Surfer sanctuary-slash-hippie haven Santa Cruz is a destination for more than just good waves and good weed. For your next road trip, take a little inspiration from the wave-riders who call it home.
Snooze to the sounds of gently lapping waves at the newly renovated, 1960s-inspired Dream Inn, where you can lounge by a pool that overlooks Monterey Bay. The hotel’s adjoining restaurant, Aquarius, serves inspired Cal-Med seafood with stunning ocean views.
Sure, you could go on a chauffeured tour of the region’s vineyards, but you don’t even have to leave town now that quirky, beloved Bonny Doon Vineyard recently opened its Tasting Room & Cellar Door Cafe. There, culinary superstar Charlie Parker of Manresa and Ubuntu turns out seasonally driven, local tasting menus. Or pop into the cozy counter at downtown’s Soif Wine Bar & Merchants to sample local faves and French varietals.
No trip is complete without at least a quick stop at the cheesetastic boardwalk. Go ahead, take a spin on the Looff Carousel or engage in some scream therapy on the Giant Dipper.
Santa Cruz’s outdoors swells with options. Tool around the beach on a candy-colored cruiser from Electric Sierra Cycles or hike through the Victorian homes and coastal terraces of Wilder Ranch. And if you want to try to catch a wave of your own, Santa Cruz Surf School holds lessons year-round.
Wade through the schlocky costume shops downtown. Peruse the selection of vintage cowboy and dingo boots at “organic, free range” clothing shop Scout. At Rouge, you’ll find floaty dresses and basics like Ella Moss to hang in your closet and remind you of the trip.
You might even hang ten.
Keep on truckin’. For more road trip ideas, go to dailycandy.com/guides.
Photos: Courtesy of Dream Inn; Courtesy of Bonny Doon Vineyard; Simoluu / Flickr; Courtesy of Scout