Summer or winter, just about everyday is a beach day in Santa Cruz. Sure, winter beach days call for a few more layers and a little less sunscreen, but they often lead to some great finds! Wildlife is in full bloom during the winter months with gray whales offshore, elephants seals, lots of birding, and great tidepooling. The winter swells & surf stir up the coast and bring lots of creatures and other treasures to the shore. Check out some AMAZING recent Santa Cruz County winter finds!
Año Nuevo in the winter months is a must. Elephant seal bulls battle it out in the surf while females come ashore to birth their pups. It’s wildlife at its best and the setting couldn’t be better. Plus, from mid December through March 31st, knowledgeable docent naturalists give park goers a guided tour chock full of facts during your up close and personal look at these gigantic creatures.
Say “Auld Lang Syne” to holiday indulgences and start the New Year fresh with an inspiring hike in a beautiful setting. On January 1st, state parks throughout the country will ring in 2016 with First Day Hikes, a fourth annual program that offers free, guided hikes to all. Below, we’ve assembled a guide to outings being offered in Santa Cruz County. Hikes vary in length and rigor but all are designed with families in mind. So add a warm jacket and some outdoor gear to your holiday list and hit the trails with us on New Years Day.
The secret’s out! Winter is the BEST time to visit Santa Cruz for some great wildlife watching! And one of our winter must-sees – the elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Park!
There’s no debating it. Highway 1 is California’s most spectacularly scenic route. As it wends along the coast through northern Santa Cruz county, motorists (and cyclists!) are treated to some of the area’s most inspiring scenery: green fields of coastal farms, craggy sea stacks and the churning, blue Pacific. Here’s a virtual tour down the glorious coast.