"Santa Cruz - Beaches, Surfing and Pot" Top 5 Page for this destination Santa Cruz by Ewingjr98

Santa Cruz Travel Guide: 295 reviews and 646 photos

I lived in Monterey, so Santa Cruz was only about 25 miles away--straight across the Monterey Bay. Driving was more like 45 miles and it took about an hour along Highway 1. I had driven through town several times, and finally decided to spend a few hours here in November 2006. On our way to San Francisco, we had breakfast at the Santa Cruz Diner, then drove to West Cliffs Drive for a scenic jaunt along the water...this place was full of late morning joggers along the recreation trail! We saw the old lighthouse, then we stopped at Natural Bridges State Beach, which used to have three arches over the water, now just one.

I have made a few return trips to Santa Cruz, visiting downtown, the beaches, and some of the redwood forests around town.

Santa Cruz is Spanish for "Holy Cross" and it has a population of about 56,000 with about 10,000 attending school at UC Santa Cruz. Attractions in town include the very popular boardwalk, beaches and surfing, a thriving downtown, and parks such as Natural Bridges.

The area was "discovered" by Don Gaspar de Portola a Spanish Explorer, in 1769. Santa Cruz Mission was founded in 1791, and a Spanish pueblo called Branciforte was established here, but later disbanded and merged with the mission.

The city of Santa Cruz has recently made it illegal for the police to arrest adults for smoking, growing, or selling pot on private property unless the person is committing another crime. Funny thing is, it is still illegal, but the CITY police are not allowed to enforce the law. State and feds can still make arrests, but city police can not cooperate. What a mess...and a great example for your kids.

Pack up your bongs, sandals, & tie-died shirts, we're moving to Santa Cruz.

  • Last visit to Santa Cruz: May 2008
  • Intro Updated May 1, 2009
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Reviews (20)

Comments (4)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    Santa Cruz has it going on!! Board walks, piers, Pubs, historic districts, historic markers, natual beauty, wildlife, and tree huggers:)!! Great page!

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2009 at 5:38 PM

    I see you added quite a few tips more tips since I last visited this page a year ago. I hope to put these tips to good use as we are considering heading to Santa Cruz in a few weeks. - Steve

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Dec 9, 2007 at 2:18 PM

    Great beaches...think I'd like to stay in one of the houses on the cliff...and walk the dunes.

  • Apr 1, 2007 at 3:10 PM

    We had a very different experience this morning. We also ordered omelets, hash browns and toast. The hash browns were mushy; the omelets had no flavor. The service was slow and inattentive. A very bad experience overall.

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“"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." ~ Ernest Hemingway”

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