Overlooking downtown Santa Cruz from a quiet redwood-shaded bluff lies a hidden historical treasure and an enchanting starting point for a journey back in time. Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park is a one-acre island of tranquility with a spectacular view and a colorful story that begins more than 200 years ago. Its main feature,
Santa Cruz County celebrates its concrete curiosity The SS Palo Alto might be the most unlikely of Santa Cruz County landmarks. Constructed of concrete in 1919, and named for another Bay Area town, the Cement Ship—a nickname quickly adopted by most locals—has been a beloved icon of Seacliff State Beach in Aptos since it was
Santa Cruz County is home to vibrant, engaging museums that showcase the region’s natural and cultural wonders in fun, kid-friendly settings. Kiddos can drive a tractor, guide a simulated sea turtle to safety, and touch a real, live shark. Because nothing captivates little ones like real world play and exploration, swap the screen time for
The Santa Cruz County you enjoy today didn’t spring up overnight. Behind its surfboard-filled shores lies a rich history of farming, timber, and, yep, surfing. Explore the many towns of Santa Cruz County—most founded in the mid-1800s— and you’ll discover numerous sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a California
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.