'Lost Boys': Would you jump off a Santa Cruz bridge if these vampires told you to?
Artists, hippies and anyone with an acquired taste for the impossibly strange have been making the pilgrimage to Santa Cruz for decades. Drawn by the sheer beauty of the mountains and calm of the ocean, this city by the sea has collected a legendary reputation for keeping things different—even inspiring the local slogan “Keep Santa Cruz Weird”— but not everyone knows what keeps the magic going. Here’s a short list:
Mystery Spot: With so many strange sights in Santa Cruz, the best place to start is with the original and world famous Mystery Spot. Since 1940, this 150-foot in diameter gravitational anomaly has astonished tourists and stumped amateur scientists as things within the spot are never as they appear. Is that billiards ball actually rolling up the hill? Maybe it’s an illusion, or maybe it’s the legendary alien spacecraft that crashed into the mountains; either way the Mystery Spot continues to astound (or at least entertain).
‘Lost Boys’ Locales: Filmed almost entirely in Santa Cruz, no tour of the macabre would be complete without The Lost Boys. From the Boardwalk at the beginning of the movie, to the bridge where the lead character (literally and metaphorically) lets go of his human life, to the cliffs where the vampires reside, there are plenty of eerie sights to see, and they’re easy to locate precisely online.
Pacific Avenue Street Performers: Whether it’s the Great Morgani with his accordian and ever-changing array of faceless costumes, the eclectic mix of musicians and buskers, Mr. Twister the Clown or old favorites like Robert “Pinky” Steffen, Santa Cruz keeps weird with the many characters lining Pacific Avenue. On any given day a stroll to the grocery store can quickly turn into a spectacle of the strange and most Santa Cruzians wouldn’t have it any other way.
Bigfoot Discovery Museum: Along with aliens, living statues and vampires, Santa Cruz is also home to one of cryptozoology’s most famous subjects—and yes, he even has his own museum. Ever since his first Bigfoot sighting as a child, museum owner and curator Mike Rugg has been an artist with an obsession, getting his hand on anything and everything Bigfoot. In 2004, he took his love of this misunderstood creature and opened up the Discovery Museum in Felton off Highway 9 where the curious can go to see footprints, look at mysterious artifacts, and listen to Rugg’s vast knowledge of our mythical (?) evolutionary cousin.