Explore the Mystery Spot, which can be found in redwood groves on the outskirts of Santa Cruz. About 150 feet in diameter, this inexplicable circular area truly defies the laws of gravity and physics. Discovered in 1939 and opened one year later, the Mystery Spot is a puzzle that no seems to be able to solve.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
The oldest amusement park in California, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a true treasure. No doubt your heart will be racing when you climb aboard the granddaddy of thrill coasters known as the Giant Dipper. There are also family-friendly rides plus an old-fashioned arcade featuring games galore.
Natural Bridges State Beach
Stop along the natural bridge that gave this state beach its name to view everything from whales and shore birds to otters and seals. During low tide, you'll be able to catch glimpses of crabs, anemones, and sea stars. Visitors in the spring will see beautiful wildflowers blooming in the coastal scrub meadows.
Mission Santa Cruz
Tour Mission Santa Cruz, the 12th of 21 historic missions found along the California coast. Discover a museum that boasts an array of vestments from the original Mission. You can also see sacred vessels used in the Catholic Mass along with beautiful silver candle sticks.
Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Home to the largest whale skeleton in the world, this working marine laboratory offers enough things to do to keep visitors busy for days. There are exhibit halls and an aquarium. Plus, the views of the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary are incredible.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Discover 15 miles of hiking and riding trails through an ancient redwood forest of trees 285 feet tall and 16 feet wide. Some of these majestic redwoods date back 1800 years.
The tracks that Roaring Camp Railroads travels opened in 1875. While they once brought locals and tourists to the Big Trees and Santa Cruz, today's trains wind their way through Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, across a 1909 steel truss bridge, and through a tunnel en route to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Musicians as widely respected as Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Ice T, Alanis Morissette, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Pearl Jam have played the Catalyst Club. As many as 800 people can fill the main dance hall that boasts a bar. There's another bar upstairs along with pool tables and a jukebox.
University of California Santa Cruz
The University of California at Santa Cruz is known for an unbelievable arboretum. Australian and South African plants abound along with an eclectic collection of eucalyptus, a multitude of conifers and other trees, and a whole host of flowers from California and New Zealand.
Wilder Ranch State Park
With 34 miles of trails, hikers, bikers, and horseback riders will have a field day at Wilder Ranch State Park. Step back in time and explore California's early ranching history by visiting the restored buildings, Victorian homes, and gardens. The park also provides tours and living history demonstrations.