Travel Blog

Let’s Play in Santa Cruz County

Don’t let Santa Cruz County’s laid-back reputation fool you: this beachside town hosts an array of adrenaline-packed sporting events and is the picture-perfect spot for spectators as well as athletes! In the place nick-named “Surf City,” you’ll definitely want to dip into the Santa Cruz surf scene. But a surfboard isn’t the only way to enjoy the great outdoors. Visitors to state parks can explore hundreds of miles of hiking trails along coastal terraces, mountain meadows and majestic redwood groves. Cycling trails, skate parks, golf courses, sailing, kayaking and swimming are just a few ways to get outside and play.


The Club Ed Surf School caravan parked on Cowell Beach in front of the Santa Cruz Dream Inn during summertime.

Kiteboarders who catch air off the waves at Waddell Beach at Rancho del Oso State Park north of town.

Historic exhibits at the Alister MacKenzie-designed Pasatiempo Golf Club, one of the top courses in the country.

Crazy costumes and local bands as they entertain the fifteen thousand runners who compete in the Wharf-to-Wharf Race each July, a six-mile seaside run from Santa Cruz to Capitola.The Santa Cruz Triathlon, Big Kahuna Triathlon and other races are hosted year-round.

The colorful regatta of the “Wednesday Night Sailboat Races,” which happens April through October at Harbor Beach.

The Ken Wormhoudt Skate Park at Mike Fox Park in Santa Cruz, an ideal spot for skateboarders.


That Santa Cruz is the birthplace of mainland surfing in the United States? Try a group surfing lesson with Club Ed or Richard Schmidt.

The Santa Cruz Longboard Club Invitational during Memorial Day Weekend is the oldest continuously-running surf contest of its kind on the West Coast.

The O’Neill Coldwater Classic is the longest-running surf contest in Northern California.

Santa Cruz is home to the Golden State Warriors’ NBA Development League team – the Santa Cruz Warriors 2015 D-League Champions – that competes in a 3,200 seat facility near Downtown Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz County is a veritable Mecca for cyclists due to its challenging climbs and scenic roads.The 100-mile Santa Cruz Mountain Challenge is one of the most physically challenging rides in the Western U.S.