Kick-start the new year with an energizing First Day Hike through ancient towering redwoods, sandy coastal stretches, and along soothing mountain streams. On January 1st, state parks across the country are offering free-guided hikes for the sixth year in a row. Get outside, connect with nature, and expand your knowledge of the wildlife, plant life, and people who were here long before us. In order of easiest to most strenuous, we’ve narrowed the list down to a few of our favorites. Whichever one you choose, you’ll start the new year feeling healthy, recharged, and inspired to explore more state parks in Santa Cruz and beyond.
Not all of Santa Cruz’s colorful characters are found at the Boardwalk. Explore Santa Cruz County shores, and you’ll delight in rocky tide pools teeming with unique sea creatures that wouldn’t be out of place in a Dr. Suess book. Tide pooling is a great way to experience the wondrous marine life in Monterey Bay
, no scuba tanks required! With something new to discover every visit, the following seaside spots will keep you happy as a clam.
Photo Courtesy of Jim Capwell
Santa Cruz is known for its phenomenal wildlife viewing opportunities. Year round whale watching, birding, otters and elephant seals, and seasonal monarch butterflies have put Santa Cruz County on the map for many nature enthusiasts! But in December and January there seems to be a crescendo of wildlife that make Santa Cruz a wintertime must-see!
Santa Cruz County’s rugged coastline, majestic redwoods, and expansive mountaintop vistas make it a premier destination for your next hiking adventure! Join us as we go through our picks for the Top Hikes in Santa Cruz County!