When it comes to visiting the United States, we often find ourselves first thinking about the big cities that draw the most visitors: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc. Even if you’ve never been there before, you still have some knowledge about these famous American metropolises, significantly thanks to the media and films.
I’m pretty confident that if I mention hotdogs, Central Park and the Empire State Building, you’d know which city I’m talking about. However, the problem is that the big cities aren’t for everyone, and often the lesser known and not-as-popular destinations can offer just as intriguing history and charming architecture, as well as affordable prices, but they are overlooked by travellers.
There is a small coastal city in California that is located less than a two-hour drive from San Francisco – it is a magnet for surfers and outdoor activity enthusiasts, as well as lovers of secluded beaches and hypnotising ocean vistas. Even if it’s only for a day trip or a weekend getaway, offseason Santa Cruz on a weekday comes with a few solid benefits – it’s less crowded, much cheaper, and the weather is still warm and dry for the most part.
Places like the Beach Boardwalk, with an amusement park that’s been operating for over 100 years, or the wharf adjacent to it with stunning sunset views, are only two of many local attractions that should be on your itinerary. Simply put, if you’re looking to experience a more authentic Californian way of life and hang out with local people, you came to the right place.
This week’s Featured local Caitlin, who was raised in this beautiful area, is ready to share with you her favourite beach spots and knowledge about the ecosystems and logging history of the mountains. As she formerly worked in tourism, Caitlin is also familiar with the haunts and activities that you don’t want to miss when visiting Santa Cruz.
Whether we’re talking about all-organic restaurants, community markets and quirky coffee shops, or more energetic activities like hiking, biking and kayaking, with Caitlin you’ll soon realise that Santa Cruz can be even more exciting than the big cities.