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Santa Cruz...walk it or drive's WORTH THE DAY TRIP!

Santa Cruz...walk it or drive

Santa Cruz (/ˈsæntəˈkruːz/, Spanish: Holy Cross)

  • Is the county seat and largest city of Santa Cruz County, California.

  • As of 2013 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Santa Cruz's population at 62,864.

  • It is home to: University of California, Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an oceanfront amusement park operating continuously since 1907.

Santa Cruz Sunset ©2016 Photo

  • The present-day site of Santa Cruz was the location of Spanish settlement beginning in 1791, including Mission Santa Cruz and the pueblo of Branciforte.

  • The Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 destroyed nearly all of the 19th-century buildings in the downtown area.

  • By the 1860s, Pacific Avenue had become the main street of downtown Santa Cruz, and remains so today.

  • Late in the 19th century, Santa Cruz established itself as a beach resort community.

This is the Santa Cruz that I met and fell in love with. I have been coming here since the late 90's because one of my siblings moved here. I have lived in CA full time now for 4 years, and I often head over to SC from Gilroy (my current home port) and take a day trip up Route 1 between Santa Cruz up to Half Moon Bay. There is so much to explore in this region. It's different every day.

There are many diverse sections in Santa Cruz. From the downtown shopping and night life, to the beaches and art galleries, to natural parks and West Cliff routes...and great coffee shops and food venues.

As a photographer, it doesn't take much to interrupt my camera is with me all the time. And my iphone with such fun apps, well, let's say it's tough for me to NOT stop every foot to photograph something.

Santa Cruz is home to several state parks and beaches, including Lighthouse Field State Beach, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, Twin Lakes State Beach, and Seabright State Beach. SC is well known for watersports such as sailing, diving, swimming, stand up paddle boarding, paddling, and is regarded as one of the best spots in the world for surfing. It is the home of O'Neill Wetsuits and Santa Cruz Surfboards, as well as Santa Cruz Skateboards and Santa Cruz Bicycles.

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is California’s oldest amusement park and a designated State Historic Landmark. It is home to the iconic Giant Dipper roller coaster, which is currently the fifth oldest coaster in the United States. (I don't do roller coasters, but I'll watch and photograph you as you ride...)

Surf's Up off the shore near the Lighthouse in Santa Cruz, CA ©2016 Photo

Santa Cruz has 11 world-class surf breaks, including the point breaks over rock bottoms near Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point, which create some of the best surfing waves in the world. There's always surfers in the water at the Lighthouse.

The Santa Cruz Wharf is known for fishing, viewing marine mammals and other recreation. Local parks offer many opportunities for birding and butterfly watching, as well as outdoor sports such as skateboarding, cycling, camping, hiking, and rock climbing. The Santa Cruz Skatepark is open to the public 7 days a week and is free.

So, what do YOU wish to photograph?

I would love to share the beauty and uniqueness of this city with you because I feel like I have only just begun to explore it.

So, let's do so together! 

Family at Natural Bridges Beach in Santa Cruz, CA ©2016 Photo

Natural Bridges Beach Santa Cruz CA ©2016 Photo

Family Portraits at the Beach ©2016 Photo


Contributed By Crystal Nadeau

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Contributed By Crystal Nadeau