While news of a historic adobe might get lost amidst today’s flurry of sensational clickbait, we assure you that the Castro Adobe is a very special place. In addition to its gorgeous setting within Watsonville’s bucolic Larkin Valley, the 1850 adobe is a fascinating restoration project, an active archeology site, and a virtual glimpse into the region’s lively past. In its 168 years, the adobe has never officially been open to the public. Now, thanks to Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks who is leading restoration efforts, the Castro Adobe offers free, monthly open houses that offer visitors a unique opportunity to tour the property, witness its captivating restoration, and maybe munch a few freshly made tortillas in the process.
Spring has flown by, and that means it’s now or never: you’ve got to enter our incredible vacation giveaway contest! Have you been dreaming about basking in the sun, or soaring high above the waves on the Giant Dipper rollercoaster? Did you know that you can also zipline or ride a steam train through the redwoods, and experience some of the best wine tasting south of Napa, in the Santa Cruz Mountains? To better equip you for exploring Santa Cruz County by boat, bike, and more, our partners have put together some amazing activities to give one lucky winner the ultimate California vacation of their dreams! Enter our Let’s Cruz Customizable Vacation Getaway now–we’re almost at the end–and you could win a Grand Prize of: a two-night stay at the beachfront Dream Inn Santa Cruz, four tickets to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and four passes to Roaring Camp Railroads, PLUS choose four additional activities from a list of uniquely Santa Cruz options! The contest ends on May 31, 2018, so act fast!
With its quiet hilltop setting, scenic nature trails, and relaxing day spa, Chaminade Resort & Spa is where we head to chill on the hill. Now, the modern, mission-style resort is taking wellness to the next level with a pair of Himalayan salt saunas. Turns out, that bottle of pink salt at your gourmet grocer does more than spice up your supper. The mineral-rich salt has alleged health benefits including calming and detoxifying effects. Eastern Europeans have sought solace in natural salt caves for generations. Now, you can enjoy the same immersive experience at Chaminade-home to the only salt-therapy saunas in Santa Cruz County-as well as other spa offerings that are more than worth their salt.
Since the surf-crazed 1960s, the Dream Inn hotel has delighted visitors with its beachfront setting and immediate proximity to iconic local attractions such as the Santa Cruz Wharf and Beach Boardwalk-both clearly visible from each of the property’s guest rooms. Now, the sunny property welcomes guests with a spiffy new renovation of its 165 rooms, pool deck, and lobby. Enter our spring vacation giveaway, and you can experience it for yourself with a free two-night stay at the Dream Inn!
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.