When you think of Santa Cruz, you think of beaches, sunny surf, and enjoying the hot sand and the calm waves of the ocean. And you're not wrong- Santa Cruz has countless beautiful beaches waxing and waning on the coastline. But what if you're not feeling like the beach today? Maybe you went to the beach every other day this week and ended up with a blistering sunburn and don't want to risk another day, or you're tired of shaking the sand out of your shoes? Santa Cruz doesn't only have beaches- and we've created a list of things you can do if you're in the mood for a different day trip.
Roaring Camp is a folksy park with running vintage trains that snake around the Santa Cruz Mountains with something for everyone. Roaring Camp provides many unique things to do, from beer tours to night dinner train rides to Thomas the Tank Engine to panning for gold. It's a place to see some of the oldest running trains and enjoy the outdoors. When the trains aren't running, locals visit the hiking trails that criss-cross the mountain and the well-kept green fields perfect for picnics.
If you want something to pump the adrenaline, consider visiting Laguna Seca. Cars and coffee is a popular local event where people can show off their cars and have a coffee if you're interested in seeing an excellent collection of cars and chatting with other car enthusiasts. Suppose you want to see professional drivers take on the famous Laguna Seca track. In that case, there are several events for motorcycle enthusiasts, including the outlandish F1 vehicles being raced on the way constantly. Some days are open to the public to get behind the wheel or take lessons. As one of the most famous tracks globally, Laguna Seca is only an hour away.
Land of the Medicine Buddha is an internationally known Buddhist retreat with many trails, a creek, a pool, and a sauna. You can visit for the day to enjoy the peaceful surroundings or stay in one of their yurts. The beautifully maintained temples and the respectful silence of the retreat make for an enlightening experience. They have options for learning and meditation for people looking to immerse themselves fully.
If you still want to enjoy the ocean, consider a sailing tour of Monterey Bay out of our Santa Cruz Harbor on the Chardonnay Sailing Charters. The Chardonnay does twilight and daytime tours for whatever preference and serves red and white wine, beer on tap, soft drinks, and pizza. Enjoy a slice out on the waves; you might get lucky and see some incredible local wildlife.
Brookdale Lodge was a place for the rich and famous in the 50s. Still, with its number of strange occurrences since then, combined with the vintage feel of parts of the hotel, it has become a unique stay for people interested in nostalgia and the paranormal. The rooms have all been recently upgraded, so all modern amenities will be available while staying in a historic hotel from 1897. The lodge has a river flowing through the center and many unique details, while the history emblazes the imagination.
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