLOG
August 14, 2018

CASTLE ROCK STATE PARK TURNS 50!

All Photos by Molly Ressler

Perched atop one of the highest ridges in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park offers expansive views of the San Lorenzo Valley. Miles of forested peaks stretch out below, fading from chartreuse and emerald green to sage, the furthest peaks a hazy blue that meet the fog-shrouded Pacific. Although not as famous as its neighbor, Big Basin State Park, Castle Rock has its own grove of redwoods, a 75-foot waterfall, miles of hiking along open ridges and through shady forests, and a playground of sandstone rock formations attracting both world-class climbers and amateur scramblers.

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June 18, 2018

EAT LIKE A LOCAL: A FOODIE’S HISTORY TOUR OF SANTA CRUZ COUNTY

Photo by Kyle Jouras courtesy of Liz Birnbaum

Everyone loves tasting the local cuisine when they visit somewhere new. Vacation, after all, is the perfect excuse to indulge and sample the variety of food and beverages a region is known for. With its rich soil and moderate climate, Santa Cruz County is an agricultural mecca with fertile fields of strawberries, tomatoes, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, vineyards, and apple orchards. It’s one thing to Yelp your way through each meal and snack break, but to truly savor each bite, you need to know the stories behind the food fueling your weekend adventure.

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June 14, 2018

A SURFER, SKATER, AND GLASSMAKER GIVE SCRAP MATERIAL A SECOND LIFE

Photo by Molly Ressler

Santa Cruz has a long history of environmental stewardship that’s reflected in our plentiful organic farms, bike-friendly streets, drought-tolerant gardening incentives, and our local art. Reusing material is nothing new in the art world but these three artists in Santa Cruz have perfected the craft. Scraps of redwood, skateboards, and glass become surfboards, bottle openers, and dinnerware that pay homage to their past forms through stunning transformations that highlight rather than hide the reused material. Each piece diverts waste from the landfill, yet you’d never guess this art began as someone else’s trash. Meet a surfer, skater, and artisan glassmaker who are each trailblazers in the upcycled art scene and create right here in Santa Cruz.

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June 04, 2018

Work It: Meet Well Within Massage Therapist Karuna Gutowski

Photo by Molly Ressler

Karuna Gutowski starts her workday at 4:40pm with a 10-minute meditation. Her calm demeanor and smiling eyes put you immediately at ease and prove the effectiveness of her daily practice. Gutowski has been a massage practitioner at Well Within for eight years and when you visit the Japanese-inspired spa, it’s no mystery why someone would trade their desk job to work here.

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April 02, 2018

Artists Aron Altmark and Rachel Stoll Shed Light on Santa Cruz’s Best Kept Secret

Photo by Molly (Lautamo) Ressler

Visitors flock to Santa Cruz for the redwoods and the coastline. They come to surf world-class waves, to catch sight of a blue whale in the Monterey Bay, and to experience the classic charm of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Santa Cruz has a well-kept secret, however, that’s hidden in plain sight. It’s admittedly still a diamond in the rough but a cavalry of local artists, environmentalists, and community builders have plans to change that.

So, what is this precious local gem that’s been sitting right under everyone’s noses? It’s our city’s primary water source, a vibrant wildlife habitat, and soon-to-be community gathering place: the San Lorenzo River.

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