Surf city, beach culture, Nor Cal living with the ocean and mountains and easy access to big nature. Santa Cruz is a dreamy place to be in the fall and spring when the weather is warm and the mood is mellow.


The 41st Street exit will take you to the hook, where there are LOTS of great places nearby.  It’s a nice stroll for the dog along this stretch of town.  Cruiser bikes, running, whale watching and a great place to watch the action in the water.

Food and Joy

A few blocks up the road is Cliff Cafe for breakfast, Verve Coffee, Suda restaurant (fantastic dinners that are local and seasonal) and Penny’s Ice Creamery.  They have a chocolate sorbet that is as creamy as real ice cream, plus they will toast marshmallows on top and it’s beyond dreamy.

Mountain Biking

The mountain biking in Santa Cruz is so fun!  It’s crazy to me to be in such a populated city and access nature (with BIG trees) right in town.  The Emma McCrary trail to Pogonip


will take you up to the round about and connect with the trails up behind UC Santa Cruz.  It’s great, great riding.  Or you can take the West campus entrance and ride from there.  Flowy, beautiful, fun.  Lots of poison oak – Tecno and longer socks are highly recommended.


Another place to ride, which we haven’t yet, is the Demonstration forest in Aptos.


Henry Conwell Redwood State Park up in Felton.  This campground is quiet, dark, safe and surrounded by redwoods. In the fall, there is a good chance you’ll have the park (almost) to yourself.


Other fun things to know about:

New Leaf grocery (juice bar, deli) and Whole Foods are both on 41st Street

Vital Body Massage for body work and Pure Water for stocking the water tank

There are a few farmer’s markets each week. Our favorite is on Wednesday’s downtown.  You can get homemade almond butter, avocados, fresh strawberries and a bounty of fresh veggies.

Divinitree yoga

North of town is Swanton’s Organic Strawberry farm.


Happiest fall in Santa Cruz