17 Conference Drive, Felton, CA 95018
As the first canopy tour on the west coast the Redwood Canopy Tours at Mount Hermon Adventures is the only zip line / canopy tour experience in Santa Cruz. Built entirely in the redwood forest the Redwood Canopy Tour is the only way to see the redwoods from above! With six zip lines and two sky bridges this is a two hour experience you'll be talking about for years.
413 Lake Ave #3, Santa Cruz , CA
Featuring tours of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz Harbor, and the Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing, Kayak Connection offers fun adventures for singles, small groups, or the whole family. The goal is to show what a unique and vibrant ecosystem that Santa Cruz County possesses. With a wide range of Sea Kayaking tours and Stand-up Paddling adventures available, Kayak Connection is a great way to experience our wildlife and natural amenities.
400 Beach St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
The only major seaside amusement park on the Pacific Coast, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk blends old-time nostalgia with modern thrills. Visitors can buy a bag of saltwater taffy, get their fortunes told in the old-style arcade, take a road rage-releasing ride on the bumper cars or test their mettle on The Giant Dipper. The Santa Cruz Boardwalk features a carousel and little cars and airplanes for the kiddies as well. Bring a swimsuit and a towel, as you'll be steps from a sandy, swimmable Santa Cruz beach. Open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day and on weekends fall through spring.
465 Mystery Spot Rd., off Branciforte Dr., Santa Cruz, CA
The Mystery Spot might be the manifest source of Santa Cruz's weirdness. Practically unchanged since its opening in 1939, the promotional literature still says things like, "It's Unusual, It's Amazing, It's Wholesome, Interesting Entertainment." This campy spot is open every single day of the year and draws visitors from all over the world. A couple years ago, a professor from Berkeley took it upon himself to debunk the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot, claiming it all to be nothing more than clever optical illusion. Whatever. According to Randall, a tour guide at the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz and the kind of guy who likes wagon wheels lying around in the front yard, the place "is testimony to the power of belief."
35 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
The 12,600-square-foot Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center is as vibrant and inventive a window on the ocean as one could hope for. Standing sentinel as a guardian of sea life at the mouth of the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, the admission-free educational center opened to the public on July 23, 2012, and schools of curious observers have been flowing freely through the two-story center since.
Ken Wormhoudt Skate Park
225 San Lorenzo Blvd., Santa Cruz, CA
Boasting 15,000 square feet of prime skatepark real estate, the Ken Wormhoudt park features a full pipe, two pool-style bowls, a practice bowl and a street course complete with stairs, wall rides, rails and hubba ledges. The park is open from 9am to sunset daily and only closes for rain. Skaters are required to wear helmets along with knee and elbow pads. No bikes or scooters are allowed in the skatepark, but in-line skates with composite wheels are allowed.
Pacific Garden Mall
Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA
This outdoor mall is the heart of downtown Santa Cruz. Lined with eclectic shops selling one-of-a-kind jewelry, clothes and art, as well as plenty of books and music, Pacific Avenue is also home to a handful of quirky thrift stores. Street performers lend the mall its unique bohemian character, and a wide variety of restaurants, bars, clubs and movie theaters keep visitors entertained into the wee hours.
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz CA
The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is housed in the small, brick Mark Abbon Memorial Lighthouse overlooking Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz's internationally renowned surf spot, as well as Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay. Focusing on Santa Cruz's surfing history, the Surfing Museum displays unsinkable redwood plank surfboards, photographs of sets and breaks from the 1930s on, and sells books, T-shirts and other Cowabunga paraphernalia.
Pasatiempo Golf Club
20 Clubhouse Road, Santa Cruz, CA
Designed by world-renowned golf architect Alister MacKenzie (who also designed Augusta and Cypress Point), this 6,439 yard, par 70 course was rated as one of the top 100 courses by Golf Digest. The course is nestled in the rolling hills above Santa Cruz, offering scenic vistas of the beautiful Monterey Bay. Enjoy breakfast and lunch at the MacKenzie Bar & Grill, and relax into the evening with fine Santa Cruz dining at the elegant and historic Hollins House.
Roaring Camp Railroad
The Roaring Camp steam train through the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains is a classic California experience! This historic train ride through a preserved old growth forest of coastal redwoods harkens back to the steam locomotive days of the 1880s, when these Santa Cruz forests were part of an active logging region, and the steam railroad cars were used to haul trees to the mills. The Roaring Camp steam train ride passes through towering redwood groves and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain.
Santa Cruz City Museum of Natural History
1305 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz CA
Tour the many habitats of Santa Cruz simply with a stroll through the exhibit area; visit woodlands, chaparrel, grasslands, and a variety of marine environments. Pound acorns the Ohlone way, excavate sand dollars, tickle a sea star, or get up close and personal with a living bee hive. Great for all ages, although the children particularly enjoy climbing on the cement whale which is located on the front lawn.
Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
Mission Plaza, Santa Cruz, CA
Santa Cruz's Misión la Exaltación de la Santa Cruz was the twelfth mission built in California back in 1791. Perched atop a steep hill overlooking downtown Santa Cruz, the mission is the last structure of the original Neary-Rodriguez adobe cluster still standing. Although it's been damaged by several earthquakes over the years, the single-story adobe mission has since been restored respective of its original design.
Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
705 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA
This quaint little museum in downtown Santa Cruz focuses on contemporary and historical visual culture with a series of rotating exhibitions. The permanent collection displays historical artifacts that illustrate the unique history of Santa Cruz. The museum also offers docent-led tours of the historic Octagon building, the Evergreen Historic Cemetery and the Davenport Jail Museum.
University of California at Santa Cruz
1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA
Since 1965, UCSC has been expanding into what is now a sprawling campus amongst the majestic redwoods above Santa Cruz. Enrollment now exceeds 15,000 students (comprised mostly of undergraduates), giving Santa Cruz a decidedly college-town flavor. UCSC hosts many events throughout the year, adding a diverse range of music, dance and theater from countries around the world to Santa Cruz's cultural mix.