Get outside and enjoy pristine coastal redwood forests, 29 miles of beaches, and endless opportunities to explore Santa Cruz County’s great outdoors. Try tide pooling, hiking, surfing, mountain biking, sailing, kayaking, and more. However you like to play, there are plenty of things to do in Santa Cruz County to get your heart pumping.
Enjoy the birthplace of mainland surfing at full capacity. Take a surfing lesson with The Club Ed Surf School or Richard Schmidt’s Surf School! Boards, wetsuits and good vibes are available for beginners and those who have tried a time-or-two.
Are you more of an adrenaline junkie? Join Adventure Out on an excursion: in the mountains or out at sea! They take full advantage of diverse ecosystems and terrains, offering surf camps, wilderness survival skills like snow camping and kid or teen nature camps, backpacking trips and rock climbing classes. They also spotlight the world class mountain biking trails we have here in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and take beginners to advanced intermediate levels, specializing in very focused, one-on-one training.
Embark on a guided backpacking adventure with California State Parks! Choose from three trails in Santa Cruz County: from the slow coast along Highway 1 to the forested mountains. The trails that weave through these wild places welcome all levels of hikers, from veteran backpackers to those looking for their first overnight wilderness adventure.
Santa Cruz County is also an ideal place for outdoor sports such as beach volleyball, disc golf, biking and more!
See below for a full list of outdoor activities in Santa Cruz County!
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In the place nick-named “Surf City,” you’ll definitely want to dip into the Santa Cruz surf scene. But a surfboard isn’t the only way to enjoy the great outdoors. Visitors to state parks can explore hundreds of miles of hiking trails along coastal terraces, mountain meadows and majestic redwood groves. Cycling trails, skate parks, golf courses, sailing, kayaking and swimming are just a few ways to get outside and play.