Monday, July 26, 2010

Cruisin' in Santa Cruz

Shopping on Pacific Street
I was in Santa Cruz, California over the weekend for my daughter's college orientation and we had a lot of fun exploring the campus as well as the town of Santa Cruz. Even though we have traveled quite a bit throughout California, Santa Cruz is a town we did not know well. This trip, we had the chance to walk around town and explore a little more.
The main shopping area in town is Pacific Street, which has loads of charm. There are many well known shops, like Urban Outfitters, Gap and Borders Books, but mainly the shops are independently owned (tomorrow, I will show you my favorite shop!). We found lots of cute restaurants as well. Tim as particularly taken with the sidewalk "Fast Food" Kiosks like Alfresco. Check out their deliciously fresh and healthy menu!

Alfresco in Santa Cruz
And of course, I was charmed by the vintage tables surrounding the kiosk...

No trip to Santa Cruz is quite complete without a visit to the Beach and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. It was a beautiful day on Friday when we got to town, and I couldn't resist taking a few snapshots.

Main Beach in Santa Cruz
The Boardwalk was crowded and full of energetic color. We had to try the cinnamon covered almonds and the chocolate dipped ice cream cones. (I was saving the deep-fried Snickers bar for Sunday trip to the State Fair with my girls.) Here's what caught my eye at the Boardwalk:

Sky Gondolas at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk

The Giant Dipper Roller Coaster...first opened in 1925

Sea Swings, the Boardwalks newest ride
Palm trees lining Beach Street
It was a quick trip, but there will be many more to come now that we have the perfect excuse to visit!


Karena said...

Katie, what a great place and time to have in Santa Cruz! Love the images you shared!!

Art by Karena

Michelle said...

Great pics!! Lots of changes exciting.

I love that little cafe set on the street...jsut charming!


Wendy said...

Very near Santa Cruz, in Capitola, is a wonderful bakery and lunch spot. If only I could remember the was a woman's name, if I remember correctly. Worth looking up, it was cute and the food was great! Looking forward to hearing about your favorite shop.

Sarah said...

gosh, this must be such a joyful yet emotional time for you.. santa cruz is a great spot to attend university.. much luck to your daughter.

Heidiopia said...

What a beautiful place and such lovely photos! Lucky you to have a place like this to visit ;-)

Kendra Boutell said...

Katie~ I went to UCSC and it was such a magical experience. My parents still have fond memories of their visits to the town while I was there. Best, Kendra

Sylvie said...

Hey Katie! We probably came very close to bumping into each other. I was up at UCSC bringing young Marcel to Farm Camp. Please give your daughter my contact info. It would be my pleasure to give her a grand tour one day, or to be available if she has questions.

Wendy: The name of the bakery in Capitola is Gayle's.

Mary said...

I frequently take trips over to Santa Cruz and love the area SO much! When you go back (and I am assuming you will be since your daughter will be going to school there) here are some recommendations for places to eat:

I Love Sushi (near the downtown shopping area)
Lillian's (Italian food on Soquel)
Harbor Cafe (for breakfast, it's a hole in the wall but the food is amazing!)

Capitola is also fun to explore!

Santa Cruz is such a fun town I am sure your daughter is going to LOVE it there!

Freck said...

How beautiful!! Now I want to visit :)

pretty pink tulips said...

Oh, i want to go to Cali!! That shot of the boardwalk tram is awesome. FRAME IT!