If you want to start the New Year off on the right foot, then lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails at some of Santa Cruz County’s best state parks. On January 1st, state parks across the country are offering free guided hikes to encourage folks to get outdoors and learn about the local flora and fauna right in their own backyard (or perhaps someone else’s backyard if you’re still on vacation). We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites that are sure to send you into 2017 feeling healthy, happy, and ready for the next adventure.
The holidays are supposed to be a time for slowing down and enjoying the company of good friends and family, but it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of Christmas shopping, decorating, gift exchanges, holiday work mixers, baking, party planning, and everything else that comes with making the holidays bright. And then there’s the extra stress at work as you try to get everything done before your vacation. Phew. It’s enough to turn the best of us into a real grinch and just hibernate until January.
Santa Cruz is known for its phenomenal wildlife viewing opportunities. Year round whale watching, birding 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! Wintering monarchs, migrating gray whales, breeding elephant seals and upwards of 400 species of birds make these months the perfect time to get out and enjoy nature. And a major bonus to your winter getaway — many hotels are partnering up for some great deals for your stay! So check out some of our wintertime wildlife must-sees, grab a FREE Wildlife Watch Kit, and start planning your trip to Santa Cruz!
The winter season marks the start of the best wildlife watching on the California coast and Santa Cruz County is no exception! Migrating whales, wintering monarchs, active elephant seals, and birding galore, make December and January the perfect time for a wildlife adventure. And to top it off, there are some amazing hotel deals that will make your winter getaway even better!
Strolls in Santa Cruz are kinda a thing. A Sunday stroll on West Cliff Drive or along Pleasure Point, a little shopping stroll Downtown or in the Village, a mellow stroll through the redwoods…Santa Cruz has got the whole relaxing walk thing DOWN. And another one to add to the list – a stroll at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. With 135 acres of gardens and blooms, the UCSC Arboretum is a unique and beautiful place to walk through nature.