2. Catch some surf (or hop on a coaster) at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (Santa Cruz, CA)
Sure, it may be a bit touristy, but there’s a good reason the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is packed year-round. And it’s not just because the weather is nearly always perfect—although it can’t hurt.
With world-class waves and stunning scenery, it’s no wonder that surfing is a big part of the culture in this part of California (as well as many locales). First-timers who want a few lessons before hitting the surf on their own can check out the Santa Cruz Surf School, whereas those who already know how to ride a wave can simply borrow a board from the Club Ed Surf School and Camp, which offers equipment rentals right on Cowell Beach. If you’re more interested in learning about the history of surfing in this quintessental California beach town, be sure to visit the city’s surfing musuem, where you can check out vintage redwood surfboards and original wetsuits designed by surf legend Jack O’Neill.Back to top