Offering breathtaking views of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park is home to over 5,200 acres of redwood forest, 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 and beginning rock climbers.
Have you ever wanted to unleash your inner Picasso or O’Keefe but didn’t know where to go? Do you have a family reunion or social gathering to plan and want a creative idea for your group to participate in? The Painted Cork Art Studio in Santa Cruz’s midtown is a casual, comfortable local art space where guests can get their creative juices flowing as a professional art instructor guides them through an acrylic-on-canvas painting class while they enjoy their favorite wine, beer or non-alcoholic beverage and snacks.
Following a $4 million renovation and three years of work, the Brookdale Lodge welcomes visitors back to this historic property nestled in the heart of the San Lorenzo Valley. An additional $3 million in renovations will enhance the Brook Room, the ballroom, and the Mermaid Pool in the second phase of construction. The complete makeover of the entire property will be finished in 2019.
Whether you were born with a green thumb or you are just starting to learn how to keep your first houseplant alive, you don’t have to dig very deep to find your new sanctuary in Santa Cruz. Dig Gardens’ – a retail nursery and gift shop – storefront beckons with a beautiful façade indicative of what you will find inside.
Storrs Winery has debuted a new tasting room in mid-county, near Nicholson Vineyards, Alfaro Winery, and Windy Oaks Estate. Located on the site of a former quarry on Pleasant Valley Road, a 6,800 square foot structure graces the organically-farmed site which is also a teaching opportunity for home gardeners and small-scale farmers: complete with helpful signage explaining the habitat and wildlife that make this place their home.
For a seaside picnic, Seacliff State Beach in Aptos is the perfect spot, where barbecue grills and shaded tables line a long stretch of sand. Celebrating its 100th birthday in 2019, the S.S. Palo Alto – also known as the “Cement Ship” is docked at the state beach, at the end of the Seacliff Pier. Built as a tanker during World War I due to a steel shortage, the war ended upon its completion.
The first Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Santa Cruz County opened in summer of 2018 in Scotts Valley, a mere six miles from the beaches of Santa Cruz. This new property features 128 rooms, 1,400 square feet of meeting facilities plus a boardroom with attached patio, full-service breakfast, evening dinner, and light bites and a large veranda surrounded by the upland slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains and vineyards.
Visitors welcome to partake in fall events with locals “in-the-know”
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA – The fall season is the best-kept secret among locals. Although barbecue grills and bathing suits have been put into storage until next season, summer continues for visitors in-the-know. Citing fewer crowds, amazing hotel deals and some of the year’s best weather, the autumn months are packed full of things to do for locals and visitors. And this fall, Visit Santa Cruz County encourages visitors to take a peek at the fall festivals that are lined up this season:
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA – The wine scene in Santa Cruz County is as diverse as the region’s sights and as inspired as its culture. And so, it’s no surprise that local wineries – along with Visit Santa Cruz County – are raising a glass to California Wine Month. Here are some creative ways to experience the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation in September: