Earlier this year, Santa Cruz lost a beloved local legend. Jack O’Neill, the surf pioneer credited with developing the wetsuit and changing surfing forever, passed away on June 2, 2017 at age 94 in his home in Santa Cruz. With a full scraggly beard and pirate-like black eye patch-the result of a surfing injury-the rakish O’Neill was a local icon, often seen cruising around town in his Jaguar and bellowing out surfing tips to those surfing outside his cliffside house in Pleasure Point.
After yesterday’s historic paddle out, it would be easy to say that last weekend was all about Jack O’Neill. Our feed alone has been filled with videos and images from the once-in-a-lifetime event and I am honored to say I was able to attend. I got up bright and early to secure a good spot, and lucky for me, it paid off with a nice perch at the top of the stairs where I could see hundreds of surfers file down to the water with their boards.
Burly lumberjacks, Hawaiian princes, and a protester who wore a dress made from hot dogs are just some of the fascinating characters that fill Santa Cruz’s rich history. Below, we’ve listed a few of our favorite historical stories as well as the spots to experience them firsthand. Yep, we love getting lost in Wikipedia too, but local history is best explored in person thanks to the following museums and cultural institutions.
Sunsets in Santa Cruz are an event. Traffic slows, beach volleyball games pause, and crowds gather at the shore to mark the day’s end with a fiery display. Yet, because not all of Santa Cruz faces west toward the setting sun, you’ll want to plan accordingly for the best views. Below, are eight favorite spots to catch a spectacular sunset!
With 300 days of sunshine, it’s no wonder outdoor patios abound in the Santa Cruz area. From beachfront decks to secret garden patios, the following open-air spots allow you and your four-legged dining companions to soak up plenty of scenery and summer sun.