The Travel Forecast

September 4, 2019

2019 Fall Festival Series Kicking Off!

Visit Santa Cruz County has launched its eighth annual Fall Festival Series marketing campaign. This campaign is designed to drive more off-season visitation by increasing visitors’ awareness of all the fall tourism season has to offer through the end of November.  New this year, there will be a Fall Festival Series giveaway contest with a grand prize of a two-night stay in a two-bedroom villa at the Seascape Beach Resort with a bonfire and s’mores including a $75 gift certificate for use Sanderlings restaurant, four passes to the Annieglass Craftbar Experience, four tickets to Roaring Camp Railroads, and a Santa Cruz goodie bag.  And to keep the Santa Cruz County destination top of mind to social media followers, passes to signature, ticketed events will be given away through VSCC’s Instagram feed  . Weekly hotel stays will be awarded on Facebook and regular Tweets will keep the momentum of the contest going throughout the season.  A quantity of promotional postcards were distributed to local hotels, and a flyer is also available to download to support this effort.

This promotion was made possible by the following partners:  Annieglass, Beach Street Inn & Suites, Dream Inn Santa CruzPajaro Dunes Resort, and Seascape Beach Resort.

Seasonal signature events will be promoted through broadcast, online, media relations, and social media marketing efforts. Television spots on Comcast in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento will coincide with radio spots on KQED, and banner ads with banner ads and targeted e-marketing efforts throughout the fall on Bay Area Parent, Diablo magazine, Pandora, SFGate, Visit California, and The Outdoor Project, among others.  Meanwhile, the campaign will be promoted throughout VSCC’s social media channels, including Facebook and on VSCC’s blog at and through a monthly consumer e-newsletter.

The Fall Festival Series will also be promoted through media relations efforts, an expanded presence on, and a mailing to over 100 local hotels countywide consisting of promotional postcards announcing local events and VSCC’s website as a resource.  Let’s Cruz!

Get Onboard with California Surfing Day

The second year marking California Surfing Day is approaching!  In 2018, the California Legislature declared surfing the official state sport and named Sept. 20 as California Surfing Day.  VSCC is working with Visit California to commemorate this iconic California sport, in the birthplace of mainland surfing in the United States. 

Surfing has long been a key component of California culture.  Join the celebration as Visit Santa Cruz County launches a social media campaign around this historic day.  Local businesses can participate too, with key resources which have been developed by Visit California to help spread the word, including social media imagery and post suggestions, an official logo and more. Share your celebrations online using the hashtag #CaliforniaSurfingDay to show the world how Santa Cruz County rides its waves. Click here for a toolkit provided by Visit California

Celebrate California Wine Month with Santa Cruz County

Throughout the month of September, wineries in Santa Cruz County will offer special events and tastings to celebrate California Wine Month. Visit Santa Cruz County is helping get the word out about these amazing opportunities to taste and experience wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains, encouraging visitors and locals to partake!  Overall, California produces 81 percent of US wine, with wine grapes grown in 49 of 58 counties in the state, according to the California Wine Institute. Check out what our local wineries and tasting rooms are offering for California Wine Month!

Farm to Table Culinary Overnight Package at the Chaminade Resort & Spa

Experience Chaminade Resort & Spa’s Farm to Table overnight package for the perfect pairing of Santa Cruz Mountain wines with fresh, locally-sourced fare. 

Enjoy this farm-to-table experience exclusively, or opt for an overnight package. Summit to the Sea wineries will be the highlight of the meal on September 27th.  For more information, call 831.475.5600 or visit to purchase tickets online!

Harvest Party and Bottle Bash at Nicholson Vineyards Winery

Join the fun at Nicholson Vineyards on Saturday, September 28th from 12Noon – 5PM at the Harvest Party & Bottle Bash.  Taste the new fall releases and the special harvest red blend that has been created exclusively for this event for guests to bottle and cork themselves.  Guests are welcome to create a customized design on their wine bottles using decorative pens.  Chicken and tri-tip BBQ lunch with all the fixings will be available, as well as live music.  $45 per person; visit website for tickets and details!

Wine Tasting and The Craftbar at the Annieglass Glass Factory

Annieglass’ Watsonville glass factory and shop, open to the public daily features an onsite tasting room highlighting local and regional fine wines and craft beers. Take part in a craft workshop, cooking demo, free studio tour, or bargain hunting at the outlet store. Pouring local wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains.  For more information call 831.761.2041 ext. 121. 

