Bummed you didn’t get around to planning that summer vacation it now feels like you can finally take? We understand.
But as Dorothy famously said, “There is no place like home.” And for those of us lucky enough to live in a major travel destination, it has the extra bonus of being true.
During COVID there were times it was easy to forget Santa Cruz is a tourist town — the number of visitors was somewhat limited. While those silver-lining moments came with an expiration date and you can feel the crowds returning, a local still has the option to channel their inner tourist — if we allow ourselves to fully unplug and plan it out.
And that’s a big if. But think about it: A staycation brings all the perks of a holiday with none of the hassle.
Sea lions on the Santa Cruz Wharf.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)
Whether you’ll be strolling the pier and watching sea lions, discovering different trails by foot or bike, or partaking in yoga or Pilates on the beach, there are suddenly so many more choices than we had this time last year.
So if it still feels too soon to take a vacation-vacation, or you just didn’t get around to planning one, rejoice in all the vacation-y — staycation-ish — goodness Santa Cruz has to offer.
Here are a few sample itineraries, for you to see how you can actually plan out an entire day with a vacation mindset. But then pick and choose from the guide below and plug in your favorites to customize your own adventure.