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Visiting Santa Cruz for Dummies

Most people take pride in where they are from- although it is easier for some. I am fortunate to have lived in wonderful areas such as Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and my hometown of Santa Cruz. Located only two and half hours up the 101 from San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz makes for a great place to visit. The town is filled with outside activities, wonderful eateries, and numerous other things that make visiting a great experience. I love when I get a chance to bring someone back home and show them the best places and spots that I have enjoyed my whole life. If you don’t have someone to show you around, it could be a waste. When you visit Santa Cruz, as I hope you do, there are a few fun things that you that would add to your experience.

Visit: Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab

If you can’t make it out to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Long Marine Lab is a great substitute. There is still plenty of ocean life to touch and see at the lab and the best part is the location. It is a mere 1.5 miles from middle of the west side. Admission for an adult is only 6 dollars and there are numerous days where admission is free. The area it is located on is also wonderful for walking on the bluffs above the ocean. There is also a gigantic whale skeleton that has been reassembled that is quite a sight to see in person.

Go sailing: Chardonnay II

I’ve been fortunate enough to sail on this boat multiple times and it is a blast. Great for couples and families, they have afternoon sails for 50 dollars. It’s sailing without any of the work and constant views of the beautiful coast.

Go to the Boardwalk: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

The boardwalk is admission free and always a fun time, especially if you have never been. This is one of Santa Cruz’s claims to fame and a historic spot that you can’t miss out on.

Nikki Duffy, 20, is a kinesiology major at Cal Poly who is from Santa Cruz and wouldn’t want it any other way.

“I feel so fortunate when I wake up in the morning back home. I can just wake up, go on a run along the cliffs and feel so relaxed the rest of the day.” – Nikki Duffy

Go to the Beach: Natural Bridges State Beach

This seems like an obvious one, but Santa Cruz has dozens of beaches to choose from. A common tourist mistake is to go to “main beach” right in front of the boardwalk. The water quality is awful at this beach and it is usually the most crowed. If you take West Cliff drive all the way down, you will reach an awesome beach that doubles as a state park. It is a much nicer beach that is ridiculously pretty.

“I get to go to sleep to the sound of the ocean crashing and hear the seals barking, it is a pretty special place.” – Nikki Duffy

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