Santa Cruz is a beach town on the California coast, south of San Jose but north of Monterey. While we don’t go to there as often as we should, the drive along the coast is beautiful every time. Especially as you near the Santa Cruz area there are many sites to see and little places to stop along the way. This photo was taken on a sunny, warm day in June:
These two snapshots were taken a couple years later during April on a cool, overcast afternoon. The second photo is courtesy of my father-in-law (credit should be given when due).
The most famous area that even songs allude to is the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Even now it retains much of it’s character from decades ago. As you near the beach area, don’t forget to tell your kids to look out the window so they can start building that enthusiasm.
There is a lot of metered street parking available (don’t forget to bring change) and a couple of lots further down to park in. Entrance into the Boardwalk is free. There is a good selection of rides for young children to young adults to the young at heart. You can buy tickets for the rides or an all-day bracelet as you would at a fair or carnival. Some friends of ours even got season passes and had a great time regularly heading to the Boardwalk during this past summer.
While we may have our daughter go on a ride or two, we prefer to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the beach. These pictures are from a few years ago when we first moved back to the States from California. Ah, I love freshly made funnel cakes with tons of fruit topping and overflowing with powdered sugar! While munching on that my husband and daughter braved the cold waters. Careful, those waves can come in pretty fast and unexpectedly…
After a full day of fun in the sun, water, and rides, you and your little ones will be pooped. And while you can’t sleep on the way home if you are the one driving, you will most definitely feel like doing this: