Soif Restaurant and Wine Bar in Downtown Santa Cruz has reopened following a month-long renovation, resulting in expanded food and beverage menus plus a new wine bar and an upgraded wine shop. The renovation consisted of three major elements: the kitchen, the retail shop, and the bar area.
Two new properties will soon grace the landscape of this classic California surf town. Gearing up to open in 2016, Hyatt Place will be located within walking distance to Downtown Santa Cruz, the beach, and Kaiser Permanente Arena. With 106 rooms including suites, the property includes a fitness center, Wi-Fi, partial breakfast and ocean views from the 3rd and 4th floors. This 100,000-square foot mid-service property will offer underground valet parking, a pool, hot tub, business center, lounge, and over 1,500 square feet of conference space divisible into two conference spaces. A breakout exterior patio will add an additional 1,000 square feet of meeting space. On Santa Cruz’s Westside, a new Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott will be the first hotel travelers headed to Santa Cruz on Highway 1 will encounter. The 82-room hotel will feature standard rooms and suites, and will showcase private balconies with scenic views. Located within walking distance to Natural Bridges State Beach, the hip and lively Swift Street Courtyard, tasting rooms and restaurants, and the pedestrian-friendly West Cliff Drive, the Fairfield Inn also features 990 square feet of meeting space, elegant glass exterior walls, and a breakout space that extends to an outdoor patio with a fire pit. A pool, 24-hour business center, free parking and Wi-Fi round out the amenities.
Armchair hikers can now explore Big Basin from the comfort of their preferred technological device using Google Map’s Street View feature. The high-tech imagery is part of an effort by Sempervirens Fund to draw more people to the park and to explore new opportunities technology can offer in the fields of nature education and land management. Using 360-degree panoramas stitched together, six trails totaling 60 miles have been mapped out, including Skyline-to-the-Sea. The iconic hike, which ranks among the Bay Area’s best, starts at Castle Rock State Park and wanders downhill along diverse landscape to Waddell Beach. The mapping at Big Basin is being done for free with equipment called Google Trekker, which was first used at the Grand Canyon in 2012. To date, Google has partnered with more than 200 organizations, including tourism boards, nonprofits, researchers and government agencies internationally. They collect images from hard-to-reach places to add to Google Maps. With the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Google has put more than a dozen state parks on Google Maps. Many are in the San Francisco and Monterey bay areas.
Four properties throughout Santa Cruz County have undergone renovations. They include Chaminade Resort and Spa, Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley, Seascape Beach Resort and Capitola Beach Suites.
Pictures to the People is the manifesto of The Booth Bus, a new concept in DIY photography. “Georgia”, as the Booth Bus is named, is a one-of-a-kind Volkswagen bus custom converted into a high-end photo booth. The bus is a charming 1970 Westfalia which houses a high quality, modern photo booth.