Like most destination cities, Santa Cruz enjoys its well-known touristed spots as well as its hidden gems. From concealed gardens to a killer swimming hole, these “secret” spots are those special places usually only revealed by a well-informed friend. We’ve collected a few of our favorites below. Seek them out and you’ll soon be the one in the know!
Though only eight miles from Santa Cruz’s sandy shores, the forested town of Felton feels worlds away. It’s a wonderland of giant trees, historic sites and even a lush Garden of Eden. Yet some of its most striking attractions are hidden from plain view. Take a peek at our photo tour below and see why the charming town draws a mix of hikers, history buffs and happy families.
I’m as happy as the next Californian for all this rain, but seeing that 7 day forecast full of sunshine icons & 70 degree days has me on another level of happy. Here are a few of my favorite things to do on those warm, sunny days in Santa Cruz:
For the second summer in a row, California State Parks is offering Naturalist-Led Backpacking Adventures through the Santa Cruz Mountains! Whether you’re new to backpacking or a seasoned nomad, there’s an adventure waiting for you! This year there will be five excursions throughout June to September with trips varying in length from one to three nights. These adventures will trek through Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Castle Rock State Park, Butano State Park, and Portola Redwoods State Park.
Marbled Murrelet and Peregrine Falcon may sound like foot-tapping bands at the weekly farmers market, but they’re actually the names of rare birds you may spot in Santa Cruz County. The region’s feathered friends extend beyond the gulls that cozy up to your bowl of clam chowder at the wharf. Situated along the Pacific Flyway — a prominent migratory path that stretches from Alaska to Patagonia — Santa Cruz plays host to hundreds of bird species. No experience necessary here. Just head to one of the spots listed below and see for yourself!