Santa Cruz Travel Guide 2013 - (Page 9)
Welcome to Santa Cruz County
California’s Highway 1 is not only an iconic West Coast drive, it’s also santa Cruz County’s main thoroughfare and a great way to experience the crowning jewel of the Golden state. A leisurely drive on Highway 1 will take visitors straight through the county, with a variety of scenic options to choose from along the way. since the 1800s, santa Cruz County has lured visitors with a unique combination of natural beauty, outdoor recreation, a vibrant arts and culture scene, boutique wineries, a passionate organic farming movement and majestic state parks. the santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a classic seaside amusement park – home to two national Historic Landmarks – and Roaring Camp Railroads, a vintage steam train that travels through the santa Cruz Mountains are two attractions not to miss. Inside a quaint lighthouse overlooking a renown surf spot, the santa Cruz surfing Museum pays homage to this signature sport. All this beauty lies at the edge of the Monterey Bay national Marine sanctuary, a tremendous source of pride for locals.
general information Located on California’s Central Coast, Santa Cruz County is approximately 70 miles south of San Francisco, 30 miles southwest of San Jose, 35 miles north of Monterey, and 375 miles north of Los Angeles. ToTal populaTion: 264,430 incorporaTed ciTies: Capitola, population 9,974; Santa Cruz, population 60,800; Scotts Valley, population 11,640; Watsonville, population 51,495 populaTion in unincorporaTed areas: 130,521 climaTe: Mild with summer temperatures in the mid 70s, and winter temperatures in the mid 50s. Humidity is low for a coastal area. An average of 31 inches of rain falls annually, primarily between November and April. Occasional fog occurs due to changing Pacific currents. Approximately 300 days of sunshine per year. Many visitors choose to take scenic Highway 1 along the California coastline to Santa Cruz, or Highway 17 through the Santa Cruz Mountains. Visitors can also choose to fly in to San Francisco International Airport or Mineta/San Jose International Airport.
Kayaking, whale watching, stand up paddle boarding, sailing and of course surfing are some of the many ways to enjoy the bay. A new exploration center showcases this incredible natural resource. santa Cruz County has also seen its fair share of celebrities and dignitaries. Big Basin, California’s oldest state park was once visited by teddy Roosevelt. olympian Duke Kahanamoku’s visit to santa Cruz in 1912 helped popularize surfing. And Clark Gable played a round of golf at the Alister Mackenziedesigned Pasatiempo Golf Course. Browse farm-fresh produce at a local farmers market and shop alongside chefs crafting menus for the season. taste wine at a family-owned winery, or attend an outdoor summer concert or art festival. With so much to see and do in California’s favorite beachside destination, it’s no wonder visitors have flocked to this beloved area for generations.
Photo: Eurico Salis
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