Santa Cruz is located right on the beaches of the California coast and our team is fortunate enough to work in the center of it all. Santa Cruz has far advanced from the low and slow beach town that it used to be years ago. Many of Santa Cruz’s features surround the beauty of the coast which it is located on. Recreational activities include surfing, kayaking, tide pooling, rock climbing, whale watching, and more. Our Santa Cruz team gets to offer clients services in the sea breeze of the coast and amidst the woody forests surrounding our office.
Santa Cruz was founded in 1791, declared the 12th Mission in California. Even in its early years it was one of the highest populated Missions to date. The native people who lived on this land before and after it being officially declared the name Santa Cruz, were people of the Ohlone tribe. To this day there are a few words from their language which we have incorporated into English. Aptos, Soquel, and Zayante, all towns located near Santa Cruz come from their native language. As well as abalone, which is the shellfish most available in the surrounding waters.
Santa Cruz, AKA “Surf City”, is one of the largest surfing destinations in California. Since Santa Cruz hugs the west coast it offers ideal conditions for surfers of all levels. From small waves perfect for teaching kids to catch their first ride, to huge swells for the professionals, Santa Cruz offers both and everything in between. The town also hosts Maverick competitions annually as conditions allow, which bring surfers from all around the world to participate in surfing these massive waves. Some have called the waves even better than the Hawaii surf.
For many people, when they think of Santa Cruz they think of the boardwalk. Generations of families have spent their summers here, enjoying the wooden roller coaster with a day of fun just steps away from the sandy beach. The iconic Giant Dipper roller coaster, built in 1924 still runs today as the most popular attraction at the boardwalk. The boardwalk’s website has some fascinating facts about this landmark, for example, the roller coaster was built in just 47 days and cost only $50,000, and the fare to ride was just 15 cents. Opened first in 1907 as a casino with rides and attractions coming at a later time, the boardwalk has served over a hundred years of fun and is still going strong!
Another unique attraction in Santa Cruz is the Mystery Spot. This destination offers a trippy gravitational walk-through for its visitors. It is like walking through a giant optical illusion that makes its visitors question laws of gravity and physics. Interestingly enough, this quirky location was originally founded by surveyors in 1939. Maybe our survey team will be able to discover something just as amazing! There are many theories as to why this location offers such an illusion. The website lists a spacecraft buried deep underground, a magma vortex, and bio-cosmic radiation as a few hypotheses.
A great feature that can be explored as you step away from the beaches, are the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains. Passing over highway 17 to get down into the town you are surrounded by forest and giant redwood trees. The hiking that tourists are able to explore in around Santa Cruz is truly special. Immersed deep in the woods, streams, lakes, waterfalls, and rivers can be found. One of the most iconic would be the Berry Creek Falls trail at Big Basin State Park. This hike offers about 11 miles of trail to be explored through the redwood trees and waterfalls so spectacular, not many people have seen. Another incredibly popular hike is that of Wilder Ranch State Park. This is one of the most diverse walks that can be taken through Santa Cruz. It offers grasslands, ocean views, redwoods, and even some tide pools you can walk right up to.
Tide pooling is also on the list of top experiences in Santa Cruz. These incredible little ecosystems can be found walking along almost any beach in the area. They feature extravagantly colored starfish, sea anemones, brightly colored seaweed and more. Strolling along the beach looking at the tide pools is a great way to spend some time in Santa Cruz.