Summer Soaking in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Laine Otto, 9, is stoked to be swimming in water that isn't a pool. Photo by Chip Scheuer.

There’s nothing quite like swimming in the redwoods. It’s more liberating than swimming in a normal pool and less unsettling than treading water in the open ocean. There are no Great Whites in the San Lorenzo River, and the biggest risks are getting poison oak on your way there or maybe stubbing your toe. And even at its chilliest, the water is never as cold as the ocean is around these parts.

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