The Barrels of Corralitos

The Barrels of Corralitos on Sunday, September 1st celebrates with a day of wine tasting, food, and entertainment: taste new and yet to be released wines and purchase futures at special barrel pricing.  Enjoy wines from six Santa Cruz Mountains wineries in bucolic Corralitos.  Featured wineries include Alfaro Family Vineyards, El Vaquero Winery, Lester Estate Wines, Nicholson Vineyards, Storrs Winery & Vineyards and Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery – all which form the Corralitos Wine Trail.

Lester Estate Wines Wine Safari Adventure – September 7 & 14, 2019

Taste six different Lester Estate Wines while enjoying homemade picnic fare at a variety of breathtaking locations throughout the 210-acre Deer Park Ranch setting in Pleasant Valley.  Tour the estate in a lovingly restored 1981 Range Rover Defender safari vehicle.  Finish with dessert and Rosè bubbles on the patio overlooking the famed Lester Family Vineyard.  Two-hour tour takes place from 12 Noon to 2PM.  $65 per person inclusive. Visit to book tickets. 

Soif Wine Bar & Restaurant Offers Sensory Experience for California Wine Month

Enjoy a sensory wine tasting experience with Prudy Foxx of Foxx Viticulture and learn about the science of winemaking from one of the region’s top biologists and viticulturists on Saturday, September 21st from 2PM to 4PM.  This exclusive wine tasting and lecture includes bites from Soif’s Chef Tom McNary. 

37th Annual Capitola Art & Wine Festival – September 14 – 15, 2019

22 wineries, 160 artists, gourmet food, fine art, local artisans marketplace, dance groups, street performers, live music, kid’s art & music zone. Admission free in Capitola Village by the Sea.  Saturday, 10am – 6pm; Sunday, 10am – 5pm. Free parking and shuttle from Capitola Mall. Free bike valet parking at Festival entrance.

Explore the various wine regions of California with this interactive map, provided by the California Wine Institute. 

Hotels and the California Consumer Privacy Act

In May 2018, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in an effort to protect consumers’ information, giving individuals control over their personal data. Following suit of the GDPR, Governor Jerry Brown added the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to California state law on September 23, 2018. This act was put into place to protect California consumer rights and urges stronger privacy measures overall.  Similar to the GDPR, this act gives consumers control over their personal information and peace of mind knowing their data is secure. The CCPA takes effect in California on January 1, 2020.  Hotel businesses are responsible for safeguarding consumer’s personal information. Here’s what you need to know. 

Save the Date

The California Lodging and Expo Conference will take place on Monday, October 21st at the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles-Commerce Casino in Carson, CA.  Hosted by the California Lodging Industry Association, this annual conference offers vendors, owners, operators and lodging professionals the opportunity to meet and discuss the issues that impact the hotel industry.  Workshops, guest speakers, and networking opportunities are all on tap!  Click here to view the schedule of events and to register. 

Attention Boaters and Anglers!

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has released a graphic guide summarizing the best available tools for coastal users and the fishing community to learn more about their local waters.  These tools offer mobile opportunities for learning about boundaries of marine protected areas, species information and guides with images to tell the differences between hard to identify species, and more – while on the water right from your smarts phone!  For more information, click here

Free Payroll Tax Seminar Offered

A free basic payroll tax seminar will be offered on Tuesday, September 24th from 9AM to 3PM at the offices of America’s Job Center, 2045 40th Avenue in Capitola.  This seminar will cover topics such as federal, state, and independent payroll reporting requirements, e-filing options, and other topics.  Click here for more information and how to register.


that Workforce Santa Cruz County offers no-cost services to assist local businesses with worker training, recruitment, layoffs and research?  Federal subsidies may be available to employers who improve workforce skills through training and work experience.  Employers can promote employment opportunities through Workforce Santa Cruz County hiring communications and events.  This organization also has the most current and accurate labor market information available, including data on labor supply, wages, occupational projections and the latest job figures.  More support is available!  To learn more about Workforce Business Services, please contact Belinda Barr at Belinda.Barr@SantaCruzCounty.US or 831.763.8872.