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Santa Cruz-ing: Day trip to another coastal community rich in surf, sun, and outdoor novelties 

I don't travel far very often. I mostly daytrip or spend a three-day weekend out of town. It's a nice break from the everyday, and I get to learn more about the hidden treasures in sunny California.

At the beginning of June, my boyfriend and I decided to take an impromptu day trip to Santa Cruz.

click to enlarge PEOPLE WATCHING Jordan Peele's Us-inspired fun house, which I did not go into, isn't in this photo. I don't need to visit my tethered! - PHOTOS BY KAREN GARCIA
  • Photos By Karen Garcia
  • PEOPLE WATCHING Jordan Peele's Us-inspired fun house, which I did not go into, isn't in this photo. I don't need to visit my tethered!

It's about a two and a half hour drive from SLO depending on when you hit the road. We leave on this adventure at 7 a.m. so traffic is light and once we hit Capitola, we're immediately greeted by a refreshingly overcast sky after spending a few days in the heat.

click to enlarge SHREDDIN' On 41st Avenue, walking into the Santa Cruz Boardroom is a must. Its back section is lined with unique and colorful skateboards. - PHOTOS BY KAREN GARCIA
  • Photos By Karen Garcia
  • SHREDDIN' On 41st Avenue, walking into the Santa Cruz Boardroom is a must. Its back section is lined with unique and colorful skateboards.

Our first stop is 41st Avenue, lined with surf and skate shops, boutiques, and plenty of eateries. We stop at Zameen At The Point for lunch and the quaint made-to-order Mediterranean food restaurant is delicious. I order the day's special: a cod fish pita wrap filled with mixed greens, pickled red onion, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese. My boyfriend ordered a gyro and we split an order of feta fries. The wraps are huge, and with a heap of fries, we are stuffed.

We're lucky enough to be shown around the area by two Santa Cruz veterans who work for the original O'Neill wetsuit company. They point out Pleasure Point, Cliff Beach, and the neighborhood. We also see Jack O'Neill's (the founder of O'Neill) house that is still standing, a fun fact for you surf fanatics out there. It's pretty rad. I didn't have the guts to tell them I don't know how to swim, as the beaches they show us are surf spots.

click to enlarge GAMES Mini golf is always a fun activity, but the Santa Cruz indoor experience takes the cake. - PHOTOS BY KAREN GARCIA
  • Photos By Karen Garcia
  • GAMES Mini golf is always a fun activity, but the Santa Cruz indoor experience takes the cake.

After the tour, we make our way to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a must. We mostly people watch and talk as the sun finally makes an appearance through the clouds. Kids run over to the pier games to try their hand at winning a stuffed animal. We hear the screams of kids on the Pirate Ship ride, but we decide not to ride anything, as we're short on time. We do manage to find the indoor mini-golf, Buccaneer Bay Mini Golf. At $7 per person, the two-story 18-hole course is so fun. There's even a portion of the game that's "inside the ship" and is completely glow in the dark.

After a fun game, it's about 6 p.m. and we have a long, traffic-filled car ride home, which is littered with four different car accidents. So that 2 hour and 30 minute drive turns into almost 5 hours. The good thing is we have music, each other, and my favorite story-telling podcast, The Moth. Cheers, to another fun day checking out a new place with my favorite human. Δ

Staff writer Karen Garcia is singing along to Elton John for the millionth time at kgarcia@newtimesslo.com.

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