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Santa Cruz
Friday, 29 June
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About Santa Cruz

Californians already knew about the board culture in Santa Cruz, but once the Beach Boys immortalized the city in their 1963 hit song, “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” Santa Cruz became universally synonymous with surfing.

Thrill-seeking, experienced riders hunting the biggest waves head to Steamer Lane. For beginners, Cowell’s Beach is the place to go, where long, gentle waves offer a safe place to practice. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, located above the beach in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, was the world’s first museum devoted to the sport.

Families shouldn’t miss the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, with its classic wooden rollercoaster and other exciting attractions. And Natural Bridges State Beach is the place for viewing wildlife, from shorebirds to migrating whales. But beach fun isn’t the only pleasure here. The offbeat and even quirky town has some really unusual shops and restaurants – a delightful food tour explores the variety of eateries – and local theaters and music venues (including the excellent Santa Cruz Symphony) provide plenty of entertainment.