Surf’s up year-round in this sun-filled, spirited beach town. Surfers have been riding the waves and bobbing in the swells since the 1800s when three Hawaiian princes first put giant redwood-carved surfboards in the water. That kicked off a craze that continues today, bringing big, and little, wave surfers to the beach.

California’s historic Highway 1 flows right through town, providing travelers with numerous opportunities to get off and explore. Head in to the Santa Cruz Mountains for a little wine-tasting. Hop off to visit one of the many State parks. Stop by a Farmers Market where you’ll find locally-sourced farm-fresh produce. Wiggle your toes in the sand along the shore of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a protected area that offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the world.

The mild climate, paired with a remarkable combination of natural beauty, outdoor activities, extraordinary state parks and a happening arts and culture scene, makes Santa Cruz a soul-pleasing destination. Whether you want to ride the Giant Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk or take a train ride through the Santa Cruz Mountains or visit one of California’s historic lighthouses, this beachside city lives up to its “Only in Santa Cruz” tagline.

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